[EDLING:1050] RE: Language Teachers 'need training'

Gerald van Koeverden gvk at CIACCESS.COM
Sat Oct 29 20:11:54 UTC 2005

It's about time.  The Nederlands - a tiny country squeezed in between
several European giants - has long had a policy to teach foreign languages.
70 years ago, when my father was in school, it was compulsory to take three
foreign languages.  But it is difficult for a powerful English-speaking
country - whether Britain or USA to acknowledge that their language which
'rules' the world, and the Internet, is not the only one worth knowing.  

"Worth knowing"?  When you only know one language, that language is a
prison.  Learning a second one, especially from a different family of
languages, releases one from one culture's tunnel vision of reality when it
allows the learner to interact with a new group of people from other

Gerald van Koeverden

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Francis M Hult
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 1:31 PM
To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Subject: [EDLING:1049] Language Teachers 'need training'

By way of lg-policy...

> >From the BBC,  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4378072.stm
> Language teachers 'need training'
> Many teachers lack the confidence and skills to implement government 
> plans to extend language learning to all primary schools, research 
> suggests.  A scheme enabling all children to learn a foreign language 
> is to be extended to all primary schools in England. Ministers are 
> publishing funding plans and guidance for teachers, with the aim of 
> making language lessons available to all seven to 11-year-olds by 
> 2010. A pilot scheme in 1,400 schools was judged a success in July by
> Quelling concerns
> "Class teachers' confidence in teaching languages remained fairly low,"
> the report said, "despite the majority having obtained some form of 
> qualification." "Training addressing linguistic competence as well as 
> methodology was found to be vital in addressing this aspect." Adequate 
> resources were crucial for all teachers to ensure the success of 
> language teaching, the report continued. The report, carried out by 
> academics at the University of Warwick and commissioned by the 
> government, emphasised the importance of teacher subject knowledge and
> In the pilot schools, languages were most often taught by 
> non-specialist teachers. But the report said where there was adequate 
> staffing for teachers to be supported by a native speaker or 
> specialist from a secondary school, this can work well. By trying to 
> raise interest in language learning at an earlier age, ministers are 
> hoping to quell concerns that students leave school with inadequate
language skills.
> Language learning beyond the age of 14 ceased to be compulsory in 
> September.
> The funding includes 49.5m for schools and local authorities to spend 
> on resources and training for teachers between 2006 and 2008. The 
> guidance is a framework for teachers of learning objectives and 
> teaching activities, focusing on key skills such as speaking, reading 
> and writing. This was tested in more than 1,400 schools in 19 local 
> authorities. Business leaders have raised concerns about the lack of 
> language skills in the United Kingdom, claiming it is seriously damaging
> The Minister for Schools, Andrew Adonis, said: "In common with our 
> partners and competitors in other countries, we must shift the 
> emphasis in language learning to give young children a firm foundation 
> for later learning. "I am confident that pupils who learn languages 
> from a younger age will be more likely to develop a range of language 
> skills in later life."
> No inhibitions
> Griffydam Primary School in Coalville, Leicestershire, uses French 
> across year groups in the school. The register is taken every day in 
> French, with pupils ordering their lunch in French also. Signs around 
> the school are written in French and, when learning to count, children 
> learn to do so in French too. Head teacher Ursula Smith said the key 
> was getting children interested in languages at a young age.
> "Young children will stand up and have a go and not be embarrassed, 
> while older children do feel self-conscious." She believes the 
> children at her school have benefited from the learning experience. 
> "They love it - we have a French club and it's always over-subscribed 
> and there's a waiting list for it."
> In July, a report from the CILT national language centre attacked 
> "complacency" over the inability to speak other languages. The group 
> has welcomed the government's new framework, saying it provided a 
> reassurance of its commitment to primary languages. "Research on the 
> use of languages in business contexts shows that the earlier languages 
> are learned, the more confidence people have in using them," said 
> Isabella Moore, director of CILT.
> Story from BBC NEWS:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/education/4378072.stm

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