UK: Exams may be getting easier but it's the plummeting number of pupils studying foreign languages that's the real problem

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Jul 23 15:23:18 UTC 2008


Forwarded From: edling at lists.sis.utsa.edu


Guardian



Exams may be getting easier but it's the plummeting number of pupils
studying foreign languages that's the real problem



We are about to have the same debate we have at this time every year. The
one where A-level and GCSE results are revealed and the same people roll out
the same cliches that a trained chimpanzee could get an A nowadays and that
it was far harder in the good old days. Whether true or not, this
smokescreen masks a far more important concern.



Results are important, but the growing difference between the curriculum in
state schools and that in private and grammar schools needs urgent
attention. There is an ever increasing social and wealth-based gulf opening
up as the subjects being taught in these two groups of secondary schools
diverge. We need to look at what students are choosing to study and what
they are being offered, not just the pass mark.



Full story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/21/modernlanguages.gcses





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