Modern Foreign Languages

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Language Trends 2019 reveals key language education findings

Drops in language take-up at GCSE level and in primary school language teaching are among the key take-outs from the Language Trends 2019 report. The report from the British Council also suggested that Brexit has impacted on international language projects in the past 12 months. GCSE and A-level entries GCSE entries have dipped by 19% in the past five years, with French and German seeing major declines. However, demand for some other languages – which account for around a tenth of all language entries – has increased by 6%. Most of the growth came among entries for Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and modern Hebrew, with demand for teaching staff in these subjects also increasing. Declines in A-level entries have also been noted in French and German in recent years, although French saw entries jump by 4% in the last year, alongside a 10% increase in Spanish entries. Primary school language teaching A third of primary schools teach a language at Key Stage 1, while four in five said that a set amount of time was allocated for language learning every week. However, a third of schools added that pupils do not always receive that language education, as other subjects take precedence. The report also found that schools with lower attainment levels at Key Stage 2 were less likely to set time aside for languages. In secondary schools, 91% offer French at Key Stage 3 and 40% offer German – the proportion of schools offering both has declined slightly in the past three years. International projects The number of international projects and ties between international schools has declined since the Brexit referendum. Schools also voiced concerns over attitudes towards languages as a result of the vote, suggesting that many parents no longer view language as a key component of the curriculum. Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 11 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including: Primary teacher jobs Secondary teacher jobs SEN teacher jobs Teaching Assistant jobs Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.

All-Party Parliamentary Group leads call for compulsory language education

Language learning in Britain requires serious attention, according to an all-party parliamentary group of MPs and peers. They claim there is an “urgent and compelling” need to take action and suggest that the UK is missing out culturally, socially and economically as a result of poor language education. A new report from the group suggests that around 3.5% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) is lost as young people are not “culturally agile” enough to operate using different languages. This is a particular cause for concern as the use of English in digital content channels is declining, while the report also notes that language learning should not be viewed as something that is “only for the top set”. The report calls for a “statutory entitlement to languages education at all stages of the curriculum from ages 5 to 18” – marking an improvement on the current curriculum where languages are only required at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Entries for modern foreign languages at GCSE and A-level have also declined in recent years while the group has also called for more qualifications on the back of concerns that pupils view it as being extremely difficult to get good grades in modern foreign language subjects. Joint chair of the group, Baroness Jean Coussins, told the BBC that the education system has been “complacent” when it comes to teaching languages and spoke of the need to encourage more people of all abilities to consider the subject. A major hurdle to potential reforms relates to finances and modern language teacher availability, with the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, saying that any targets must be “realistic”. “We need a national strategy to enthuse young people about language learning which is underpinned by having enough modern languages teachers and funding,” he explained. The latest report added that language learning has a number of health benefits for pupils and that it can help them to develop a wider skill set. It also states that the number of languages being taught in primary and secondary schools should be increased and greater value should be placed on languages at all levels, from the government through to teachers and parents. If you’re a modern languages teacher looking for your next role, get in touch today! Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 11 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including:Primary teacher jobsSecondary teacher jobsSEN teacher jobsTeaching Assistant jobsExam Invigilator jobs Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly. 

University of York to run national language centre

The University of York will run the new national ‘centre of excellence’ for modern foreign languages, the government has announced. The higher education institution will coordinate efforts by schools to boost the quality of language teaching. It comes after the Department for Education revealed that £4.8 million would be made available to develop the national language centre, supported by nine hub schools, last summer. Cardiff University will also run a mentoring project at ten schools designed to increase the number of pupils studying languages at GCSE level. It forms part of government plans to get more pupils to consider modern foreign languages and acts on several recommendations included in MFL pedagogy review, completed in 2016. A 2018 language trends study by the British Council found that more than a third of state schools give pupils the choice to opt out of studying a language in year 9.  The new Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy will seek to address concerns around language uptake by looking at ways of increasing standards in French, German and Spanish teaching, among other languages. Professor at the University of York’s education department, Emma Marsden, welcomed the investment, adding that it will help the UK to nurture relations with other cultures and provide a broader education for all. “Learning languages is associated with a whole raft of benefits - personal, cognitive, cultural, social, and economic,” she explained. She said that the centre will “help teachers to make the most of every opportunity that can be offered by secondary schools. “In the history of public support for languages education in England, this investment offers a unique opportunity for researchers and expert teachers to work together and draw on high quality, international research into language learning and teaching,” she added. Ms Marsden added that the materials produced at the new centre will be available to schools for free. Schools Minister Nick Gibb revealed that the hub schools were already having a “positive impact” and praised the University of York for having “the vision and expertise” needed to improve how modern foreign languages are taught in schools. Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 11 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including:Primary teacher jobsSecondary teacher jobsSEN teacher jobsTeaching Assistant jobs Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly. 

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