Language learning in the news
According to report in the Times, increasing numbers of primary schools in the UK are teaching, or plan to teach, their pupils foreign languages, usually French. The idea is to use new, inovative teaching methods to get children excited about languages at an early age, with the hope that they will continue studying them at secondary school. So far this scheme appears to have a success.
At the same time, there have been decreases in the numbers studying languages such as French and German at secondary school, but increases in those studying more exotic languages like Chinese and Arabic. Those schools that teach the more exotic languages find it difficult to find teachers – there are only a few colleges in the UK offering teacher training in Chinese, Japanese or Arabic. In fact there’s such a shortage of language teachers that generous finanicial assistance and incentives are on offer to those who train to teach them.