Community language teaching

According to an interesting article I found today, the UK government is planning to cut funding to Asset Programme, which provides classes in a wide range of language not usually covered in the regular school curriculum.

The languages are known as ‘community languages’ to distinguish them from modern languages, such as French, German, Spanish and Italian, and classical languages (Latin and Ancient Greek) which are included in the curriculum. They are Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Cornish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh and Yoruba. This sounds like a useful initiative and it would be a great waste of talent if it’s cut.

Are there similar programmes in other countries?

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This entry was posted in Language, Language learning.

5 Responses to Community language teaching

  1. Andrew says:

    They’re going to cut funding to programs that teach Arabic in the U.K.?! They’re nuts. That’s one of the fastest growing languages there. And French?! That’s probably the most popular second language in the U.K.! What the hell?? Are you sure that list is right?

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  2. David Eger says:

    Actually, French is NOT in the above list of ‘community languages’. Arabic is, though.

  3. Dan_ad_nauseam says:

    The American system is decided at the state and district level. Mandarin has become substantially more popular in recent years, often with Chinese assistance. There are also a few districts with large Latino populations that have gone bilingual in Spanish and English.

    On the other hand, there is also a significant “English First” constituency that has managed to get legislation mandating English immersion for English language learners in some states.

  4. andre says:

    New South Wales has some similar programs, I’m not sure who operates them all but they are at least to some extent government funded, and endorsed by the Board of Studies so that they can go towards your Certificate. There are several levels of languages for seniors (Beginners, Continuers, Extension, Background Speakers, and Heritage). Most of the smaller community languages have only a Continuers course, although bigger ones are more integrated into the regular curriculum and have many of the others. The smaller courses are usually delivered in Saturday schools, or via private tutors, or for some languages at a certain language-focused school in Sydney.

  5. Christopher says:

    The US state of Tennessee has a Foreign Language Institute that offers classes in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish to adult students. But classes are not free, and less than 20% of funding comes from the state itself.