TES is reporting that teachers will be able to train in modern foreign language departments, both in private and state schools, across the country.
Private schools will help form a new national teacher-training centre for linguists in a bid to stop the crisis in modern foreign language skills in the UK. The government-backed scheme, which will be based in Sheffield, aims to bring together schools from across the state and independent sector to train language teachers.
It will coordinate the training of student teachers in some of the best languages departments across the country. It follows widespread concern from the government and education professionals about the decline in the number of students choosing to study languages.
Mike Buchanan, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), said: “This is not only culturally impoverishing, but likely to put UK pupils at a major disadvantage in a global marketplace in which 75 per cent of people do not speak English.
“The reasons for this are complex but include the difficulty of achieving a top grade compared with other subjects, leading to less take up, smaller departments and fewer teachers.” Speaking to 300 independent headteachers at their annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, Mr Buchanan said that the scheme was the first national project of its kind.
Do you think modern foreign language skills are important? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or Twitter. ~ Meena
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