Seven-year-olds 'should learn Chinese'
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 08 October 2012
Children shalt not just learn ancient Greek or Latin as a language at primary school, the British Council has warned, arguing this "might sit oddly with the Government's wish to enhance language skills for the workplace".
Classical languages have been given a boost in recent years as a result of campaigning by politicians such as the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and the London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
But the council is critical of the Government's suggestion that children should be restricted to learning just one foreign language as part of the compulsory element of the national curriculum from the age of seven. Instead, it argues, they should be introduced to a range of languages "including those of the high-growth economies in Asia and Latin America".
The council argues that – if pupils stick to just one language – most schools will opt for French or Spanish thus leading to "a reinforced focus on a few traditionally-taught European languages".
"The languages to which primary pupils are exposed should include widely spoken and economically important languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic and languages traditionally taught in the UK," it continues.
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is a small friendly village prim...
£14600 - £17600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are passionate about sup...