Seven-year-olds 'should learn Chinese'

Richard Garner
Sunday 07 October 2012 23:00
Comments

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in