Foreign languages at 7

There has been a mild tv fuss about language learning in primary schools. Foreign languages are apparently no longer compulsory in secondary schools, as the difficulty meant that targets for passed GCSEs couldn’t be met.

(Surely, it would be better to give all kids 5 GCSE passes on starting secondary school, then they could learn difficult subjects, like sciences and languages, without everybody worrying about schools falling in the league tables because kids are studying difficult lessons)

I can’t see why this has caused a stir. It seems so obvious that kids should learn as many languages as they can while their minds are receptive. It is truly embarrassing for us English people when we see other Europeans can usually speak half a dozen languages perfectly, while we struggle to translate the simplest order for a loaf.

If the only current secondary school pupils to study a second or third language are the determined tiny minority, our present dire levels of linguistic prowess will seem like polyglot heaven in a few years time. Let’s hope that the littlest children can start to make up for this.

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