News: PE Funding; Early Education; MfL Training; Sickle Cell Resource

£1.8 million training boost for language teaching

Thousands of teachers will receive extra training and support to improve the teaching of foreign languages, thanks to £1.8 million of government money to fund a series of new school-led programmes, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced today (9 September 2014).

From this week schools across England will teach the new, more challenging languages curriculum – including a new requirement for languages to be compulsory for children aged 7 to 11 years. This will ensure that children in England learn the languages they need to succeed in the modern world.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc), introduced by the government in 2010, has already helped reverse the decline in the numbers taking languages GCSE – 7% of GCSE entries this year were in languages, and the number of young people taking languages GCSEs this year was higher than in 2008.

As part of its work to help teachers introduce the new programme of study, the Department for Education has given £1.8 million to 9 projects that will work with more than 2,000 primary and secondary schools over the next 2 years across England.

The projects are based in:

  • Warrington
  • Reading
  • Warwick
  • Winchester
  • Birmingham
  • Gloucestershire
  • Cornwall
  • Leicester

as well as in various schools across the

  • north east
  • east of England
  • north Midlands

The projects will be focused on supporting teachers with the elements of the new curriculum that may be more challenging.

These include the use of more spontaneous speaking and writing, grammar, translation and the introduction of literary texts in a foreign language at key stage 3.

To ensure the support and training being offered is relevant, programmes were only considered for funding if they could show they were led by teachers with collaboration between primary and secondary schools wherever possible.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

We want our young people to have the best possible start in life – that is why, as part of our plan for education, we want every child to learn a foreign language. It doesn’t just help them to understand different cultures and countries, it opens up the world.

By learning a foreign language, young people can go on to study and work abroad, but it’s not just that. Knowledge of different languages and cultures is increasingly important to employers in the UK too. That’s why the ability to speak and understand different languages is vital if young people are going to leave school able to get a job and get on in life.

We know that teachers are integral to this language revival so we are backing these schemes – led by teachers, for teachers – so they have the support they need to prepare our young people for life in modern Britain.

The new curriculum establishes foreign languages as a compulsory part of the primary curriculum for the first time and gives schools the freedom to teach any modern or ancient language they choose.

It includes a stronger focus on the knowledge and understanding needed to learn a language and hold a conversation with native speakers. There is also a greater rigour across all ages in grammar, vocabulary and spontaneous speaking and writing.

At secondary school, students will be expected to hold more challenging conversations in a foreign language and translate into the foreign language. There will also be a specific, new requirement to read and study literary texts such as stories, songs, poems and letters in the languages students are studying.

Each project will now work with schools to identify the areas where teachers have said they would like further support.

Click here to see how the funding has been allocated.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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