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State schools in England and Wales to phase out teaching Foreign languages? Watch

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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I take the point as regards Eastern languages. The problem is that they'd take a lot more teaching than a language which we share an alphabet with. The opportunity cost in terms of extra maths and English lessons of teaching English students how to read and write Japanese to a reasonable standard would be high.

    I suspect the truth is that business with these countries is usually conducted largely in English as well, or otherwise through interpreters. I agree that it would be useful for us to have a good stock of English Chinese speakers, for instance, but for there to be any point you'd have to teach all children these languages to a standard at which they could actually read and write and hold a sustained discussion on a wide range of topics. I suspect that's impossible, and if you can't get to that stage then you may as well just stick to a tourist phrase book for all the actual utility you're creating. Unless you made it compulsory to continue a language to A level -- in which case I think the emphasis you're putting on languages is wildly disproportionate to their degree of usefulness and necessity.

    They are a sizeable minority, but they also happen to be the people with whom English speakers are most likely to come into contact. The typical English person is never going to need to converse with an exclusively Hindi speaking Indian or exclusively Chinese speaking Chinese person. I think it's possible to make quite a convincing argument that, if you have a particular desire to go find those people and speak to them, you're welcome to learn the skills necessary to do so on your own time. It's not important enough to the general school population for those languages to receive priority in our schools.
    Well you could apply that logic to absolutely every single subject on offer. Why should I have to study science, IT, art, drama, English literature or RS at school when it has absolutely no relevance to my professional life?

    I have lived in East Asia and their business is conducted in local languages.

    As someone who's studied Mandarin AND Japanese to degree level, the writing is easy. Brits just have a superiority complex that they need to get rid of.

    Going by your logic, we should just get rid of every single subject, because they won't be relevant to every single student.
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    (Original post by IssyCon)
    I think that is because everywhere else, they have a large exposure to English media and TV. Maybe if we had more TV in other languages, we would be better at languages.
    Ah, this is true. I remember teachers letting us watch foreign films on the last day of class, which was always a lot of fun! TBH I've always been encouraged to listen to music in the languages I'm learning (well, not Latin obviously ), which I've found super duper helpful. Maybe if we had a bigger focus on non UK and US music charts?

    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    Well you could apply that logic to absolutely every single subject on offer. Why should I have to study science, IT, art, drama, English literature or RS at school when it has absolutely no relevance to my professional life?I have lived in East Asia and their business is conducted in local languages.As someone who's studied Mandarin AND Japanese to degree level, the writing is easy. Brits just have a superiority complex that they need to get rid of.Going by your logic, we should just get rid of every single subject, because they won't be relevant to every single student.
    PRSOM - but basically, this.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I've just heard on local radio that some secondary schools in England and Wales are to gradually cease the teaching of foreign languages like French, German and Spanish, because with leaving the EU fewer people will be able to work or live in the EU after leaving school.

    They said that "the teaching of French and German in comprehensive schools only took off when Britain joined the EEC in the 1970s, before then only public schools taught languages. Spanish wasn't taken up until the mid 1980s when Spain joined the EU". Many young people will no longer consider living or working in mainland Europe post Brexit and Education budgets would be better spent on more useful teaching.
    Language teachers will be given free retraining in other subjects such as Maths or Science".

    I think this is a rotten shame to deny children the chance to learn a language. I learned French at school from aged 10 and really enjoyed it. Its so sad that we are becoming a little inward looking England cutting our ties from the outside world.

    What lessons are they going to replace languages with? And what if language teachers don't want to be retrained to teach other subjects? After all teaching languages was their passion.
    Yeah that's sad it should be taught up to GCSE and the be optional i didn't like the fact i had to take a language under EU law.
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    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    Well you could apply that logic to absolutely every single subject on offer. Why should I have to study science, IT, art, drama, English literature or RS at school when it has absolutely no relevance to my professional life?

    I have lived in East Asia and their business is conducted in local languages.

    As someone who's studied Mandarin AND Japanese to degree level, the writing is easy. Brits just have a superiority complex that they need to get rid of.

    Going by your logic, we should just get rid of every single subject, because they won't be relevant to every single student.
    You have taken two different kinds of subject there. Firstly, sciences are a central subject, to which the 'professional life' arguments which people tend to make for wider/stronger language teaching would apply. The difference is that science is overwhelmingly more important to this country's pupils, and wider economy, than languages. This applies to IT, too, although that occupies a less central place in the school curriculum (though I suspect it will only grow in importance, and it certainly ought to). Secondly, you have chosen some more 'cultural' subjects, to which the 'cultural enrichment' arguments for wider/stronger language teaching would apply. The main problem here is that you are arguing that languages should receive far more emphasis than these other subjects, and be mandatory for a young age. You can only really argue for that sort of special treatment on the grounds of the first kind of argument, which I've already discussed.

    I'm quite sure their local business is conducted in local languages, but it is not their local business that bears any relevance to this country or to this country's school population as a whole.

    I am not claiming to be an expert in Eastern languages. The point is that if you have to teach a totally different writing system, or perhaps multiple, in the case of (at least) Japanese, that is going to add a significant amount of required time and effort to the whole endeavour. You may find the writing easy, but I'd be willing to bet that your typical primary school child would not.

    Nor am I advocating that we should feel superior to anyone. I am advocating that we should appreciate our good fortune, in that circumstances have happened to conspire such that most people whom English people will want to interact with learn English in their schools. We simply don't need to dedicate the same resources to teaching languages as most other countries. It follows that, even if we did have a superiority complex, we wouldn't particularly need to get rid of it.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    You have taken two different kinds of subject there. Firstly, sciences are a central subject, to which the 'professional life' arguments which people tend to make for wider/stronger language teaching would apply. The difference is that science is overwhelmingly more important to this country's pupils, and wider economy, than languages. This applies to IT, too, although that occupies a less central place in the school curriculum (though I suspect it will only grow in importance, and it certainly ought to). Secondly, you have chosen some more 'cultural' subjects, to which the 'cultural enrichment' arguments for wider/stronger language teaching would apply. The main problem here is that you are arguing that languages should receive far more emphasis than these other subjects, and be mandatory for a young age. You can only really argue for that sort of special treatment on the grounds of the first kind of argument, which I've already discussed.

    I'm quite sure their local business is conducted in local languages, but it is not their local business that bears any relevance to this country or to this country's school population as a whole.

    I am not claiming to be an expert in Eastern languages. The point is that if you have to teach a totally different writing system, or perhaps multiple, in the case of (at least) Japanese, that is going to add a significant amount of required time and effort to the whole endeavour. You may find the writing easy, but I'd be willing to bet that your typical primary school child would not.

    Nor am I advocating that we should feel superior to anyone. I am advocating that we should appreciate our good fortune, in that circumstances have happened to conspire such that most people whom English people will want to interact with learn English in their schools. We simply don't need to dedicate the same resources to teaching languages as most other countries. It follows that, even if we did have a superiority complex, we wouldn't particularly need to get rid of it.
    But I have still never needed science in any aspect of my life since I dropped them 6 years ago. Therefore I should never studied them because they have no relevance. That is your logic.

    It has been proved multiple times that young children find it infinitely easier to pick up languages and scripts than people who have gone through puberty. THIS IS PROVEN FACT Therefore, introducing them to children aged 3 would be the best way of learning it.

    Also, how would you get translators if people don't study languages? Genuine question, considering you think we can just rely on them anyway?

    All business will be conducted in local languages-the reason we need interpreters is because languages are so vastly discouraged in our country. Although in East Asia they do face similar problems, but why should we wait for them to make a move?
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    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    But I have still never needed science in any aspect of my life since I dropped them 6 years ago. Therefore I should never studied them because they have no relevance. That is your logic.

    It has been proved multiple times that young children find it infinitely easier to pick up languages and scripts than people who have gone through puberty. THIS IS PROVEN FACT Therefore, introducing them to children aged 3 would be the best way of learning it.

    Also, how would you get translators if people don't study languages? Genuine question, considering you think we can just rely on them anyway?

    All business will be conducted in local languages-the reason we need interpreters is because languages are so vastly discouraged in our country. Although in East Asia they do face similar problems, but why should we wait for them to make a move?
    No, it isn't my logic. Frankly the fact that you're replying to me within 4 minutes makes me think that you're not actually considering what I'm saying, so I'm not going to invest more time into this.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    No, it isn't my logic. Frankly the fact that you're replying to me within 4 minutes makes me think that you're not actually considering what I'm saying, so I'm not going to invest more time into this.
    It is your logic. I can't be bothered talking to someone who can't even remember their own logic. Keep unschooling yourself
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    Yeah but it's the youth that didn't bother to turn up to vote
    The youth did vote. Their turnout was only slightly below the national average.
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    Shame they forced me to learn French in year 7 to 9, I hated it, never did any work so I think this is a good idea.
    At least teach a useful language, where the country has decent job prospects, Arabic would be much better... Then you can go work in the gulf states with 0 percent tax.
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    (Original post by IronicalMan)
    Shame they forced me to learn French in year 7 to 9, I hated it, never did any work so I think this is a good idea.
    At least teach a useful language, where the country has decent job prospects, Arabic would be much better... Then you can go work in the gulf states with 0 percent tax.
    And yet Arabic is currently being met with the same skepticism as German had throughout the world war years and Russian had during the cold war...
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    (Original post by shawn_o1)
    And yet Arabic is currently being met with the same skepticism as German had throughout the world war years and Russian had during the cold war...
    Long story short I don't think anyone should be forced to learn a language.
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    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    Yeah that's sad it should be taught up to GCSE and the be optional i didn't like the fact i had to take a language under EU law.
    Source?
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    (Original post by IronicalMan)
    Long story short I don't think anyone should be forced to learn a language.
    well by that logic, no one should be forced to study any subject...
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    (Original post by lostintrnslation)
    well by that logic, no one should be forced to study any subject...
    You do not need a language to function in life(other than the one you speak).
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Source?
    Teachers told me although it was a long time ago.
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    learning a foreign language is very difficult for Brexit type children: it is only fair to stop teaching these irrelevant tongues now that the People have spoken
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    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    Teachers told me although it was a long time ago.
    That's rubbish. The Labour government stopped modern languages being compulsory at GCSE level in 2004 - when we were in the EU...

    You might be thinking of the EBacc which was introduced in 2012 and required a modern language but it was never compulsory to do EBacc, and it was a British government initiative anyway.

    Nothing to do with people in the EU coming over here making our laws...
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    (Original post by IronicalMan)
    You do not need a language to function in life(other than the one you speak).
    therefore you don't need any others either. I'm functioning quite well without gcse physics
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    (Original post by lostintrnslation)
    therefore you don't need any others either. I'm functioning quite well without gcse physics
    If your not doing anything that relates to it in the future, then no. Only English and mathematics is essential.
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    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    Without grammar, you cannot hope to say a basic sentence in a language, let alone master it
    Here is where the advantage of some non-european languages shows, for example basic Chinese grammar is soooo simple you can just focus on vocabulary at the start, adnittedly it does get more challenging later on but from my experience not nearly as much as all those French irregular verbs I had drummed into me for 8 years... Also, using immersive learning techniques can reduce the emphasis on memorising grammar rules as you learn in a more intuitive and fun way

    (Original post by super_kawaii)
    The problem is, we won't be able to train enough teachers if schools don't run language programmes. This is why I'm planning to leave the UK to teach, because languages aren't respected enough in this country and therefore my degree subject is more valuable abroad.
    We really need programs to entice in foreign language teachers from abroad, that way students will be taught by native speakers and there is less of a problem with a lack of teachers due to the lack of language grads in the UK
 
 
 
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