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V591 - Foreign Languages Tuition Bill 2013 Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should this bill be passed into law?
    As many are of the opinion, Aye
    Of the contrary, No

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    • Exempted Irish from being a permitted as a 'foreign language'
    • Made the bill come into effect at beginning of school year rather than at the beginning of the actual year

    V591 - Foreign Languages Tuition Bill 2013, TSR Opposition

    Foreign Languages Tuition Act 2013

    An Act to introduce legislation for the improved teaching of foreign languages in schools.

    Currently the UK is direly behind other European nations in respect to its teaching of foreign languages in schools. Consequently, both we and our children are missing out on the benefits afforded to those who command the use of a second language.

    Usually children aren't exposed to foreign languages until secondary school - we completely miss the opportune time to take advantage of children's natural facility with language acquisition. This needs to change immediately. This Bill seeks to correct past mistakes by observing other countries' successes and pushing for our children to have the same.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1. Tuition

    1.1 The tuition of a foreign language subject will be made compulsory for all school pupils throughout the Key Stages 1 and 2;
    1.2 The choice of foreign language(s) taught will be at the discretion of individual schools.

    2. Definitions

    2.1 'Foreign language' is defined as any language, natural or invented, commonly utilised for the purpose of the facilitation of spoken and written communication between individuals, that is not English, nor any recognised regional language native to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, its Crown Dependencies or Ireland.

    3. Training

    3.1 A 'Foreign Language Teacher Training Scheme' (hereby referred to as the Scheme) will be established to hold the following objectives:
    (1). To train speakers of a foreign language to effectively teach a foreign language to children;
    (2). To promote methods of instruction that benefit from children's natural ability to absorb language;
    (3). To promote the use of such tools and technologies that provide children with the opportunity to communicate with fluent users of the target language;
    3.2 Prospective teachers of foreign languages will remain subject to all relevant laws and regulations governing suitability to teach.

    4. Funding
    4.1 Funding for the Scheme will be given at £5,250,000 per annum as taken from the Treasury, until such a time as the dissolution of the Scheme.
    4.2 A subsidy will be issued from the Treasury to cover an additional 20% of a student's fees where the student is gaining a teacher training qualification that includes enrollment into the Scheme.
    4.3 These funding provisions will be subject to annual review to meet adjustments for inflation and the changing demand for teachers of foreign languages.

    5. Exemptions

    5.1 The following persons and their responsible tuition bodies are exempt from all sections of this act:
    (1). All pupils attending schools which specialise in the teaching of children with special needs;
    (2). All children who are receiving a home-schooled education;
    (3). All pupils attending privately funded schools;
    (4). All pupils attending a school whose primary language is non-English.

    6. Commencement and extent

    6.1 This Act shall come into force on the first day of September 2014;
    6.2 This Act extends to England and Wales.

    NotesThis Bill seeks to address the current problems extant in language tuition in the UK:
    1. We don't teach children early enough when teaching would be most effective
    2. By the time children are taught it, they don't like it because they find it unreasonably difficult
    3. There is a lack of incentives for people to become language teachers
    4. The teaching techniques traditionally employed are often poor - rote memorisation, lack of modern techniques and tools (e.g. Skype), etc.

    The funding figure of £5.25m for the scheme is obtained from a calculation based on the number of foreign language teachers required (assuming each student required 2 lessons per week) and of providing each of these teachers a 20% subsidy of the cost that an international student would pay for their PGCE (£12,300 p/a). The figure given is an upper-bound maximum cost taken by assuming no prior existence of primary school foreign-languages teachers (indeed, the UK generally has few).

    Aye. I can only hope that the plans in RL that echo these will be brought to fruition.

    I think we should limit the options of languages that can be taught to those already to taught at secondary school so there can be more continuity. Additionally, we should encourage widely spoken languages that will be most useful in later life be taught, such as German, French or Chinese Manadrin, rather than leaving it to the discretion of the schools.

    But still, aye

    As long as there is continuity in terms of the language(s) spoken, then I have no objections. Maybe it could be extended to secondary school- many other countries have compulsory MFL up to 18 let alone 16!


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    The Ayes to the right: 27
    The Noes to the left: 7
    Abstentions: 3

    So the Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. Unlock.
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Updated: August 22, 2013
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