The last decade has seen an Enormous quantity of flux concerning language teaching trends in British schools, stemming from a 2002 change in education policy which had significant implications for both primary and secondary schools. At one end, plans were set in place to have all children from age 7 learning a language by 2010, to be able to enhance engagement with foreign languages and tackle the issue of Britain’s monolingual culture. At the opposite end, learning a foreign language at GCSE level was created non-compulsory to be able to give pupils greater license to select vocational topics that better suited them.
So what have the consequences Of the change of policy been? One immediately noticeable effect has been the sharp drop in the amount of students taking a foreign language at GCSE, with year-on-year drops in level of uptake. This decrease has struck the standard subjects of German and French toughest, leading schools to reduce their foreign language provision to be able to adapt to the absence of demand. It is also had a knock-on Effect on the amount of trainee teachers specializing in foreign languages, with the profession of speech instruction lately described as being in ‘decline’. This may be due to a lack of opportunities at secondary school level, and the perceived poor career prospects that include the reduction in student numbers.
It has also proven to be an Problem at primary school level, where educational leaders have bemoaned the quality of supply and lack of teachers with specialized teaching abilities. Regardless of the initiative having been launched in 2002, some have complained of a lack of appropriate training and funding. It is been claimed that a quarter of british school singapore were unprepared for mandatory teaching in 2009, and recent studies have slammed delivery of instruction across as Britain as ‘catastrophically varied’. One report from Cambridge University has gone so far as to state that teaching languages in primary school has small positive effect on learning at secondary level, while some are worried that poor pronunciation by unskilled primary teachers can cause kids to make mistakes which will need to be ‘unlearnt’ in the future.