Teach them while they’re young…

Jun 15, 2012 | Language

It has been in the news this week that there are plans afoot to introduce compulsory foreign language teaching to primary schools, with all children being taught another language from the age of seven. The changes are intended to help increase the number of language GCSEs taken, which has dramatically declined since they were made optional at age 14.

My children were lucky enough to attend a primary school that did offer some language teaching, in the form of a French lunchtime club, and even did a little French at nursery. It is lovely to hear little ones singing and counting in another language and I would love to see the teaching of languages in schools improved and extended. As a single-language speaker in an office full of bi-lingual colleagues, I will always wish I had tried that little bit harder at languages and have encouraged my children to continue with their language studies.

Now, I know that I can still learn another language, even at my advanced age. But the point is, if I’m being honest, I probably won’t. I was quite good at French and German when I was at school, but I let it slide and it is so much harder to take up as an adult, with all the complications of adult life. I personally believe you need to enthuse children to speak another language while they are young and when it is so much easier to pick up and enjoy.

What do you think?


image: © Frenk And Danielle Kaufmann | Dreamstime.com