• Ofqual mulls grading change for language and science A-levels

    Ofqual is considering a change to the grading of A levels in modern languages and the sciences, if it finds the subjects are more severely marked than others. Speaking at Ofqual’s summer symposium in London today, Richard Garrett, director of policy and strategic relationships, explained that the regulator is exploring ‘inter-subject comparability’, or whether it

    17.46 Jul. 5th, 2018 | News

  • A third of state schools allow pupils to opt out of languages in year 9

    Over a third of state schools now allow pupils to opt out of studying a language in year 9, a new report has revealed. In fact, 34.5 per cent of state schools are not teaching modern foreign languages (MFL) to entire groups of students at that level, up from 29 per cent in 2017 and

    0.01 Jun. 27th, 2018 | News

  • Urgent action needed to save MFL from ‘extinction’, claims expert

    GCSE entries to modern foreign languages continued to fall this year, in a dropoff that could even see some subjects becoming “extinct” in schools, according to one expert. Overall, MFL entries were down by 7.3 per cent this year at around 300,000 in total, while the drop in the population of 16-year-olds in England sat

    13.19 Aug. 24th, 2017 | News

  • Brexit fallout stunts recruitment for first 'super-SCITT'

    The country’s first “super” school-led scheme to train language teachers has been given the go-ahead by the government to recruit its first cohort this September – though numbers will initially be lower than anticipated due to the fallout from Brexit. Sheffield Teaching School Alliance, based at Silverdale School, will be the first so-called “super SCITT”

    5.00 Jun. 9th, 2017 | News

  • Private schools pledge their support for national MFL training centre

    Private schools have pledged to support a new national teacher training centre for linguists to stave off a “crisis in modern foreign language skills”, writes Jess Staufenberg. The “innovative” school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) will be led by the Silverdale multi-academy trust and is set to open in Sheffield next year. The centre was announced

    5.00 Oct. 8th, 2016 | News

  • Nick Gibb is wrong about modern foreign languages

    Boosting foreign language GCSE entries is not the way to improve our country’s language skills – but there is a better way, insists David Harbourne The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, wants 90% of 16-year-olds to take a foreign language GCSE. In a recent House of Commons debate on the EBacc, he said this is necessary

    16.34 Jul. 27th, 2016 | Opinion

  • A lack of fluent thinking

    There are not enough teachers to teach the mandatory Ebacc modern foreign language. In the spirit of détente, Leora Cruddas puts forward three steps that could bridge the gap Bonjour. Guten Tag. Buenos dias. Welcome to the future of foreign language teaching. It is a future that will be shaped by the government’s aim that

    6.00 May. 1st, 2016 | Opinion

  • Wanted: home-grown teachers of Mandarin

    The Conservatives are promising more Mandarin teachers – and in an ideal world every young person should be able to learn it as a language of their choice. But is this a manifesto pledge that can be implemented? Tucked away in the Conservative manifesto is the pledge: “increase the number of teachers able to teach

    6.30 Apr. 27th, 2015 | Opinion

  • Real language skills need to deal with the unexpected

    Unlike in many other subjects, the new modern foreign languages GCSE is retaining a listening and speaking component. This will keep students interested and help develop these crucial language skills Ofqual says that the ability to speak the language is a key aspect of a modern foreign language GCSE. No one could argue with that

    6.30 Oct. 19th, 2014 | Opinion