Broadening Horizons

I’m on foreign ground here since, like many others, my MFL education was limited to nuts and bolts at Secondary School, and quite frankly, through no fault of dedicated teachers, it was not a great success.

Successive headlines seem to suggest that the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages is in decline: Universities no longer offering courses and perhaps the Labour government making it optional in 2004 revealed its real popularity, with the Coalition now ‘doing a Canute’.

Conventional wisdom has it that bilingual children are academically more able.  Could it be that the connections which are made in the brain by learning another language also help with brain function across the spectrum of subjects?

It’s often mooted that toddlers find it easiest to learn languages.  Again something to do with synapses that are all too soon lost even before the end of childhood.  But the lack of specialist teachers at KS1&2 so often prevents anything other than the very basics being conveyed.

So the following question ought to at least be posed:

for the sake of improving educational standards, shouldn’t Languages education be focussed on pre/playschool?

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