Measures to improve the teaching of Spanish, French and German announced

A new national language centre is being developed to to improve the teaching of Spanish, French and German.

This was announced as part of measures from School Standards Minister Nick Gibb to boost pupils’ foreign language skills.

Other measures include making nine leading schools across the country ‘language hubs’.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “This programme will give teachers the expertise and support they need to teach pupils key languages such as Spanish, French and German – languages that businesses say they want from their employees. The knowledge pupils will gain in this subject at GCSE and A level will help deliver the skilled workforce we need and build a Britain that is fit for the future.”

The Centre of Excellence – backed by £4.8 million over the next four years – will raise the standard of teaching in languages based on the Latin alphabet like French, Spanish and German by taking forward recommendations made in the Teaching Schools Council’s Modern Foreign Language Pedagogy Review led by expert headteacher and linguist Ian Bauckham CBE.

The review noted that weaknesses in British graduates’ translation and interpreting skills loses the UK an estimated 3.5% of economic performance and concluded that the vast majority of pupils should study a modern foreign language until they are 16-years-old.

The Centre of Excellence will be supporting leading schools across the country, which will work with local schools in their area to drive up standards in the teaching of languages through the sharing of resources and best practice. The Centre will start working with the first hubs from the autumn.

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