§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are their priorities for the allocation of public funds to improve the teaching, learning and study of particular foreign languages, as distinct from foreign languages generally, in accordance with the National Languages Strategy, referred to in Languages for All: Languages for Life: A Strategy for England; and [HL918]
What are their priorities for the allocation of public funds to improve the teaching, learning and study of French, German, Spanish. Russian and Chinese languages respectively in primary and secondary schools in accordance with the National Languages Strategy, referred to in Languages for All: Languages for Life: A Strategy for England. [HL919]
§ Baroness Ashton of Upholland
Our main priority, as set out in our strategy, is to provide high quality teaching and learning opportunities for young people regardless of the language taught. While our recently published strategy highlights the development and enhancement of joint programmes with France, Germany, Spain, Russia and China, we are also in discussion with other countries about the possibilities of similar joint programmes. Our strategy makes clear that primary schools will be expected to offer an EU language as part of the language entitlement, and to support that expectation we are funding initial teacher training primary places in French, Spanish and German.
However, we also want to promote diversification in language learning. Around 20 languages are offered by the 157 specialist language colleges currently in operation. The expansion of the specialist schools programme, with their role as hubs of excellence, will provide enhanced opportunities for primary schools to access language expertise.
Finally, new training opportunities for teaching a foreign language will be developed for people with language skills, including commuity languages, to give them additional teaching skills and recognition to work with teachers in classrooms. Our recognition system will also provide accreditation in a wide range of languages, including community languages.