Ambassadors Urge UK to Start Teaching Languages Earlier
Garner, Richard, The Independent (London, England)
THE FRENCH and German ambassadors to Britain have urged the Government to start teaching foreign languages to five-year olds to rid the UK of its tag as the linguistic dunce of Europe.
Hans-Friedrich Von Ploetz of Germany and Daniel Bernard of France have called for the introduction of compulsory language lessons in primary schools and for the study of a modern foreign language to be made compulsory for all 16- to 19-year-olds.
Britain is alone among European countries in not making the study of a modern foreign language compulsory in primary schools.
In other countries, languages are on the timetable from the age of six, when most children start compulsory schooling. English is usually the foreign language studied.
The ambassadors cite the England tennis player Tim Henman. They say he told them recently: "If only I'd started learning a foreign language as early as my tennis - at age two-and-a-half - I would enjoy life much more."
At present, the study of a modern foreign language is only compulsory for 11- to 14-year-olds in state …
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Publication information: Article title: Ambassadors Urge UK to Start Teaching Languages Earlier. Contributors: Garner, Richard - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: July 9, 2001. Page number: 8. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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