Language Trends is an annual survey of primary and secondary schools in England, designed to gather information about the current situation for language teaching and learning. Its aims are to assess the impact of policy measures in relation to languages and to analyse strengths and weaknesses based both on quantitative evidence and on views expressed by teachers.
Jane Harvey, president of the Association of Language Learning (ALL) commented:
“ At a time when language learning and international experiences are more important than ever, the fact that there is a growing socio economic divide in the availability of languages in our secondary schools is very concerning. Sadly, it is clear that the same schools are less likely to offer international experiences or exchanges, and we urge all schools to take advantage of the new DfE funding for school exchanges in England for pupil premium students.
Many primary school pupils are clearly enjoying learning a language, but inconsistencies in provision and curriculum time are leading to difficulties at transition to KS3 and this, together with pupil and teacher perceptions of the increased difficulty in and grading of the new GCSE is having an impact on uptake. However, it is very pleasing to see the value many schools put on the languages pupils speak at home by arranging for them to take examinations in these languages.
The survey highlights the diminishing supply of language teachers and backs up the findings of other surveys published this year that urgent action is needed now to support the learning of languages at all levels in our schools.”