Curriculum hits foreign languages
THE introduction of Scotland’s new curriculum has led to a decline in the number of secondary schools treating foreign languages as compulsory, it has been claimed.
Research by SCILT, the national centre for languages, based at Strathclyde University, showed there had been a drop in the number of secondaries where a modern language was compulsory until S4 – from 61 per cent in 2007 to 49 per cent in 2011.
A survey by the centre uncovered claims that Curriculum for Excellence, which was introduced in 2010, had removed the “quasi-compulsory status” previously enjoyed by languages until S4.
SCILT director Sarah Breslin said the survey painted a “very mixed picture”, but underlined that there were increases in uptake where languages were actively promoted.
The research also found that opportunities to study languages in primary schools is improving, with all of Scotland’s 32 councils providing tuition in most or all schools by P6.
A Scottish Government spokesman said there had been a “significant increase” in Higher entries for the “main languages” of French, German, Spanish and Italian, while the combined pass rate was 83.6 per cent.
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