Language foul

With modern languages now considered a core part of primary education under Curriculum for Excellence, it would appear that current initial teacher education (ITE) courses are being inappropriately approved by the Scottish minister, given that there has been no complementary reform to make modern language training a core part of that training.

Current guidance says: "New teachers must ... be able to deliver the full curriculum."

Until modern languages form a compulsory part of ITE, the minister will not only continue to approve teacher training courses inappropriately but will also be responsible for preventing the new curriculum from realising the inherent huge potential to resolve the nation's linguistic ills.

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With a country's education system only as good as the teachers who deliver it, modern language provision in the primary school will continue to be far from excellent. The Donaldson review beginning this year offers the perfect opportunity to resolve this multilingual muddle.


Orchy Crescent