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Language Education in the UK

Average: 2.8 (6 votes)

Here is a short, but interesting article, regarding the national curriculum here in the U.K.

Changes in U.K. education occur continuously, as those in power argue over what the most important things to teach our children are.

As an advocate for the arts, I think more arts disciplines, that foster creativity should be implemented.

What do you think?

What are the most important subjects at schools?

Read the article and then answer the true or false questions...

Don't forget to let me know your opinion!
by Caroline Devane

Learning Languages in the UK

Languages may be made compulsory for 14 to 16-year-olds in shake-up of National Curriculum. Teenagers could again be made to study modern foreign languages at GCSE, Michael Gove said today.

The Education Secretary said he was leaving the door open to making the subject compulsory for 14 to 16-year-olds under a new review of the national curriculum.

The requirement for teenagers to take a language at GCSE was axed by the last Labour government in 2004, and led to a massive slump in the numbers taking the subject at that level.

Launching a review of the entire national curriculum today, Mr Gove said English, maths and science, along with PE (Phyiscal Education), should form the core of the curriculum.

But the rest is 'open to debate' he said, acknowledging that he was not ruling out making foreign languages compulsory.

Mr Gove said: 'We have given people a nudge with the English Baccalaureate towards a certain set of academic subjects. Beyond that, we want to have an informed debate and we want it to be reflective of what's happening in other jurisdictions.'

To achieve the new 'English Bacc', pupils must gain at least a C grade at GCSE in English, maths, science, a language and a humanities subject.

Schools are being judged on the new measure in league tables.

Children could also be required to spend an afternoon a week playing outdoor sport, Mr Gove said.

PE will remain a compulsory part of the curriculum. It is expected that the new curriculum will say that all children should play competitive sport and learn to swim.

'I think there should be a debate around whether or not one afternoon a week, at secondary level, should be given over to outdoor competitive sport and citizenship activities.'

Full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1348993/National-curriculum-review-Languages-compulsory-14-16-year-olds.html

Useful Vocabulary

GCSE - General Certificate of Secondary Education: the British system of school examinations taken in various subjects when students are 16.
compulsory - If something is compulsory, you must do it because of a rule or law.
national curriculum - the set of subjects that children in England and Wales must study from the age of 5 to 16.
nudge - to push something or someone gently (used as an idiom above).
jurisdictions - areas where organisations have legal power.
humanities - the study of subjects such as literature, language, history and philosophy

Are the following sentences true or false?

  • 1. Since 2004, it has not been required that students over the age of 14 study a modern language.

  • 2. Surprisingly, more teenagers decided to study languages when it was no longer compulsory.

  • 3. Sports may become a main part of the British curriculum in the coming years.

  • 4. A new qualification has been introduced recently, The Baccalaureate.

  • 5. Learning to swim is not considered to be very important and definitely will not be included in the new curriculum.