The Languages Company

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SUPPORTING A LANGUAGES STRATEGY

The Languages Company was set up in order to support the National Languages Strategy and to implement the Languages Review of 2007. . In 2011 the Coalition Government decided not to continue with the Languages Strategy and to cut most central funding for languages. In common with most other bodies, The Languages Company received no further funding from the Government.

Instead we have beenseeking funding from alternative sources and have continued to promote a strategic view on language teaching and learning in England.

In the absence of an official National Strategy we will work in three main areas.

Update

Click here to download our overview of the National Languages Strategy.

 

PROMOTION AND POLICY

languages in europe coverTransforming languages in our country is a major endeavour. It requires the combined efforts of many partners.  We must therefore make sure that we do everything possible to all work together in a coordinated way. We also need to make the case for languages and for a Languages Strategy – especially with national and local decision makers.

This will also involve working with key players in the UK and internationally, especially within Europe, to help develop clear policy orientations for languages in the 21st Century. We aim to help articulate a clearer shared vision and understanding of the role of languages in economic and civil life and as a force for social cohesion. In the UK an important vehicle for this continuing debate will be Speak to the Future

 

IMPROVING PEDAGOGY

Although we have made progress in recent years, language learning in schools is still hampered by some major fault lines. These involve “provision factors” such as time allocation and the age at which language learning begins, and “organizational factors” such as option systems and timetabling.  As the Languages Review so clearly reported, however, there is also an issue of engagement – or the lack of it – by young people.  We need to reflect on the approaches which help learners learn and those which are obstacles to progress, and we need to work to allow language teachers to develop their professional competences.  We envisage that this too will require international cooperation – with colleagues in Europe and in other Anglophone countries in particular.
 

SUPPORTING PRIMARY LANGUAGES

We remain committed to the vision of every child having access to high quality language learning from an early age. This is a fundamental question of equal opportunities and social justice. We will do everything possible to monitor progress towards that end, and to help develop the necessary support tools for early language learning. With our partners, we have produced a resource to support schools in planning and developing their languages provision in Key Stage 2.

Our current priorities are making the case for primary languages, both as an end in itself and as the basis for lifelong learning, and helping to ensure progression from at least the age of 7 through to secondary school, including the major challenges of transition. We continue to prepare for the day when languages will be a statutory part of the primary curriculum as is now the case in virtually every European country except our own.
 


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