Concerns in Scotland over modern foreign languages

Languages and humanities
Business, academic and cultural organisations have expressed concern at how foreign languages are faring at Scottish schools, and have called on the government to offer more support, particularly for German and Russian.

A joint paper from the German, Swiss and Austrian consulates submitted to Dr Alastair Allan, the minister for learning, last week cited fears for the “ultimate demise” of German in schools if current trends continue.

Mentioning the SNP’s plan for Scottish pupils to adopt the so-called 1+2 policy – of learning two foreign languages by the end of primary – the paper adds: “A review of the situation in 2014 leaves no doubt that the Scottish government’s ambitious targets for increasing language provision have not been met as far as German is concerned. The uptake of German in Scottish schools has not increased.”

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