DfE and Ofsted set out their foreign language learning priorities

The new languages curriculum at key stage 2 and 3 went under the magnifying glass at a recent Westminster Education Forum, when teachers got to quiz both the DfE and Ofsted. Languages teacher Suzi Bewell was there.

In February, the Department for Education (DfE) published the new Programmes of Study (PoS) for languages at key stage 2 and 3. 

It soon became apparent that MFL teachers were slightly disturbed by the final drafts. It was in this context that a Westminster Education Forum took place last month focused on the future of the languages curriculum.

Speaking first, Jane Hough, MFL lead at the DfE, said that elsewhere in Europe, many countries start a compulsory second language much earlier than at age 11 and that “we want to follow suit”.

Ms Hough insisted that the new PoS had been significantly slimmed down in order to “open up pedagogic freedom” and said that starting language teaching in key stage 2 would raise expectations and give learners the skills to “operate in a global arena”.

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