Thursday, July 01, 2010

Latin in primary schools

Read the report, written by Christopher Pelling and Llewelyn Morgan for Politeia, here (pdf format).

It proposes:
If the new Government decides to accept the status quo, i.e. most primary schools are already teaching a foreign language, the Secretary of State should ensure that Latin is given the same status as other foreign language options. This would mean including Latin as a primary foreign language option in statutory measures or nonstatutory guidance. In particular:
• The DfE’s previous non-statutory guidance for foreign language teaching for primary schools should be changed so that Latin is treated in the same way as other foreign languages.
• The DfE should make clear that Latin is a permissible option and give Latin the same prominence and support as given to the modern language options. The simplest course might be to change the official documents or guidance to read ‘foreign language’ teaching (not ‘modern foreign language) and make consequential changes in departmental papers and instructions for such teaching in schools.
If the Government decides to withdraw any non-statutory encouragement to primary schools to teach foreign languages, it should nonetheless ensure that schools which do voluntarily offer a foreign language have the same official encouragement to offer Latin as a modern foreign language.

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