Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Are the poorest students really missing out on languages?

I've just read an article on the BBC website:

Language lesson gap means poorest miss out, says report.

It has made me quite sad and a little angry.

(Oh no, not a ranty post, Dom. Yeah. Sorry.)

In my experience, the reason students are "missing out" is because many schools are looking  for "good results" rather than taking into consideration the motivation, preferences, needs or abilities of their students.

I've lost count of the number of students who have loved learning a language in KS3 only to be told that they can't (or shouldn't) do it at GCSE because...
  • it's too hard*
  • you won't enjoy it, it gets much harder next year*
  • you've got a better chance of getting a 4 in (another subject)*
  • you won't like the teacher*
* delete as applicable

Our students aren't missing out; we are doing them a huge disservice.

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