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Foreign Languages

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what percentage of pupils have an entitlement to modern foreign language learning at Key Stage 2; and if he will assess the likely impact that the demotion of foreign language study at Key Stage 4 will have on the wider success of language learning initiatives at key stage two; [117171](2) if he will make a statement on the content of the new primary strategy for developing modern foreign languages. [117175]

Our National Languages Strategy, "Languages for All: Languages for Life—A Strategy for England", published last December, made clear that by the end of the decade we want every pupil, throughout Key Stage 2, to have the opportunity to study a foreign language and develop their interest in the culture of other nations.Our strategy document "14 to 19: Opportunity and Excellence", also confirms our commitment to supporting language learning. It confirms our belief that requiring schools to leach languages to every young person beyond the age of 14 is not the best way to achieve that objective. We expect that the more widespread learning of languages during Key Stage 2 will enhance interest, motivation and proficiency and that this will, in time, increase the numbers wishing to continue language learning after the age of 14.Our new strategy for primary schools, "Excellence and Enjoyment", outlines a range of approaches that will support teachers in developing their learning and teaching skills across the primary curriculum. The strategy dovetails with work to support particular subjects such as our National Languages Strategy.