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English: Teaching Methods

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 15 January 2007, Official Report, columns 800-1W, on English language teaching, (1) if he will assess the merits of using the skills and materials available in the learning English section of the BBC World Service to maintain the accessibility of online/distance learning English for Speakers of Other Languages courses; and if he will make a statement; (120255)

(2) when he expects to reply to Question 120255, on the BBC World Service and English language teaching, tabled by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South on 6 February.

There are a wide variety of materials and resources to support the learning of English and we would encourage those that are effective and of high quality.

The Skills for Life Strategy has implemented national standards for adult literacy and numeracy and all provision eligible for funding as basic skills has to be mapped to these. The standards are reinforced and supported by national core curricula for literacy, numeracy, ESOL and ICT which provide a context within the learning environment. Learners wishing to improve their English skills should follow approved courses based on the Skills for Life national standards and curriculum and which lead to nationally recognised qualifications.

We recognise the value and potential of delivering English language online and via distance learning and we are currently investigating this area.