Elementary Practicals

    Lisa Lucas discovers what we can learn from the UK’s mandating of world language education in all elementary schools from second grade

    The British government, in recognition of the value of language learning in early childhood, took a bold step this year and mandated compulsory teaching of a second language for children ages seven to eleven in English primary [elementary] schools. As of this September, all primary school students are required to study one of seven languages, and though the most popular choice is French, followed by Spanish, some schools offer Mandarin and Arabic. Many believe that this move is essential for the UK to remain competitive with its European counterparts. This is clearly a commendable move, but is it an incredible advance or a wildly optimistic plan? How will the schools actually implement this, and is there support in place to see this plan comes to successful fruition?

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