New Language Requirements Bring Challenge for Schools in United Kingdom

The recent curriculum requirement, which will be due in September 2014 states, that every school-child aged 7 to 11 must be prone to a second language studies throughout these years. In reality, however, the scheme may fall flat as nearly 60% of primary schools are challenged by the upcoming change. This is mainly caused by essential lack of teaching staff in and their insufficient level of proficiency. Besides that, poor communication between lingual supervisors in primary and secondary schools adds to the relatively low activity rate within students.

Prior to making foreign language studies a compulsory part of primary and secondary education, there are a few dominant matters to consider:

Shortage of Qualified Language Teachers in Primary Schools

An overwhelming majority (75%) of primary school instructors hold only GCSE qualification in the language subjects, meaning the teachers may find it difficult to provide the desired level of knowledge and expertise. In light of the small number of professionals and no constructive guidance, schools authorities are in doubt the idea of advanced lingual tuition should really work. Whereas primary educators are on most part enthusiastic about the oncoming reform, their lack of confidence and real-time experience is undermining the initiative.

Poor Collaboration between Primary and Secondary Schools

A further issue that cannot be ignored is the ineffective networking within the educational system: about 70% of primary scholars are not able to keep on studying the same foreign tongue in the secondary school due to the tutors mismatch. While private institutes report better figures with nearly half of institutions are apt to provide students a continual exposure to the initially chosen language, the outcome is still less than satisfactory. Consequently, a great amount of learners are forced to shift to another tongue during transition from primary to the secondary education, which often causes confusion and discouragement, let alone the fact that a pupil needs to adjust to a language never studied before.

Students Are Not Highly Motivated about Taking Foreign Languages

Resulting by low proportion of capable tutors who would introduce children to the language from the very first school years, students often find themselves uninspired to take French, German or Spanish classes. As foreign language studies have not been compulsory at all GCSE level before, an additional incentive might be required to enhance interest in the subject – an entire new learning culture should be established. Supply of more native speaking teachers or those demonstrating proper verbal and reading capacity is one example of a positive didactic experience. Another key to success is the dialogue between different undergraduate stages providing a swift studying course.


The overall picture of foreign language education across the UK is far from perfect both in state-funded and independent institutes. Yet, there are signs of gradual improvement in the long term, as the social awareness grows: more secondary students realize the importance of their lingual proficiency and add tongues to their agenda. A steadily growing number of teenage students who have chosen to learn at least a non-English language has been reported by nearly 50% of public secondary schools.