Northern Ireland dangers being left behind due to the fact kids

Northern Ireland dangers being left behind due to the fact kids 1

The European Union recommends that each citizen communicate in two languages further to their mother tongue, making language learning for primary college children a concern. Children in England, Scotland, and Wales learn a foreign or indigenous language as a part of the curriculum. But Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK in which number one faculty scholars have not researched some other language.

Northern Ireland dangers being left behind due to the fact kids 2

Boy and a flaming car outside Divis flats.


In Northern Ireland, pupils only have to analyze a language between the ages of 11 and 14 – the shortest obligatory section of language getting to know in Europe. Even inside this age variety, the Northern Ireland authorities do not recommend time for language getting to know, and there may be a significant difference from faculty to high school. Grammar faculties, for example, are more likely to dedicate an extended amount of time to language studying, while non-selective schools tend to set apart less than hours per week. If primary colleges provide languages, they do so voluntarily and regularly now, not as part of magnificence time.

However, my studies indicate that many youngsters in Northern Ireland would love to have the possibility to study another language from a younger age. I requested 2,698 ten and eleven-year-vintage pupils in their last 12 months of number one training about language learning, and 62% of scholars puzzled stated they thought kids ought to examine every other language in primary faculty. Of the 1,671 kids within the have a look at who thought languages need to be compulsory, almost 60% felt that language learning should start at the age of eight or nine.

The observation also showed that motivation for language getting to know is excessive amongst pupils – with 83% of respondents looking ahead to starting to study or continuing to learn a language after number one school. This echoes previous studies into primary languages, showing that most students are fantastic at learning languages.

Starting younger

Just beneath 1/2 of the youngsters surveyed said they currently study a language in primary school – Spanish and Irish being the most famous. This may be the legacy of the elective Early Years Primary Modern Languages Programme. This task was discontinued by the aid of Northern Ireland’s Department of Education in 2015. One of the program’s weaknesses was that the language presented was limited to Spanish, Iriwasand Polish for a time, so it provided a limited number of languages defined. The survey additionally showed that French and German are presented using incredibly few primary colleges in Northern Ireland – 360 pupils study French, and 37 children learn German. This is alarming, given that those languages are declining sharply at GCSE and A-degree and were diagnosed by the British Council as being within the top five languages required by the United Kingdom to stay competitive.