Welsh Government
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New plans to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Welsh schools

Education Minister, Huw Lewis has yesterday set out new plans to improve the take up and teaching of modern foreign languages in schools across Wales.

Global Futures  - a plan to improve and promote MFL in Wales will come into effect from September and will be supported by up to £480,000 of Welsh Government funding in the first academic year.  

Under the plan one secondary school in each of Wales’ four regional consortia will be appointed as a Centre of Excellence for Modern Foreign Languages.

Teachers at the appointed Centre for Excellence will receive targeted Continuing Professional Development and benefit from new partnership arrangements with language institutes (Alliance Francaise, Institute Francais, Goethe Institut, Confucius Institute and the education departments of the Spanish Embassy and the office of the Italian Consulate General in London) and Welsh universities to help them develop high level language teaching skills.

They will then be tasked with working in partnership with other secondary schools and primary schools in their area to drive up teaching standards for modern foreign languages across the region.

The Global Futures plan will also see the creation of a mentoring programme for Key Stage 3 pupils in order to promote the benefits of studying a foreign language to learners.

A Modern Foreign Language steering group, made up of experts from schools, universities, Estyn, British Council, language institutes and education consortia will also be established to ensure the plan is fully implemented.

The group will be tasked with developing a wider strategy for promoting MFL subjects and will consider how undergraduates and postgraduates can be incentivised to work with new Centres of Excellence to improve language learning.

It will also look at how Welsh Government can engage partners such as the BBC and the Open University to harness new digital technologies to improve language learning for pupils and teachers.

The Minister said yesterday:

“Linguistic skills are rapidly becoming one of the most important skills a young person can acquire to compete for jobs in the global economy. They are important to Welsh businesses too as increasing amounts of our trade and commerce is done with new partners overseas.

“Despite this, right across the UK the number of young people taking up modern foreign languages has been declining recently. This problem is not unique to Wales, but it is one I am determined to tackle.

“I want to ensure that more and more of our young people actively choose to study a Modern Foreign Language as part of their school education, and develop the skills they need to thrive in a modern global economy.

“I would like to thank CILT Cymru for their support in promoting MFL subjects over recent years but we cannot just carry on with business as usual. We need a radical and new approach and today’s announcement on the introduction of our Global Futures plan provides us with a strong start to that.”


Channel website: http://gov.wales

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