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Where are we going with primary foreign languages?

Tierney, Daniel and Gallastegi, Lore (2005) Where are we going with primary foreign languages? Language Learning Journal, 31. pp. 41-54. ISSN 0957-1736

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Abstract

This article considers Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS), which have reached a crucial stage in both England and Scotland. It looks at developments in the two countries and considers these against both a historical and European background. The authors, drawing on their practical experience, put forward some of the key points to be addressed as well as making the case for certain approaches, based on their experience and the available literature. The article begins with a brief update of the situation in Scotland and England, before considering the aims and objectives of both. It also looks at the debate about whether an early start is beneficial and considers methodology. Particular aspects to be considered include knowing about Language and the balance between the four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The authors conclude the article by drawing out some issues on which there might be a consensus but at the same time identify the need for a national debate on what we are trying to achieve when significant funding is being invested.