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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Westminster Forum: The future for Modern Foreign Languages at GCSE and A-level - Tuesday 28 April 2015 - London


Guest of Honour: Professor Stephen Parker, Chair, ALCAB Panel for Modern and Classical Languages and Henry Simon Professor of German, University of Manchester

This event held on Tuesday 28 April 2015 in Central London is CPD Certified.

Scheduled to follow the release of the British Council's annual Language Trends survey, this seminar will provide a timely opportunity to consider the current and future state of language learning in England's education system up to the age of 18. It follows the A-level Content Advisory Board's (ALCAB) report on Modern Foreign and Classical Languages, which highlighted a 'grave decline in the numbers studying MFL (modern foreign languages) beyond the age of 16'.

Delegates will discuss the specifications for MFL subjects at GCSE and A-level, planned for September 2015, as well as the challenges surrounding implementation and first teaching in 2016. Other areas for discussion include steps to be taken to tackle widespread concern that students tend to regard languages, particularly at A-level, as 'hard' and of little future value, as outlined in a recent review by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). In addition, the conference will also look at concerns raised by employers and businesses that languages are no longer taken seriously, as detailed in the CBI-Pearson annual Education and Skills Survey.

Further planned sessions will consider measures to improve the take-up of MFL at Key Stage 4, such as Government's proposal to pilot foreign language 'teaching hubs', and efforts to increase the number of language teachers within primary and secondary schools. Additional areas for discussion include the role played by foreign exchanges and technology in supplementing the language learning experience, as well as the benefits of languages for the economy.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Parker, Chair, ALCAB Panel for Modern and Classical Languages and Henry Simon Professor of German, University of Manchester; Bernadette Holmes, Bye Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge; Teresa Tinsley, Founder, Alcantara Communications and Author, Language Trends surveyCaroline Norman, Project Manager, Home Language Accreditation Project (HoLA), Languages Sheffield and Leanne Tritton, Founder and Managing Director, ING Media have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.

Ian Bauckham, Headteacher, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Kent and Immediate Past President, ASCL; Vicky Gough, Schools Advisor, British Council; Dr Lid King, Chair, Speak to the Future and Director, The Languages Company; Rene Koglbauer, Director, Network for Languages North East and President, Association for Language Learning (ALL); Nick Mair, Chairman, Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association; Humair Naqvi, Regional Director - Corporate, Education and Public Sector, Rosetta Stone and Michael O'Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations have also agreed to speak.

Anna Bawden, Deputy Editor, Society Guardian and Education Guardian and Lord Harrison, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages have kindly agreed to chair this seminar.

To view the latest agenda or book a place, please visit: