A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

The future for language teaching?


This week there is an interesting article on the Education Guardian website by Louise Tickle entitled ‘What does the future hold for primary languages?’

You can read it here: What does the future hold for primary languages?

As you read it try and analyse it critically identifying key questions that spring to mind about the points the author makes and evidence on which it is based.

As a university student you can read this media article critically and identify interesting issues to pursue through academic literature. An example in relation this article is to go and find this academic journal article:

Cable, C., Driscoll, P., Mitchell, R., Sing, S., Cremin, T., Earl, J., Eyres, I., Holmes, B., Martin, C., Heins, B. (2012) Language learning at Key Stage 2: findings from a longitudinal study Education 3-13. Vol.40(4), p.363-378.

There are some interesting links with Tickle’s article, in relation to teaching languages. Some of you may be supporting and teaching modern foreign languages in your role and may find some useful resources and ideas here.


Author: Jean

Senior Lecturer, Education at the University of Northampton. Admissions Tutor for the Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching.


  1. Although I will be doing more reading on this subject, it is one that is close to home at the moment. My setting has also said that we are going to have to start teaching a language. It has caused a certain amount of panic as not one member of staff is confident or fluent with another language. I also think that for this to be a success for the children, training for Teachers and no doubt the support staff who will end up delivery these lessons is imperative. I myself am more than happy to touch up my language skills but currently this would be at my own expense and evening time. This then challenges you to question your job role and expectations.

    • Janet, you make some very good points in your reply. We have found that it is often teaching assistants and sometimes volunteers who end up teaching MFL in primary schools. I wonder what secondary colleagues think about this? It can be difficult when year 7s arrive having experienced a variety of different languages.

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