Tayside and Central Scotland

Falkirk primary pupils to learn 'two or more' languages

Image caption Falkirk primary school pupils could take up one foreign language in P1 and a second by P5

Children at Falkirk primary schools could be taught two or more foreign languages under new council plans.

Falkirk Council has proposed using £300,000 of national funding to offer extra classes in languages including Mandarin and German in all schools.

All pupils would have access to French and Spanish classes from primary one, with extra languages no later than P5.

The authority wants to train primary school teachers so that all pupils are learning additional languages by 2020.

Members of the authority's education executive approved a draft of the "1+2 Languages Strategy", which will be submitted to the Scottish government.

It is hoped that teaching languages at an earlier age could increase uptake in secondary school classes.

'Invaluable skill'

Councillor Alan Nimmo, the administration's education spokesman, said: "In today's world, where business and travel are worldwide, it is important our children can learn about other languages and cultures.

"Considering that more than 75% of the world's population does not speak English, additional languages are an invaluable skill in a global society.

"Learning languages has the potential to open doors to different possibilities and experiences the world over for children in the area."

Over the next five years, teachers will be given fast-track, taster and refresher sessions based on their experience in teaching languages.

Programmes to teach Spanish and French as a second language will also be piloted and evaluated.

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