• “Successful Futures” for our “Global Futures”? Implications of the 2022 Curriculum for Teaching and Learning International Languages

    Research Articles

    “Successful Futures” for our “Global Futures”? Implications of the 2022 Curriculum for Teaching and Learning International Languages

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Abstract

This article discusses the future of teaching and learning international languages in Welsh schools in light of the changes being introduced by the 2022 curriculum. It is a well-known fact that the numbers studying foreign languages as GCSE and A Level subjects have fallen significantly in recent years. The aim of the government’s Global Futures strategy (Welsh Government: 2015) was to increase these numbers. With this five-year strategy about to come to an end and with preparations for the 2022 curriculum underway, it is timely to ask whether we can anticipate an increase in the number of pupils choosing languages such as French, Spanish and German as a GCSE subject over the next few years. To explore this question, we will look at research into the teaching and learning of foreign languages in primary schools in England and Scotland, and the practical challenges involved (Finch, Theakston & Serratrice, 2018; Holmes & Myles, 2019; Giraud-Johnstone, 2017). Secondly, we discuss the role of motivation in learning a foreign language and argue that the limitations of the option boxes in years 8 or 9 prevent some pupils from choosing a modern language as a GCSE subject (Estyn, 2016; Abrahams, 2018). Thirdly, we elaborate on the widespread view among pupils that learning a foreign language is difficult and challenging (Coleman, Galaczi & Astruc, 2007; Coffey, 2018; Rodeiro, 2017; British Council, 2019). To conclude, some recommendations are proposed on how to ensure the success of the international languages element of the new curriculum to try and address the current shortage of pupils choosing the subject and teachers to teach the subject.

Keywords: international languages, option boxes, 2022 curriculum

How to Cite:

Jones D., (2021) ““Successful Futures” for our “Global Futures”? Implications of the 2022 Curriculum for Teaching and Learning International Languages”, Wales Journal of Education 23(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.23.1.5

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Published on
31 Jul 2021
Peer Reviewed