Many schools in Scotland to lose foreign language assistants

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Joseph Jeffries  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
French to English
+ ...
Very sad and extremely short-sighted (the decision, not me...) Feb 18, 2011

It always makes me sad to read this kind of thing. When I was in high school we had a new language assistant every term (always a native speaker) and we learned so much through our sessions with them. They allowed us to improve our accents, speak with confidence, pick up expressions that our teachers would never have taught us and, above all, learn about French and German culture from a real product of those societies.

Just a couple of years after I'd left and gone to university, my younger sister came home from school fuming with anger after discovering that the language department's budget had been cut. They would no longer be employing language assistants, and the money saved was to be spent on (yet another) computer suite. She was extremely upset as her decision to study French at A Level was partly based on my glowing praise for the course. This is not to say that the teachers themselves were bad at their jobs, far from it, but interaction with native speakers is the thing that really spurs people on and inspires them to continue learning languages.

I would love to know what they plan to spend that £300,000 on. Actually, I'd rather not as it'd probably just make me cry.

[Edited at 2011-02-18 13:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-18 13:12 GMT]


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Jessie LN
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very saddening news Feb 18, 2011

This is very disheartening. Especially because at the same time, reports are being published about the lack of foreign-language skills amongst students and graduates in the UK. It also doesn't help that Glasgow Uni is seriously considering downsizing its modern language provision, either.

I guess decision-makers don't mind the fact that English-speaking nations tend to already be seen as inherently ignorant of other languages and cultures.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Glaswegian and gutted Feb 18, 2011

Having grown up studying languages in Glasgow, I am disgusted at this myopic and abitrary decision. The worst thing is the feeling of helplessness that nothing can be done about it. For once, words fail me.

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Many schools in Scotland to lose foreign language assistants

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