Monday, 5 February 2007
Languages in schools
The proposal to teach Arabic and Mandarin in schools, instead of European languages, leaves me most uneasy. No key text of Western civilisation is in Arabic or Mandarin. If this really were about what "business" (the CBI) wanted or needed, then the teaching of modern languages would be discontinued entirely in this age of global Anglophonia. And the inclusion of Spanish in this category will do it no good at all: learning Spanish will be seen as about learning how to buy and sell timeshares, whereas learning French and (especially) German will be seen as properly academic. All in all, I am not impressed with this proposal. Is anyone else?