Education Minister announces major reforms to language teaching

(Title Image: Wales Online)

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams (Lib Dem, Brecon & Radnor) has announced that as part of the new National Curriculum, Welsh would no longer be taught as a second language in English-medium schools.

In addition, modern foreign languages will be taught from primary school, forming part of a new themed area of learning called “International Languages” – which will also include British Sign Language, classical languages and other community languages.

“We want all our learners to be citizens of both Wales and the world and that means ensuring that all young people from all backgrounds have an opportunity to develop their language skills – whether that’s in Welsh, English or international languages.”
– Education Minister, Kirsty Williams

Under the proposals, schools will be given the freedom to decide how to adopt the new policy, though intensive training courses in Welsh will be provided to teaching and support staff.

The National Association of Headteachers cautiously welcomed the plans but warned that it would require additional funding to ensure staff had the skills to match.