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Two thirds of councils delivering second language lessons in primary one

Two thirds of councils delivering second language lessons in primary one

Almost two thirds of local authorities will be delivering second language lessons in primary 1 by the end of this school year.

Pupils in 21 out of the 32 local authority areas are being taught a second language in the first year of primary school, according to the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government introduced a 1+2 languages policy in 2011 – meaning every primary school pupil will start learning a second language in P1 and a third at the latest by P5, which they’ll continue until the end of S3.


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All councils are expected to meet the 1+2 languages commitment by 2020.

Local authorities and the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) expressed concerns about the cost of implementation and the training needed for primary teachers to deliver the lessons when it was proposed.

In March last year the Scottish Government announced an extra £7.2m funding to support the initiative.

Minister for Learning, Dr Alasdair Allan, met young people speaking French, Spanish and Gaelic on a visit to Edinbarnet Primary School in West Dunbartonshire yesterday.

He said: “In today’s global, multi-cultural world it is more important than ever that young people have the opportunity to learn languages from an early age, to equip them with skills and competencies for the globalised economy.

“We want to ensure the enthusiasm for languages starts at an early stage in a child’s education. Here at Edinbarnet, it’s great to see that happening in P1, at a time when a majority of councils are now meeting the commitment.

The 1+2 model of language learning follows an EU policy that all European citizens should master two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

The 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA) results show 89 per cent of people in Scotland think that learning a language other than English in school from the age of five is important.

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