Ed Balls makes the following, bizarre comment, in yesterday’s interview with Andrew Marr:
Also make sure that every child is being taught a foreign language in primary school.
What is he thinking?
A much better idea is to wait until the children are 14 or so. That way you can be sure that most will never actually learn the language in question, and be pretty sure that they will have an unpleasant time while not learning it. That’s what we try to do here in America. Then, if they have failed to learn a language in high school, we force them to fail to learn a language again in college, requiring 3 semesters of a foreign language, usually taught by people who have no teaching qualifications, and often with minimal supervision. This helps cross-subsidise language/literature departments, but ensures that our students remain monoglots. The Balls interview makes me worry that we have someone in post who just doesn’t get it.