Article published in:National foreign language policies for primary schools: Global perspectives
Edited by Janet Enever
[Language Teaching for Young Learners 2:2] 2020
► pp. 213–239
Supporting foreign languages in an Anglophone world
Implementation challenges in English primary schools
Foreign language (FL) learning in English primary schools, statutory provision for most schools since 2014, has been characterised by distinct challenges. The first issue, peculiar to Anglophone settings, concerns how language learning is valued when ubiquitous English learning rationales of economic and social capital are unhelpful. Other challenges, shared globally, relate to provision and practice such as: the importance of progression, motivation, age-appropriate pedagogy and contextual factors. Successful policy implementation in England remains elusive and continues to be characterised by a lack of cohesion, coordination and forward planning. Provision and practice are problematic and linked to deficits in curriculum time, teacher linguistic expertise, planning and progression. This article will explore how both language and broader education policy in England have created conflicting forces for the sustainability of the foreign languages initiative in primary schools. It will examine how networks of researchers, teachers, educationalists and policy makers are supporting implementation through national and local education stakeholder engagement. Through collaboration and co-construction, research-informed practical suggestions are promoted, coupled with the development of solution-focused research agendas.
Keywords: young FL policy, education policy implementation, FL learning
Published online: 08 July 2020
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