MULTI-LINGUALISM: A NEW FRAMEWORK STRATEGY
Letter from the Chairman to Bill Rammell
MP, Minister for Life-long Learning, Further and Higher Education,
Department for Education and Skills
Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated
20 December 2005 which was considered by Sub-Committee G (Social
Policy and Consumer Affairs) on 2 February.
We support the creation of the High Level Group
on Multilingualism as long as it acts only as an advisory body
to the Commission. We agree that further clarification of the
role and scope of this group of experts should be sought.
We are grateful to you for the detailed information
on the national policies that the Government is pursuing in the
areas on which the Communication makes recommendations. We read
with interest the policies you are developing for language teacher
training, language learning for all 7-11 year olds and Content
and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). But we hope that the
framework, and the national policies related to it, will also
pay adequate attention to the needs of older learners.
Moreover, we would remind you that our April
2004 report on the Proposed EU Integrated Action Programme for
Life-long Learning (HL Paper 104-I) recommended that the Government
should carry out an urgent reappraisal of language-teaching policy
across the board. The Eurobarometer survey mentioned in the Communication
shows that the Government cannot afford to be complacent about
promoting language teaching when some 70 per cent of UK citizens
still speak only English.
While we are content to release the above document
from scrutiny, we trust that Government will bear all these factors
in mind when responding to this initiative.
2 February 2006