Modern Languages

back to menu


Background statement

Aspects of dyslexia which impact on literacy skills in English, clearly will have a similar impact on the acquisition of a modern language (see Crombie 1999). It is therefore no surprise that pupils and parents in S1 report difficulties with learning a modern language.

This i-Paper presents the experiences of the pupils and parents involved in this study. By highlighting different responses in different contexts with individual pupils and reflecting on SEED policy documents, this paper aims to raise the issues for pupils with dyslexia and promote discussion amongst teachers on appropriate support approaches.

Policy Document quotes

"...we want as many young people as possible to learn at least one foreign language, to enjoy the experience, and to take qualifications in that language if they chose"

(SEED National Conferences on Good Practice, 2003)

"SEED has been encouraging schools to take a more flexible and innovative approach to the curriculum, stimulated by the circular issued in August 2001.

However, questions have been raised about curriculum flexibility and the language learning entitlement. There are more similarities than tension in these two areas of policy. Both

  • aim to provide a pupil centred curriculum, meeting the needs of the individual;
  • offer a flexible approach to learning and teaching; and
  • permit schools to develop approaches which suit local circumstances.

Flexibility is a key element of curriculum policy development and we have been taking a keen interest in the variety of ways in which schools and local authorities have approached curricular flexibility.

However, the underlying principle remains. All pupils who wish to study a foreign language should be given the opportunity to do so, and, in the primary school, learning should begin no later that P6."

(SEED National Conferences on Good Practice, 2003)