Wednesday, 10 June 2015

On becoming a language teacher

The National College for Teaching and Leadership, part of the Department for Education, have just sent me an informative briefing document about their latest campaign to attract high-quality graduates into the language-teaching profession. It included several points I didn't know, and made me feel more optimistic than I was before about the future of modern language teaching in the UK. Some extracts...

The Initial Teacher Training census from 2014 showed that 73 percent of language teacher trainees had a 2.1 degree or better; 20 percent had firsts. It seems to be a myth that only low achievers go in for language teaching. And the numbers are more than I thought: over 1100 postgraduate trainees were recruited last year. The NCTL say they are keen to recruit both new graduates and experienced industry professionals who are looking for a fresh challenge and may be open to a career change. And - another thing I didn't know - they say that if trainees specialise in teaching languages at secondary level, they could qualify for a tax-free bursary of up to £25,000 while training. There's more information about the training options here.

Their document mentions in passing that the number of children taking a language GCSE in 2014 was almost a fifth higher than in 2012. Several leading organizations, such as the British Academy and ALL (the Association for Language Learning), have over the past few years been emphasizing the importance of multilingualism. Is the message at last getting across, that learning a foreign language puts you in a really strong position in an increasingly competitive marketing world? I really hope so.


David Crosbie said...

David, could you fix the link at the end of the second paragraph?

DC said...

Strange, It worked when I first tested it. I've replaced it with another link, which I hope will have more permanence.