Last week Simon Jenkins wrote an article which I probably don’t even need to link to, it has prompted a huge response, both from those who teach languages and those who don’t. In his article Mr Jenkins makes a number of points as to why he believes that learning languages in school is a pointless task. The comments on the article go some way to showing how people felt about what he said, but I wanted to put a response together to combat this rather disturbing suggestion.
I’m not going to deny that there is some fact in the article. Yes, on a practical day-to-day level there is no pressing urgency for people that speak English to be fluent in any other language. You can easily get by without it on holiday in major tourist destinations, and international businesses will have English speakers. Even the EU is likely to keep English as one of the key languages of communication as it is spoken by so many people. However, what I reject is that this therefore makes learning languages pointless.
Last week I read this blog by @TLPMsF about feedback, which also linked to this blog by @MrThorntonTeach. This post by @jo_facer talking about the way they give feedback at Michaela is also mentioned. What I am about to talk about comes from these blogs, I can't take any credit, other than making a very similar sheet and presentation to those mentioned.
This year I intend to take a different approach to marking and feedback.