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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16021: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government which foreign languages are taught in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools, and what percentage of the curriculum this represents.

Answered by: John Swinney 25 April 2018

The Scottish Government is supporting the implementation of the 1+2 language policy which is due to be delivered by 2021 and will entitle pupils to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue. It is for local authorities to decide which languages will be offered. The first additional foreign language will continue to be one of those available at National Qualification level which are German, French, Spanish, Urdu, Chinese languages and Italian. There is also the opportunity for schools to offer the Scottish Qualification Authority Modern Language for Life and Work Award which is also available in Russian and Polish.

It is not possible to say what percentage of the curriculum is comprised of language learning. Curriculum for Excellence does not specify a particular time allocation for individual curriculum areas; it is up to local authorities and schools to allocate sufficient time so that the entitlement for each is met. However, the entitlement to language learning begins in P1 and it is expected that language learning continues for all until the end of the third year of secondary. Although this question relates to foreign languages, the 1+2 language policy entitlement also includes Gaelic, Scots and British Sign Language.