A British politician talks sense about language learning

Posted on 04/10/2011

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Michael Gove proposes teaching foreign languages from age five | Politics | The Guardian.

The education secretary, Michael Gove, has proposed that every child aged five or over should be learning a foreign language, and promised to “pull every lever”, including encouraging longer school days, to make it happen.

In a pre-Conservative conference interview, he says: “There is a slam-dunk case for extending foreign language teaching to children aged five.

“Just as some people have taken a perverse pride in not understanding mathematics, so we have taken a perverse pride in the fact that we do not speak foreign languages, and we just need to speak louder in English. It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning.”

– I love it when a politician talks sense.

I particularly like that what he addresses here is the attitude behind our lack of language skills. Starting language learning early may well help to address that.

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