British Council Seminar Learning languages in the primary school (event 0421)

Venue: Liverpool

Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Feb 20, 2005 End Date/Time: Feb 25, 2005
Early Registration Date: Nov 30, 2004
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Many countries around the globe are in the process of implementing radical educational reforms which introduce a second or foreign language into the education of young people. The contexts are all very different but the challenges are often the same. Despite a range of legislation over the past half century, the take up of modern foreign language (MFL) learning in UK schools, and the confidence of school age pupils in speaking languages other than English, remain stubbornly low. The recent national languages policy for England, in an attempt to raise standards and confidence, reintroduces language learning in primary education.

The purpose of this multinational event is for participants to share their experience of early language learning and to use the recent developments in the UK, particularly in Liverpool, as a case study to explore current issues. The challenges involved in implementation of the policy will be addressed through discussion and debate and participants will be encouraged to explore ways in which the issues in their own particular countries can be resolved.

Main topics include:
• approaches to initial and continuing teacher education
• national Languages strategy
• curricula, methodology and resources
• transition from primary to secondary education
• assessment
• ICT links
• visits to local primary schools

The seminar is designed for professionals engaged in language learning from around the world where projects in MFL early education are being introduced: teacher trainers, inspectors, advisers, project leaders, heads of schools, heads of departments, curricula developers. It is also of interest to those with responsibility for the strategic direction of early language learning. Sessions are interactive and emphasis is placed on sharing experiences so as to create and foster a network to shape developments and initiatives in this field.

Teresa Reilly is Bilingual Projects Manager, British Council, Spain. For the past eight years she has been responsible for managing, jointly with the Spanish Ministry of Education, a project teaching English to 15.000 children through an integrated Spanish/English infant and primary curriculum. She is also involved in the Teacher Trainee Exchange programme between the Spanish Government and the DfES Teacher Training Agency (TTA). She contributes articles to language magazines, has written EFL textbooks and is an experienced teacher trainer.

Liz Kelly is Senior Effectiveness Officer Languages for Liverpool Education and Lifelong Learning Service. Since 1991 she has had responsibility for overseeing the development of Modern Foreign Languages in Liverpool schools. She manages the Liverpool Primary Modern Foreign Languages Project which involves seven advisory teachers, eight advanced skills teachers and twenty two foreign language assistants supporting Liverpool's 160 primary schools in the teaching of French, Spanish or German to pupils from age three to age eleven. Liz also works for the Office for Standards in Education as an inspector of primary, secondary and special schools.


Carla Allison
Head of Languages, Alsop High School

Hugh Baldry
Teacher Training Agency

Phil Jamieson
Headteacher, Alsop High School

Lid King
National Director for Languages, Department for Education and Skills

Nigel Pearson
Advisory Teacher Primary German, Liverpool Education, Library and Sports Services

Dan Tierney
Reader in Language Education, Strathclyde University

*Subject to change


Additional Information

GENERAL INFORMATION Fully residential fee: £ £1,350 (en-suite bedroom) The fee includes: • 5 nights' accommodation from Sunday 20 February 2005 to Thursday 24 February 2005 • all meals from dinner on the evening of Sunday 20 February to breakfast on Friday 25 February • a full professional and social programme • welcome and farewell packs (containing a programme, contributors' summaries, local information, etc.) • a group photograph • an experienced event manager in attendance throughout • emergency medical insurance. There are places for up to 35 participants. DATES The event begins with the opening dinner on Sunday 20 February and ends after breakfast on Friday 25 February 2005.