Council reviews language teaching in local schools

editorial image

The state of language tuition in East Dunbartonshire schools was reviewed at council’s latest education committee meeting.

Councillor Gillian Renwick highlighted what she felt to be a “crisis” affecting German studies, pointing out that several secondary schools do not teach the language and the number of pupils taking German seemed remarkably low.

Chief Education officer Jaccqui MacDonald said: “The head teacher at Lenzie Academy has told me that very few youngsters chose German despite efforts in school to promote the subject. Overall a smaller number of students chose to study German in S3 and this has affected the number of classes available.

“At senior level we continue to offer German as a Higher and a National 5.”

Councillor Stewart McDonald asked if there was scope for pupils, who natively spoke languages other than English, e.g., other Asian languages such as Urdu, to study these in school.

The teaching model for Scotland involves pupils learning two languages in addition to English. The choice of languages is diverse with primary school pupils taking courses in French, Spanish, German or Gaelic as a second language.

Mandarin and Gaelic are also available as third languages, the former at the Confucius Hub programme located in St Ninian’s High School and Clober Primary School and the new outdoor learning facilities at Meadowburn Gaelic Nursery were also praised for improving immersive learning.