Summary Consultation Response, June 2021
Proposals for GCSEs in French, German and Spanish
(First teaching from 2023)
The contribution of Modern Languages in the curriculum
Modern Languages are a subject of critical importance to schools in the independent sector. These are subjects in which our students achieve very good outcomes, and which are highly valued by families and learners. Students from our schools contribute significantly to the numbers of pupils studying languages at GCSE and A level across the country1.
Modern Languages are the subject in which students learn to communicate across borders, not just by learning new words and grammar, but also through the visceral experience of contact with new cultures, ways of life, ways of seeing and ways of thinking. Languages thus offer not just practical life-skills but also tremendous value in terms of social cognition and preparation for life in the modern, multilingual world. This is why languages matter.
Our response to the consultation
ISMLA welcomes the political intent to put languages on a strong footing and to help teachers and learners understand what is expected of them in key public examinations. But, ISMLA member schools are deeply concerned by the proposals published by the Department for Education, for the following key reasons found in this summary: