Commissioned annually by the British Council, the third Language Trends Wales report (2017) paints a worrying picture for non- indigenous languages in schools in Wales. Between 2002 and 2016, entries for modern foreign language qualifications at age sixteen (GCSE) dropped by
48%. Entries for advanced qualifications (A Level) at age eighteen have seen a similar drop, with the number today now half that of 2005. Funded by the Welsh Government, a student mentoring project is working in Wales to improve the uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE in schools where
uptake is low or in decline. This article evaluates the outcomes of this mentoring project over its first two phases (2015 16 and 2016 17). It analyses this mentoring initiative from two perspectives. Firstly, it examines the project as a strategic policy intervention, targeted at increasing
uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE and supporting curriculum reform in Wales. Secondly, the article assesses mentoring as a personal and professional intervention, supporting the lifelong learning of university students who were trained as mentors to work in secondary schools. By reviewing
the impact of the project on both mentees and mentors, the article makes a case for mentoring as an intervention with capacity to build partnerships, broaden horizons and improve attitudes to language learning at a time of uncertainty about the UK's and Wales's place in the world.
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MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES;
Document Type: Editorial
March 1, 2019
More about this publication?
Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.
Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.