18 June 2014
Why are British children lagging behind kids from other parts of the world when it comes to language skills? Should we be working harder to helping young people to learn a second language or is there a bigger mountain to be climbed first? Are there still too many children speaking and writing English incorrectly?
I don’t profess to be an expert on this as I make mistakes from time to time, but when you look at schools in other countries and they’re teaching multiple foreign languages and you can actually travel abroad and find kids with better English than some of our own, it makes you feel like we’re falling short of the mark.
I don’t think we help ourselves either. Football is huge for Britain and we have players and managers put in the spotlight on TV and they don’t always speak in a grammatically correct way. They’re actually put there as role models, and whilst they do have admirable traits such as the dedication and discipline they show in training, they’re certainly not the best English teachers. The same often goes for celebrities, especially on social media. Do these kinds of things influence children’s usage of English and, if so, how much?
Ultimately, I think we’ve got to look globally and we’ve got to create young people who can actually compete on a global level. One of my next big goals is to learn French. It’s always good to add strings to your bow (no matter how old you are).