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This conference focused on the next steps for the delivery of Modern Foreign Language provision (MFL) in England.
It took place following the announcement of the revised GCSE qualifications in modern foreign languages, which are set to be rolled out in 2024.
Discussion looked ahead to their implementation in secondary schools, the impact of the reforms, curriculum design, and how best to prepare schools and staff - and how the changes to the current offer and content of the new GCSEs will affect both how and what pupils will learn.
The conference was also a timely opportunity to discuss priorities for building on the current offer of MFL across England’s primary and secondary schools, following the publication of Ofsted’s MFL subject review.
Delegates considered the key findings of the review and the scope for improvement, as well as:
- pupil engagement and attainment - how to maintain quality and standards across provision
- the scope of language provision - the role of languages such as Mandarin in future pathways to higher education and employment
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Leilah Tott, Assistant Director, Department for Education; Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD; Rhian Dent, Senior Manager of Standards, Ofqual; Katharine Carruthers, Programme Director, Mandarin Excellence Programme, Institute of Education; and Pro-Vice-Provost (East Asia), University College London; and Raisa McNab, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Translation Companies.
Overall, areas for discussion included:
- the current offer - assessing language studies in schools today - priorities for improving attainment and pupil engagement - curriculum design and delivery - ensuring quality and standards
- implementation - initial rollout of the new GCSEs in schools - increasing accessibility - supporting students with take-up - teacher recruitment and priorities for training
- progression - the impact of the new pedagogy on core language skills - language provision and future pathways to further and higher education - enhancing employability
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from DCMS; the DfE; and the NIC.