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University awarded funding to boost language teaching

Nottingham Trent University will now offer students the opportunity to become teachers as part of their degree

Posted by Hannah Oakman | November 30, -0001 | Teaching

Following a recent report which raises concerns about the decline of modern foreign languages in schools, Nottingham Trent University is to offer its undergraduate language students the chance to become qualified teachers as part of their degree.

The University is one of only nine in the UK to be awarded funding from the Department of Education to develop four-year courses for students studying French, German and Spanish which lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The joint venture between the University’s School of Arts and Humanities and the Nottingham Institute of Education comes as the Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review, by Ian Bauckham on behalf of the Teaching Schools Council, makes recommendations for improving language provision and uptake in schools, including reviewing and improving teaching.

In Year One and Year Two, students will be given high-level teaching in one or more languages. In their final year, the course will be a combination of teacher training and practices in the UK and abroad.

Students’ progress will be mapped against the national Benchmark for Languages, Cultures and Societies as well as the national Teacher Standards, and there will be rigorous evaluations from Ofsted throughout. 

It is anticipated that students will be able to apply for the courses as early as June 2018 and bursaries of £9,000 for the final year of study will be available.

Ronan Fitzsimons, principal lecturer and course leader for Modern Languages at Nottingham Trent University, said it is an exciting move in the ongoing development of the courses that are available to students.

We hope that these courses will inspire more of our students to take their love of modern languages into the classroom - Ronan Fitzsimons, principal lecturer and course leader for Modern Languages at Nottingham Trent University

“We are very pleased to have won this funding. Modern foreign languages are declining in schools and inspirational teachers are needed to encourage pupils to study languages beyond key stage three, which is when the majority will drop the subject. We hope that these courses will inspire more of our students to take their love of modern languages into the classroom.

“Many students will see this as an ideal way of completing their degree, gaining the linguistic and cultural richness of a year abroad, but crucially attaining their QTS a year sooner than would be the case if they followed the BA and PGCE route,” he said.

Chris Rolph, partnership manager for teacher education at the Nottingham Institute of Education, said: “It is exciting to be part of a new initiative that can incorporate initial teacher education into an undergraduate degree course, maintaining high academic standards for both. We hope that students will see this as an attractive route into teaching modern foreign languages, and through it will discover an immensely rewarding career.”

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