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Last Updated: Monday March 12 2007 16:01 GMT

Primary pupils to learn languages

Primary class

ALL kids at primary school in England will soon be taught foreign languages.

Some primaries already do this, but now the government wants every child to learn languages like French, German or Spanish from the age of seven.

An adviser - called Lord Dearing - recommended the change after it turned out that loads of kids weren't studying languages in their GCSEs anymore.

The changes will come in by 2010, which is the next time the government looks at the way you are taught in schools.

Children used to have to do a language for their GCSEs, but this was dropped in 2004.

It's thought that 60% of primary schools already teach foreign languages in some way.

Computer help

Lord Dearing also suggested using computers and the internet to get kids interested in learning another language.

This could include link-ups with kids who speak a different language and virtual school trips, where children in other countries get to know each other online.

In Wales children already learn two languages - Welsh and English. The government there is still deciding whether to make primary schools teach another language too.

In Scotland politicians encourage primary schools to teach a second language and in Northern Ireland some primary schools are already doing it.

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