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Language learning is in ‘steep decline’

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Welsh crisis: More focus on foreign languages

Welsh crisis: More focus on foreign languages

A REPORT this week has highlighted an alarming decline with Welsh Schools’ provision of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). In a hasty response, Education Minister, Huw Lewis, announced new plans to improve and promote MFL across Wales’ schools.

The report, published by the British Council and CFBT Education Trust, which was carried out across two thirds of Welsh secondary schools, showed a drop of over 4,000 pupils since 2002 taking either a German or French GCSE.

At the same time as Wales reached near crisis levels for MFL uptake, England and Scotland, unlike the Welsh government, put in policies to increase provision. As a consequence, uptake in French increased in England by some 19% between 2012 and 2013.

As England has introduced a compulsory MFL curriculum at primary level, Wales has not. Even where MFL is compulsory, in the first 3 years of secondary school, the report showed that only a minimal or fragmented experience of language learning was being received by pupils.

Earlier this year a Welsh Government spokesperson was quoted as saying: “Learning a modern foreign language is not compulsory in primary schools in Wales”, but continued by opining that, “it should be noted that all children in primary schools in Wales are taught Welsh”.

Reacting to criticism and alarming statistics, Huw Lewis has launched, this week, ‘Global Futures’, a plan, he said, to improve and promote MFL in Wales that will come into effect from September and will be supported by up to £480,000 of Welsh Government funding in the first academic year.

The minister went on to say that under the plan, one secondary school in each of Wales’ four regional consortia will be appointed as a Centre of Excellence for MFL. Teachers at the appointed Centre for Excellence will receive targeted Continuing Professional Development and benefit from new partnership arrangements with language institutes and Welsh universities to help them develop high level language teaching skills.

They will then be tasked with working in partnership with other secondary schools and primary schools in their area to drive up teaching standards for MFL across the region. An MFL steering group, he said, that was made up of experts from schools, universities, Estyn, British Council, language institutes and education consortia will also be established to ensure the plan is fully implemented.

Mr Lewis said: “Linguistic skills are rapidly becoming one of the most important skills a young person can acquire to compete for jobs in the global economy. They are important to Welsh businesses too as increasing amounts of our trade and commerce is done with new partners overseas.

“I want to ensure that more and more of our young people actively choose to study a Modern Foreign Language as part of their school education, and develop the skills they need to thrive in a modern global economy. We need a radical and new approach.”

Owen Hathway, NUT Wales Policy Officer, said: “As with any ‘outreach’ initiative it is wholly vital that this is seen as working with schools rather than simply monitoring and challenging them. Regional consortia bodies have failed to find the correct balance in the past.”

However, Dr Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru, said: “This announcement is far too late and far too little to stem the catastrophic decline in the teaching of modern foreign languages. That decline has been apparent for over a decade. We must wonder if the Welsh Government is serious about this matter at all. Changes to the way schools’ performance is measured, to be introduced in the next year or so, will simply make things worse. We fear it is a case of ‘adios’ to foreign languages.”

Also commenting on the news that the Welsh Labour Government is to overhaul its strategy on MFL was Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, who said: “Labour took measures which actively discouraged modern foreign language study, slashed funding for the National Centre for Languages and failed to capitalise on a successful pilot of foreign language study in primary schools.

“The ability to communicate in multiple languages is an increasingly valuable skill in the international jobs market, but unfortunately if young people lack the skills employers seek, Wales will fall further behind in the global race.

“Language learning is crucial to the future of the Welsh economy and can help ensure that Wales doesn’t become isolated with school leavers and graduates only able to communicate in their mother tongue.”

Asked if it might be the case that Welsh language teaching had replaced MFL provision, a Pembrokeshire County Council Spokesperson said: “MFL and Welsh are not treated similarly due to the statutory requirement to teach Welsh second language in primary schools and up to the age of 16 in secondary schools. MFL teaching is only required to be taught from Years 7-9 (ages 11-14). The statutory nature of Welsh second language is a curriculum priority set by the Welsh Government.”

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Education

Exciting visit to France for Pembrokeshire school pupils

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LAST week, 60 children and 16 teaching staff visited the Bassin d’Arcachon in France as part of a Taith funded project. 

The children, representing Pennar Community School, Neyland Community School, Prendergast Community School, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi and Haverfordwest High School, engaged in a week of activities with French school children. 

They visited lessons, took part in dancing, art, maths and playground games, all with the aim of developing modern foreign language skills, exploring cultural similarities and differences as well as having an overarching theme of sustainability in schools and caring for the environment. 

The children explored the Dune de Pilat, the largest natural sand dune in Europe, and Biscarosse beach where they undertook beach and environmental studies.

The town of Neyland has had a twinning connection with the town of Sanguinet for more than ten years and this trip allowed these friendships to develop further and pave the way for a return visit by up to 20 French children next year.

The group was hosted by the twinning committee and the mayor at a reception in the town hall where the children had the opportunity to sample local dishes.

The children and staff were excellent ambassadors for their schools and for Pembrokeshire, laying the foundations for future collaborations.

Taith is Wales’ international learning exchange programme, with taith being Welsh for journey.

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Education

Guide: Dissertation vs. Thesis: Differences and Similarities

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Students may confuse the terminology of different academic papers. However, the terms that are confused the most often are thesis and dissertation. These types of papers are similar indeed because they are written upon graduation and are pretty lengthy compared to ordinary home assignments. You may need to know the difference between these two terms to decide whether you want to pursue some degree or not.

However, the students should also differentiate between these two terms if they want to know how to find dissertation writing services. You can visit the link Thesis Vs Dissertation: What is The Difference? where you will learn the main difference between the two papers and will be able to order dissertation writing services for you right away. The link will lead you to the Dissertation Team website which is a quite reputable dissertation writing services near you and offers help with both, thesis and dissertation.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: Differences and Similarities

Many students find dissertations and theses similar because they may not have enough background information on two of these scholarly papers. Students who still study at schools or colleges may not delve deep into the terminology and think that thesis and dissertations are almost the same. While there is a piece of truth in it because all of these research papers are extensively long and require much time to complete they are still different. 

The difference starts with the period when the students write each of these research papers. Students submit a thesis paper when they graduate from their master’s degree. Nevertheless, to get the PHD degree the students need to submit that dissertation successfully. This is the main similarity you should know about these two types of paper. We will provide you with more details below.

What Do You Understand by Dissertation and Thesis?

To know how to choose dissertation writing services you should first know the terminology. Thesis and dissertation are the research papers written by the students at the end of the course or before graduation. They are written to show the student’s expertise in the topic and the overall field they are studying. Students need to include their unique research dissertation and thesis. 

Firstly, they need to research the current literature on the topic and analyze it. By analyzing the literature, the students should compile it in the specific section and connect it to their research topic. The literature review should also show the gaps which should be filled in.

Secondly, the students need to have their unique methodology and conduct the research using one of the methods: quantitative or qualitative. Based on the research method they should either interview a sample of people or use numerical data they gather to analyze some issue. 

As you can see, writing such extensive research papers is not easy. However, each of them has unique features and differences which we will discuss below.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: The Real Difference

As we have already mentioned there is a huge difference between thesis and dissertation and there are many factors contributing to how to hire dissertation writer for specific services. Let’s consider them all:

  1. Extend of research: To write a thesis successfully the students need to know how to analyze and gather the literature. In contrast when writing a dissertation the students need to provide new series and scientific concepts to the field.
  2. Length: the thesis usually does not exceed 100 pages. On the other hand, dissertations can be of different scopes and can even reach up to 400 pages.
  3. Country: the meaning of the thesis and dissertation is different in Europe and the USA. For instance, in Europe, it is possible to get a PhD by writing a thesis. At the same time, a thesis is just one step to getting a PhD in the USA.

Therefore you should also know the unique policies of education institutions and different countries to effectively differentiate between these types of research papers.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: Similarities

Students are confused about these types of projects for a reason. Now let’s discuss the similarities of thesis and dissertation and the person who is dissertation writer knows:

  1. The students need to write both of these types of papers in order to graduate from different programs 
  2. To write both of the papers the students need to complete a comprehensive research 
  3. Two of the papers should be written with adherence to the specific structure and use of the academic language 
  4. Professors require minimum plagiarism for both of these types of graduate projects

As you can see, you should have great research and writing skills inherent to proffesional dissertation writer to be independent from the type of paper you work on.

Where to Find Examples of Dissertation and Thesis

A good place to find examples of dissertations and learn how to write a dissertation faster is to visit professional writing websites. You can go to the sample page and look at how they have written a dissertation or thesis and to learn what is this dissertation writing services. Besides, you would also have the possibility to order help with your dissertation if you do not want to write this paper on your own. You can order help at the cheap dissertation writing services for you if you like the writing style of the writers on this platform and wish them to help you.

You can also find examples by simply searching online and looking at the papers submitted by the other students. Your professor can also provide you with examples of dissertations written by students in the previous year. 

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Education

Relationships and Sexuality Education curriculum discussed at County Hall

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A CALL for Pembrokeshire County Council to provide assurance that RSE education in the county was “both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming” was heard at County Hall last week.

In late 2022 a legal challenge against the teaching of young children about gender identity and sex in primary schools across Wales was lost.

Campaigners had launched a judicial review in the High Court against the Welsh Government’s new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum.

The curriculum was launched that September, seeing the mandatory teaching of relationships and sexuality education to children from the age of seven.

In a submitted question heard at the May 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, member of the public Valerie Sutherland had asked: “Given the legal challenge to the RSE curriculum by concerned parents against Welsh Government, can you confirm the council’s safeguarding team are happy that the RSE education provided is both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming?

“Secondly, given that a number of parents are unhappy about the content of the new curriculum and the loss of their right to withdraw children from classes, particularly in light of the Cass Review, how are you ensuring that parents’ values are respected and that trust in schools is not eroded?”

Responding, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham said: “The safeguarding and education team has been actively involved in develop age-appropriate content for schools,” adding: “In faith schools work has been done with each diocese for RSE”.

“Each school has developed a plan for RSE and shared it with parents and learners at their school, parents have been provided with information by their school on how to raise their concerns about the RSE curriculum following the decision to make RSE mandatory for all learners.

“Schools are working with families through the challenges that this brings; each school community has provided sessions for parents on the curriculum, parents are being informed and they have the opportunity to discuss this with the school.”

Cllr Woodham advised parents to raise concerns through the schools’ complaints policy should they have any concerns.

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