Dulwich has always sought to work with others to develop the learning of languages. We instigated the teaching of German in schools, promoted the teaching of Arabic and in the darker times of the Second War pulled together talented linguists far afield to learn Japanese.
More recently and more locally we are working with Southwark schools at Dulwich Wood Primary and at Kingsdale to offer pupils the opportunity to learn Chinese. In 2016/17 a full-time teacher will work with the schools of the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership to develop this further. Embracing a different language and with help from the British Council we have been able to offer beginners Arabic classes, taught by the experts from SOAS.
We have welcomed pupils and teachers from the SSLP schools to take part in our Spanish Day, Dulwich Linguistic week and in our Sci – Lang Fest where pupils present their favourite scientific topics – in French or Spanish. SSLP pupils be able to participate in repeat events in this summer and as part of the language week in November 2017. Amongst other events pupils with no Chinese will negotiate airline ticket prices competitively – in Chinese.
We were able to offer some 10 Spanish interns from UCV (the Catholic University of Valencia) to work with local schools to develop pupils’ oral proficiency. All are graduates completing a Masters degree in secondary education. Pupils received them well and they were able to make contributions well beyond Spanish – Maths, DT and Basketball were some of the many skills on offer.
At a teacher level we play a significant role in the Association of Languages London branch. The association numbers some 2,000 members and as in previous years we have organised conferences, CPD, resource sharing and webinars.
At a national level we have continued our work, started in 2009, to ensure the fair grading of modern language examinations. We are confident that Ofqual and the Awarding Bodies and now in a position to rectify this. We are also investigating ways to redress the national shortage of language teachers.