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ERIC Number: ED477221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Foreign Language Education in an Age of Global English. Occasional Paper.
Mitchell, Rosamond
This paper discusses the broad educational context of the 21st century, focusing on the prevailing language landscape. It examines language use around the world, particularly the place of English as the preeminent international language, which challenges foreign language education in English-speaking countries. The paper discusses possible rationales for foreign language education in this environment, assessing the value of instrumental skills rationales (currently prevalent among learners, policymakers, and strategists) versus broader rationales with a stronger values ethos. It questions both underpinning rationales for current educational practice and arguments of the recent Nuffield Inquiry, which examined these problems. Next, the paper examines the actual pattern of foreign language education in the United Kingdom over the last 30 years, noting the impact of "languages for all" philosophies since the 1980s. The paper highlights the evolution of England's national curriculum for modern foreign languages (MFL), evaluating its use as a vehicle for motivating and engaging today's students with the process of language learning. It draws on recent research to illustrate the poor fit between the current national curriculum for and a central element of student development, their route to mastering the language system itself. Finally, the paper examines alternative approaches to foreign language curriculum and classroom practice. (Contains 60 references.) (SM)
Centre for Language in Education, Research & Graduate School of Education, University of Southhampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, England, United Kingdom. Tel: 00-44-0-1703-592433; Fax: 00-44-0-1703-593556; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southampton Univ. (England). Centre for Language Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom