In news that could see the number of primary school language teaching jobs rise dramatically, Michael Gove, the secretary of state for education has said that languages should be taught to all children from the age of five.
In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Gove argued that the UK should follow in the footsteps of other advanced European nations in teaching languages from a young age.
Speaking ahead of his speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester today (October 4th), he told the newspaper that he wants children to be given the chance that he never enjoyed.
He told the newspaper: "Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children," the newspaper quoted.
Adding that "if we pull all the levers", Mr Gove argued that it is possible to change education policy to make it a reality.
The number of pupils taking a language at GCSE has fallen from 444,700 in 1998 to only 273,000 in 2010, he said.
Posted by Alan Douglas