Tongue-tied 1

June 25, 2009

Recent weeks have seen a fresh wave of anxiety concerning the health of modern languages in the UK at all levels of education.

How comforting it is, therefore, to read in the "education strategy" of Queen's University Belfast that "the content and delivery of (its) curriculum is challenging and inspirational, equipping students for life in a global society and work in a global economy". Rather less comforting is Queen's intention to close down its German provision, the language of one of the world's largest exporters and the mother tongue of about 100 million people.

While the Higher Education Funding Council for England's impending review of modern languages is welcome in this context, one hopes that its precipitate haste will allow something more than merely the restating of a case that continues to fall on deaf ears.

Frank Finlay, President, Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland.

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