The British government wants to offer the chance to all school children to learn Mandarin and Arabic:
The schools secretary, Ed Balls, said UK plc increasingly needed children to learn the languages of countries where Britain had “very important business contacts”.
All secondary schools should offer lessons in Mandarin, he said, citing a poll in which bosses rated the language the most useful for their employees to speak after French and German.
The government also wants Mandarin and Arabic lessons made available to primary school pupils.
That sounds fine until you realise that today British children can’t even choose between German, French and Spanish. The school our nephew and nieces went to didn’t give them a choice about which language they would learn – there weren’t enough teachers with language skills to allow all foreign languages to be taught in each school year. So the one had to learn German, the next Spanish and the youngest French. No choice allowed.
So where are the teachers for Mandarin and Arabic?