Best Practice

Case study: Keeping the MFL flag flying

Languages education has been hit hard during the pandemic, while an Ofsted subject report has indicated varied quality in MFL delivery at primary level. Suzanne O’Connell finds out how Hounslow Heath Junior School is maintaining languages as a priority


Language teaching was suspended at one in five primary schools in January 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, two in five pupils did not engage with language learning during the first lockdown in 2020.

The findings are among those in the British Council’s annual Language Trends report, which surveyed teachers at more than 1,500 primary, secondary and independent schools across England (Collen, 2021).

The report’s author, Dr Ian Collen, lecturer in modern languages education at Queen’s University in Belfast, wrote: “The data presented from this year’s survey show that everyone needs to be attuned to the disruption to children’s language learning over the past two school years.”

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