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The most crucial language isn’t taught to kids, that’s a problem for Britain’s future

The Memo – Oliver Smith

“Learning a foreign language is a crucial part of childhood. Not only is a language a great life skill, it also encourages kids to understand and accept difference in the world around them – even if Friday last period French lessons aren’t exactly riveting. Languages are also the bedrock of our business and trade, filtering up through industries and deepening our links with other cultures. But learning French, German or Spanish – the most popular languages taught in Britain’s secondary schools today – isn’t the future, and parents already know this. The majority of parents pick Mandarin Chinese as the most vital non-European language for young people in the UK to learn – according to a survey yesterday from the British Council – maybe not surprising as Mandarin is the most widely spoken language on earth.”(more)

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