Every child aged five or over should be learning a foreign language, the education secretary Michael Gove has proposed.

He said:

“There is a slam-dunk case for extending foreign language teaching to children aged five.

“Just as some people have taken a perverse pride in not understanding mathematics, so we have taken a perverse pride in the fact that we do not speak foreign languages, and we just need to speak louder in English. It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning.” (Source: The Guardian)

The proposal includes reform to teacher training and a review of the national curriculum to see if more subject-specialist teaching is required. Previous reports have shown the number of students taking GCSEs in modern languages has fallen as a result of it becoming non-compulsory. Language learning from the age of five seems like a step in the right direction.