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Teacher wants to see more language choice in schools

By This is Essex  |  Posted: April 28, 2011

  • REPORT: Teacher Chris Evans with Roisin and Megan Tangney at Number 10 Downing Street

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A TEACHER and two of his pupils from Brentwood are urging the Government to offer a greater choice of languages in British schools.

Sociology teacher Chris Evans, 44, was joined by sisters Roisin and Megan Tangney on a visit to Downing Street, where he handed in a report which calls on schools to offer a much wider range of languages to students.

The report that Chris co-authored is called Raising Standards, Offering Choice, and it concludes that, ultimately, students will only learn a language if that country and its culture appeals to them.

Among the languages that he would like to see offered in schools are Irish Gaelic, Japanese and Mandarin.

Mr Evans, who teaches at Shenfield High School, described the state of language learning in many British schools as sad.

He also spoke further about the report, which he wrote alongside Irish-born Londoner Donal Kelleher.

"Megan and Roisin are living proof that our conclusions are sound," Chris said.

"The girls speak Irish Gaelic, and our research shows that minority languages appeal to students more than the usual narrow choice of French or German."

Mr Evans, of Chelmsford Road, Shenfield, is himself fluent in Irish Gaelic and, alongside Mr Kelleher, runs an Irish language college called Colaiste na nGael .

"We run 40 night classes around the country," he said.

"You would be amazed how many people speak this language."

Megan, 15, told the Gazette she enjoyed her trip to London.

"It was quite nerve-wracking going to Downing Street," she said.

For more information about Irish Gaelic, visit www.colaiste-na-ngael.com

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