2,000 sign petition to save languages exams

14 Sep 2012

Our petition to save Asset Languages has received extensive coverage, including an article published in the Times Educational Supplement last week, and has now attracted over 2,000 supporters.

Awarding organisation OCR announced plans in July to reduce its Asset Languages assessment scheme from 25 to only 5 languages from 2014 – cutting languages such as Cantonese, Hindi, Somali, Swedish, Tamil and Yoruba, for which no GCSE exists. This has in part been as a result of government policy not to recognise Asset Languages as contributing towards the English Baccalaureate and therefore school performance indicators.

We have written to OCR to express concern, and along with others in the languages community are also making representations to government. A number of individuals have written blogs to raise awareness and express their support for the petition and the Asset Languages scheme.

If you believe that rewarding knowledge of a wider range of languages is important for our communities, society and economy, please sign our petition urging OCR to reconsider its plans for Asset Languages, and Government to reconsider its policy towards this accreditation. Do share the petition through your own networks – together we can make a difference.

Times Educational Supplement: ‘Language woes deepen’

“The exam board said the decision was taken because low pupil take-up meant they were no longer financially viable. But the move has provoked a furore among teachers, who want to be able to reward pupils’ abilities in languages that fall outside the mainstream curriculum.”

Teresa Tinsley: ‘The face of language learning is changing – that’s why we need Asset

“Asset provides a way of getting people started on the language learning ladder by accrediting the very first steps in a new language … If we want to build our capacity in a more diverse range of languages, this is the way forward.”

Ruth Ahmedzai: ‘Asset Languages – an asset the UK can’t afford to lose’

“Many of the languages to be scrapped are major world languages such as Russian, Arabic and Portuguese. There’s the risk that highlighting their status as “community” heritage languages makes them seem irrelevant to those outside of the community.”

John Connor: ‘In defence of Asset Languages’

“The Asset Languages scheme is unique in that it offers single skill assessment in a range of languages which makes it motivating to pupils who may speak a heritage language fluently, but who may be less successful in operating with a non-Roman script. Many of these languages are not available as GCSE assessments.” (extract from his letter to Michael Gove)

What will you do? We encourage you to write similar blogs and letters of support, but at the very least please add your name to the petition

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