UK school will teach English – as a foreign language

The school has students from a range of countries.

A school in the UK is to teach English as a foreign language to all its students as it has children from more than 50 nations in its classrooms.


At the City of Leeds school native English speakers are a minority group as there are students from around 55 nations, with one of the largest groups being Czech Roma children.

Head-teacher Georgiana Sale said: “We’re doing these as extra for all the children but obviously the needs of the range of children are going to be different.

“I do have native English speakers here but the English they speak isn’t formal enough for the requirements of the new GCSE examinations that are coming in … those are going to be a lot stricter on grammar, punctuation, spelling across the great range of subjects – it’s not just for English.

“The majority I have here do have English as an additional language … some of them are very newly arrived in the country and have no English at all. So obviously we will be teaching English language just as you might French or German in other schools.”

Responding to criticism Ms Sale said: “If I’ve got children who don’t speak English or their English is very poor, I need to make their English better, don’t I?

“How can that not help them get employment or places at the college?

“I’m wanting all the children to get the best possible results to go to college with. I’m wanting my very brightest children to get As and A*s by improving their English … and that is going to help them get places at colleges and it’s going to give the local jobs market here articulate and literate people.”

Last year, official figures showed there were 240 schools in England where English was not the first language for a staggering 90% of students. There were five primary schools in the UK where not a single pupil was a native English speaker.

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