A conversation with pupils from two schools in Anglesey at the Assembly today prompted a question by their local AM Rhun ap Iorwerth to the First Minister during FMQs.
Rhun met with pupils from Ysgol y Borth, Menai Bridge, Ysgol Corn Hir, Llangefni, and Ysgol Parc y Bont, Llanddaniel, in the Assembly today and had the chance to answer their questions on a range of topics. He said:
“I had fantastic questions from the schools today – asking what inspired me to become an Assembly Member, what I would most like to see changed in Wales and what the latest Assembly discussion had been about, and much more.
“We also discussed modern foreign languages, and the pupils told me they thought it was important to teach foreign languages at school. I therefore passed that message on to the First Minister in the Senedd this afternoon.”
Speaking during First Minister’s Questions in the Assembly today, Rhun ap Iorwerth asked:
“It’s been a pleasure to welcome pupils from three primary schools from Anglesey to the Assembly today: Ysgol y Borth; Ysgol Corn Hir, Llangefni and Parc y Bont in Llanddaniel, and I was discussing learning additional languages with pupils from Parc y Bont and Corn Hir, and the pupils from Corn Hir are already being given French lessons on a weekly basis.
“As bilingual pupils, they were very eager to see opportunities to push their linguistic boundaries, but, of course, the evidence tells us that there has been a great decline in the number of pupils learning a modern foreign language in secondary schools in Wales. The latest report from the British Council on language trends in Wales shows a decline of almost 50 per cent in terms of the pupils taking a GCSE and A-level now in a modern foreign language as compared to the situation 15 years ago.
“A series of Labour Education Ministers has failed to prevent that slide. Does the First Minister now agree with the latest demand of the cross-party group, Wales International, for the talk of an ambition of creating a Bilingual Wales ‘plus 1’ should turn now to action, particularly in the context of the fact that the new curriculum is in the pipeline?”