You simply can’t make this up. A couple of weeks ago,a regular ,ordinary Junior School in Leeds announced that it was going to start teaching English as a foreign language to its own pupils. Herewith my response published in the Leeds based Yorkshire Evening Post the week following that announcement.
Lacklustre view of UK education
I FELT heartbroken after reading your article about the school that will be teaching its own pupils English as a foreign language. Then again, I ought not to have been too disappointed, given the 60 years long unending deterioration and implosion of teaching standards and academic attainments in the UK. My own experience, albeit as a pupil disadvantaged in a far more institutionally racist and pupil-on-pupil bullying educational culture than would be tolerated let alone imagined today, calls into question the lacklustre and appeasing nature of UK education in general as exemplified by the school in your article.
Being of Austrian/Russian parentage and speaking only German at home, actually made me bilingual at the age of five and drove me to be top of the class in English year after year. Given the far less arduous welcome from their hosts these days, I cannot understand why the children of incomers are assumed to “need” additional privileges. A lack of institutional will and purpose and the UK being the only EU member not to insist on linguistic competence as a condition of residency is the true source of the problem.
Louis Kasatkin, Founder of Destiny Poets,