One English School, Forty Four Languages

St Matthews Primary School in Redhill, Surrey may have the dubious distinction of being the school in the UK where the most number of foreign languages are spoken.

Pupils there speak an astonishing 44 languages between them, and 178 out of 477 kids on the school roll do not have English as a first language.

Take a deep breath, and don’t try reciting this after a few beers….Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Arabic, Punjabi, Aramaic, Manadarin, Filipino, Cantonese, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Manding, Russian, Marathi, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Russian.

Another deep breath, not finished yet, but almost half way there….Afrikaans, Mauritian, Shona, Swahili, Creole, Ndebele, Wolof, Ga, Kikuya, Kisii, Zulu, Yoruba.

Just Europe to go now. Bulgarian, French, German, Italian, Polish, Slovak, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian, Finnish. And, of course, English.

Hat tip to the Daily Mail for that list.

The school uses a buddy system and individual lessons to teach children who do not speak English at all, no doubt at additional cost from the budget.

And, it should not shock us to learn, school standards are falling thanks to the influx of foreign pupils and the difficulties which that creates in the classroom.

Such huge diversity of languages, and high numbers of pupils who speak English as a second language – or not at all upon arrival – cannot do anything else but cause declining standards, with the indigenous British child learning being especially hard hit.

As diversity increases, standards fall and costs rise. It’s a simple truism that it is impossible to teach where half or more of the pupils all have different mother tongues as effectively as it is to teach a class of native English speakers where perhaps only 1 or 2 of the kids have another tongue as their first language.

This diversity, which we are always encouraged to celebrate, is nothing short of a betrayal of our children’s right to receive the best possible education which we can offer.

It is no wonder that standards are falling. We do not afford our kids good conditions under which to learn, having instead created schools which are a chaos where forty different languages clamour to be heard.

One thought on “One English School, Forty Four Languages

  1. Some good news at last guys! I know a lot of us have been having difficulty sleeping at night because of our concerns about the 8,000 Libyan students who are dependent on grants from the Gadaffhi government to study alongside students from everywhere else in the world in British Universities. It seems we need not worry about these students being unable to continue their studies because William Hague has announced that the British taxpayers are going to sort them out. Here are our friends at the Guardian celebrating

    “Libyan students in UK assured funds for tuition and living secure”

    “William Hague says Foreign Office will work with national transitional council to provide funding for education”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/27/libyan-students-uk-funding-secure

    So we can relax now, safe in the knowledge that the people running our country have their priorities in order and as ever are working tirelessly during these times of economic austerity for the best interests of the British people.

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