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Research report

Evaluation of the Languages Support Programme in Teaching Schools

NFER

The Languages Support Programme aimed to expand the capacity of teaching schools in England to develop and share best practice in languages education so that achievement in languages could be improved nationally.

This report presents the findings and conclusions from an evaluation of the programme, carried out by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER).

Between January 2012 to March 2013 CfBT Education Trust (now Education Development Trust) worked with 34 teaching schools as well as over 300 primary, secondary and special schools in Teaching School Alliances (TSAs) to deliver the Languages Support Programme in England. The programme employed nine regionally-based Languages Programme Mentors who supported the TSAs and helped them to develop and implement their Languages Development Plan.

NFER's independent evaluation was conducted between February and April 2013 and aimed to examine the processes of implementation and the impacts of the programme to date. The research report details the results of an extensive questionnaire survey and a series of 8 case studies within TSAs involved in the programme.

Findings from the NFER research suggest that:

  • the Languages Support Programme had made a valuable contribution to the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages in England
  • levels of participation in programme activities were high and these projects were seen as effective in bringing about a wide range of improvements in languages provision, directly related to the aims of the programme
  • participation and impact were rather greater for secondary teachers than for primary teachers.