Languages in primary school

From September 2014 all primary schools will teach chidren a foreign language in Key Stage 2. Your child is likely to learn French, German, Spanish and Italian – languages that many teachers have some experience of – but some schools will offer less conventional options such as Mandarin Chinese, Latin or Ancient Greek or Japanese.

In this section of the site, find out more about how languages will be taught in Years 3-6, what will be expected of parents, how you can support your child's learning at home, advice for bilingual families and tips to help you help your child learn new languages.


Languages in primary school
Language-learning in primary schools from 2014
Since September 2014, the new National Curriculum has made learning a language compulsory in Key Stage 2. We explain how it works and what languages your child might be introduced to.
Primary-school Chinese
Primary-school Chinese: the lowdown
Learning a foreign language has been compulsory for Key Stage 2 children since 2014, and Mandarin is an option in forward-thinking schools. Lucy Dimbylow explains what you need to know about Chinese in primary schools.
Roman emperor - classics for primary school children
Cool classics: Latin and Ancient Greek at primary school
If your child is often heard incanting Harry Potter spells, he’s probably familiar with a few Latin words already. But could Latin or Ancient Greek be on his school syllabus next year? Lucy Dimbylow looks at the benefits of learning classics, and how to get started at home.
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Get started with French

Our beginner's guide to French is designed to help children grasp basic vocabulary and form simple sentences. We’ve asked a native French speaker to record all the words and phrases in the pack, so your child will hear the correct pronunciation and intonation, just as they would on an audio language course. Bonne chance!