Over one million school students in England speak English as a second-languageMay 14th, 2010 - 6:00 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 14 (ANI): According to official figures, almost one million students in Britain speak English as a second language, while in some parts of London, their number is over 75 percent of the students.
The figures released by Britain’s Department of Education reveal that some 905,610 children do not speak English as a first language in 2010 - a rise of 42,750 in 12 months.
According to the Telegraph, a breakdown of the figures shows a hugely mixed picture across the country.
In 15 council areas in London and the south-east, the majority of primary school pupils now speak English as a second language.
In Leicester and Luton some 48 per cent of children speak English as a second language, compared with 43 per cent in Bradford, 42 per cent in Birmingham, 40.5 in Blackburn and 34 per cent in Manchester.
However this phenomenon is not as widespread as it may seem, the number of foreign language speakers is still lower than one percent of primary pupils in Redcar and Cleveland, in the north-east. In many other areas the numbers are below two percent.
These swelling numbers were cited by the Tory Party as one of the reasons they are formulating an immigration policy that will put an upper limit on the number of migrants into the country.
The Conservative claim about the supposedly immense stress that these students with relatively poor English skills would put on English schoolteachers is offset by what the schoolteachers themselves feel.
The teachers’ leaders have said that an increase in children with other languages improves schools’ cultural outlook and acts as an inspiration to British born pupils, the paper reports.
“Children who come to this country speaking English as a second language are an inspiration to native British children in the speed in which they learn the language and the hard work they put in to pass exams within just a few years,” the paper quoted John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, as saying. (ANI)
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