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Community languages

Qualify to teach community languages
Teaching in mainstream schools in England is a graduate profession, with teachers expected to hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). QTS is awarded at the end of an initial teacher training (ITT) programme or course to candidates meeting all 33 of the professional standards set by the Training and Development Agency (TDA); an increasing range of routes to QTS are available. The QTS award must then be ratified following an induction period, in most cases, of one year as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) working in a school.

For more information visit the Our Languages website.

Routes to QTS in community languages
The Qualify to teach community languages leaflet (pdf, 260kb) is a good starting point for any teacher of a community language considering teacher training in England.

You will find inside information and guidance on:Qualify to teach community languages leaflet

  • Recognition of existing qualifications
  • Enhancing your suitability for training
  • Background to teaching community languages in England
  • Undergraduate routes
  • Bachelor degree with QTS / Bachelor of Education
  • Registered Teacher Programme (RTP)
  • Postgraduate routes
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)
  • Postgraduate routes (employment-based):
  • Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)
  • Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP)
  • QTS-only (Assessment-based Training)
  • Student finance
  • Useful contact details

Download the leaflet above or request a hard copy from the CILT enquiry service. Please note that information is liable to change, and individual applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis, so do check directly with the TDA, course providers and/or Directgov once you have identified a route appropriate to you.

Current finance information for each type of teacher training course can be accessed by clicking the relevant link on the left.

Useful web links
You may find these shortcuts to web links in the Qualify to teach community languages leaflet useful.

PGCE courses with community languages options (data as per 2008-09)
CILT Information Sheet 9 on training to teach languages in secondary education lists ITT courses in languages across the UK. The grid below supplements the Qualify to teach community languages guidance leaflet by detailing PGCE courses available in England in 2008-09 which focus on, or can include, one or more community language(s).

Please note that some courses only provide for community languages in a subsidiary capacity; i.e. a commonly taught language such as French may be required as the main teaching language. Contact individual institutions for more details.

  Institution  PGCE course
Bath Spa University College
Tel: 01225 875549
PGCE Middle - Modern Languages
PGCE Secondary - Modern Languages
(incl. possibility of Bengali, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian or Urdu alongside one of French/German/Spanish/Italian)
University of Birmingham
Tel: 0121 414 4806
PGCE Secondary - Modern Languages in French/Spanish/German. Where possible additional languages are accomodated in school placements
Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Lancashire
Tel: 01695 587 962
PGCE Secondary - Modern Languages in French/Spanish/German/Urdu/Mandarin
University of Exeter
Tel: 01392 263 009 / 264 771
PGCE Secondary Modern Foreign Languages with optional pathway for Primary
(incl. Mandarin with one of French/German/Spanish as subsidiary)
Goldsmiths College, University of London
Tel: 020 7919 7050 / 7360
PGCE (Secondary) Flexible Programme in Community Languages (Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Panjabi and Urdu)
Leeds Trinity and All Saints College
Tel: 0113 283 7268
PGCE Secondary Education - Modern Foreign Languages (Urdu T5X1)
University of East London
Tel: 020 8223 2630 / 2319
PGCE Secondary - Community Languages Q9X1 (Bengali)
London Metropolitan University
Tel: 020 7133 4381
PGCE Secondary Modern European and Community Languages
(One of French/German/Spanish encouraged as subsidiary if community language offered)
Middlesex University
Tel: 020 8411 5000
PGCE Modern Languages: Turkish/French/German/Spanish
University of Sheffield
Tel: 0114 222 8118
PGCE Modern Languages
(incl. Japanese, Mandarin and Urdu with French, German or Spanish as subsidiary)

Research into ITT provision
Two recent research reports highlight some of the barriers to teachers of community languages accessing ITT, as well as the opportunities:

The World Languages strategy from the TDA, announced in January 2009 and currently under development, is likely to change this landscape dramatically over the next few years. Its impact should be felt across the children’s workforce, including both HLTA qualifications and CPD opportunities as well as initial teacher training.

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