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DfE to build digital platform for foreign language mentoring


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Education (DfE) is making plans to test a digital mentoring project to encourage schoolchildren to study foreign languages at GCSE level.

It is looking into the usability of a digital platform in an alpha trial to take place in 10 schools in England.

The idea is that pupils and mentors would be able to contact each other through the platform for questions, advices, information on resources and inspiration.

The department has begun to look for support in the user research for the project, with a procurement notice saying it will be focused on accessibility, assisted digital needs, pupils with special educational needs or who speak English as an additional language, digital literacy and the general usability of the platform.

Cardiff University is to run a six-week pilot of the mentoring programme, working with undergraduate mentors from Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Universities and 200 year nine pupils from schools around the same city. It will include testing the prototype of the platform and taking it to private beta stage.

The project derives from the Government’s manifesto commitment to have 75% of GCSE pupils studying the EBacc combination of subjects, which includes modern foreign languages, by 2022 and 90% by 2025.

Image by quiddle CC BY 2.0

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