European Student Alliance

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:00 am on 18th November 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Triesman Lord Triesman Government Whip, Lords in Waiting (Whips) 11:00 am, 18th November 2004

My Lords, I welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Morris, to the Dispatch Box for the first time. We are delighted to see her in her place today. Having said that, I am afraid that we have reached the point at which I start to disagree. I shall do so in the best possible taste.

I do not think that we are discouraging languages in the post-14 curriculum. Although this may go wider than the debate around this particular Question, I was able at an earlier Question Time to deal with the programme that the Government have initiated in post-school language education, not only in European languages but in Arabic and in the languages of the Far East, which are now absolutely critical to us. If we are candid about it, we have not had a great history of learning other people's languages. We must make sure that the programme that is in place is seen through into proper operation and that it succeeds.