Schools: Foreign Languages — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:57 pm on 26th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury Conservative 2:57 pm, 26th January 2015

Does my noble friend agree that one of the many advantages of learning a foreign language is the practical benefit to trade and diplomacy? In the case of non-European languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin and Arabic, where the sounds and structure are very different, is it not easier for children to learn them if they are taught them from a very early age?