Friday, 4 April 2008

Detrimental Classics

I can only assume that it was an April Fool.

This week, the Telegraph newspaper's web site carried a report, filed late on 31 March (11;35pm), entitled "Classics harm language learning"! According to the article, "A secret document sent to Government officials by the Dearing Languages Review, an influential inquiry into language teaching, reveals that Latin and Greek were excluded from the list of languages that schools will be encouraged to study because they are 'dead languages' that contribute nothing to 'intercultural understanding'." Furthermore, they were deemed to "actually undermine our attempts to build up national capacity in languages".

Bizarre. Or as Boris Johnson, the shadow higher education minister, was quoted as saying: "the most stupid thing I have ever heard". Quite.

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