HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc1138-9
8. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what additional steps she is taking to increase the number of teachers of English working overseas, and to train such teachers in the use of the most modern techniques, including machines, for language teaching.

Mr. Oram

Under the Aid for Commonwealth English Scheme 30 experts in the teaching of English will be in post by this autumn. A further number will then be starting training so as to increase the total to 60 by 1970. They are trained in the use of the most modern techniques. The cost of these arrangements is met from my Ministry's vote but the experts are on the staff of the British Council.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Excellent though these arrangements are, would my hon. Friend agree that 60 teachers by 1970 is a drop in the ocean compared with the tremendous demand all over the world to learn English? Will he look as a matter of urgency at ways of increasing enormously the effort being put into English teaching all over the world?

Mr. Oram

I share my hon. Friend's concern in this matter. I should not like him to think that the 30 and 60 people to whom I have referred are the only teachers available for teaching English. These are the experts, the specialists. But there are many others who are occupied in teaching English.

Mr. Sandys

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that as more and more people learn English all over the world, fewer and fewer of them can understand each other? Would he put more emphasis on the teaching of correct pronunciation and less on the teaching of Shakespeare and Chaucer?