HL Deb 29 April 1982 vol 429 cc1040-2WA
Lord Mayhew

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (a) in what countries Her Majesty's Government maintain institutes for the direct teaching of English, how many British teachers are employed in them, and what is their net cost.
  2. 1041
  3. (b) how the scale of British direct teaching of English overseas compares with that of the French and German Governments respectively.
  4. (c) what plans they have for increasing the number of institutes for the direct teaching of English overseas.

Lord Belstead

(a) Her Majesty's Government do not themselves maintain institutes for the direct teaching of English. This is the concern of the British Council, which is Her Majesty's Government's agent for executing the cultural aspects of their foreign policy.

The council maintains a total of 39 institutes in the following 29 countries:

Algeria Kuwait
Bahrain Lebanon
Colombia Morocco
Ecuador Netherlands
Egypt Oman
Ethiopia Portugal
Germany Qatar
Greece Saudi Arabia
Hong Kong Singapore
Indonesia Spain
Iraq Syria
Italy Thailand
Japan UAE
Jordan Venezuela
Yemen Arab Republic

About 950 teachers are employed, and as the council's policy is to recruit British native-speakers wherever possible, the majority are estimated to be of British nationality. Except in the few cases where their work is regarded as properly a part of the aid programme, institutes for the direct teaching of English are expected to be self-financing.

(b) The Goethe Institute runs German language teaching programmes in its 140 institutes in 66 countries. There are currently 124 French institutes and 1,000 Alliances Francaises in which French is taught in 61 and 100 countries respectively. In addition, both the French and German Governments maintain a number of secondary schools overseas in which French/German is the medium of instruction.

(c) The British Council plans to open an institute in Caracas, Venezuela later this year, and there are pilot projects in Rome, Seoul and Nicosia. The extent to which the British Council can increase such activities is dependent on the budget resources available.