§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what contact his Department has with the British Council about its experience in the teaching of English as a second language overseas and the relevance of this experience to the teaching of English as a second language in maintained schools.
§ Mr. Dunn
The Department is in constant contact with the British Council. However, the council's experience of teaching English overseas is as a foreign language, where the objective is to furnish the student with a knowledge of English adequate for specific, limited purposes. English as a second language provision in maintained schools aims to equip children with a fluency in the language equal to all the social and academic demands made on them in school and, later, as adults fully participating in British society. It follows that the teaching of English as a foreign language has only limited relevance to English as a second language provision in this country.