Teacher with two pupils looking at iPad

British Council Wales is planning to commission research into modern language teaching in primary schools in Wales

We wish to commission a study of selected primary schools that have already introduced international languages as part of their curriculum with a view to better understanding the rationale and methodologies implemented and to evidence any impact on attainment to enable best practice to be shared.

We envisage that this study will look at the following: 

1.  An analysis of the rationale for the decision of the head teacher to integrate modern languages within the primary curriculum.   

2.  An analysis of how the introduction of modern languages within the primary schools was planned and implemented.  This will include decisions on which languages to introduce; staff language requirements and levels; any CPD required; curriculum development and implementation; resources needed.  

3.  A qualitative and quantitative assessment of the role that modern languages have played in improving attainment.  This will include qualitative feedback from head teachers, teachers and governors (and any feedback from feeder secondary schools where relevant) plus any quantitative impact, for example on literacy / numeracy tests etc. 

4.  A core set of recommendations on how modern foreign languages may be implemented in primary schools and how an analysis of longer-term outcomes related to attainment could be tracked.

Approach and methodology

The research team will be expected to work with British Council Wales to define the exact parameters and methodology to be used. While we have already identified some primary schools for the study, we will expect the selected research team to also identify relevant schools to enable a study cohort of around 10 schools.


It is anticipated that the impact study will be completed by April 2019 and will produce the following outputs: 

•  A final draft report that includes; an executive summary and full analysis of core components.  

•  A set of case studies outlining different approaches and subsequent outcomes.  

•  Attendance at the following meetings will be required: project initiation meeting, two formal update meetings and a final presentation of the results. 

Qualifications and Experience

It is expected that the respondents will have the following: 

•  Substantial experience of working in educational research using qualitative and quantitative approaches. 

•  Good knowledge and/or demonstrable understanding of modern language teaching and learning in the Welsh context  

•  In-depth understanding of the Welsh school system - and in particular the primary sector – as well as current policy reforms, curriculum development, attainment, numeracy and literacy, teacher development and leadership.   


Expressions of interest, no longer than four A4 single side pages, summarising a proposed approach to the impact study, an indicative budget and the experience and qualifications of the research team, should be submitted by Friday, 11 January 2019 to Dr Walter Brooks at WalterAriel.Brooks@britishcouncil.org 

See also