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Routledge Enyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning, 2nd Edition by Adelheid Hu, Michael Byram

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E

Early language learning in formal education

Although the teaching at primary school of one or more languages additional to a child’s first language was in evidence in many countries before the second half of the twentieth century, a major change took place in the 1960s stimulated by international policy-thinking in education.

The Hamburg conference in 1962 organised by UNESCO and subsequent international events generated an agenda eventually encapsulated in Languages and the Young School Child (Stern, 1969), in which it was claimed that, as a result of major changes in society, education at primary school was moving from a unilingual, unicultural mode to one in which other languages and cultures were to be valued as fundamental to children’s ...

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