The move to introduce the teaching of modern foreign languages to pupils in Key Stage 1 has been followed with an even more controversial decision – that the main language taught will be that of a fictional model penguin.
Pingu and his friends and family speak in a high-pitched, seemingly nonsense dialect that is often the second language that children are exposed to. ‘This is a great opportunity to build upon the language skills that children have already picked up at home in front of the television,’ said Junior Education Minister Karen Craster. ‘The root of Pinguese is common with both the Germanic and Romance family of languages and will put children in good stead for when they decide not to do any languages at GCSE because they are harder than Media Studies or P.E.’
Exchange visits to families of plasticine penguins are in development, although these will generally not be longer than five minutes long. ‘A broad range of today’s children identify with the adventures of the penguin – being both black and white with a disabled friend and an annoying baby brother,’ continued the minister.
However Conservative Education spokesman Rupert Thwaites said that he was appalled that the government was doing nothing to preserve the teaching of more traditional languages such as ‘Clanger’. ‘Just because The Clangers aren’t on the television anymore doesn’t mean that Clanger is a dead language. It is very useful for linguists going on to study Woodentops, Tellytubbyish, Stoppit & Tidyup and MiaoMaow.’
His comments were later supported by the Soup Dragon, although nobody could be sure, as not even the shadow minister could understand a word he was saying.