The German far-right has called for a ban on English lessons in primary schools.

The Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in the west German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have demanded an end to English lessons for young children.

The parliamentary group in the state said that from 2019 all English lessons in primary schools should be cancelled.

Members claimed that teaching English at an early age gave children no advantage in their education. The pupils should instead focus on solidifying German language and grammar skills, they said.

English has been part of primary education in the state since 2013 for children aged seven and eight.

Officials at the Education and Science Workers' Union hit back. They said that learning English at an earlier age was beneficial.

Professor Susanne Thurn told the Local: "The younger they are, the more confident they are in exchanging information, imitating the sound, rhythm and melody of the language. They also aren't afraid to make mistakes."

She drew a comparison with the AfD plans and the Nazis' abolition of early attempts at teaching foreign languages in mainstream schools in the 1930s.

The proposals by the AfD will be considered by the state legislature in late February but are not expected to progress.

North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's most populous state and is home to more than 20% of the country's population. It accounts for more than 21% of national GDP.

Some of the largest cities in the country are there including Münster, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn.