UK students massively drop out of foreign languages: study

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(France Media Agency)

London ●
Thu, February 28, 2019

2019-02-28
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The number of British children taking foreign language lessons has almost halved since 2000, according to a BBC analysis on Wednesday, those learning French and German have fallen by almost two-thirds.

The study was released with the island nation preparing to withdraw from the European Union after 46 years of membership, an isolationist turn chosen by voters in June 2016.

The BBC surveyed students taking the standard General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) courses, which culminate in exams around the age of 16.

The total number of people taking foreign language lessons fell by 45%, according to the study.

German fell the most at 67% and French dropped 63% but Spanish rose 75%.

The BBC said most schools attributed the decline to the perception of languages ​​as a difficult subject.

Read also: What is the ideal age for children to learn a foreign language?

Reduced class sizes have led some schools to close classes in order to meet strict budgets, the BBC said.

“If we have classes of 25 in other subjects, it’s really hard to justify small classes in other subjects,” said Mike Hill, headmaster of a school near Liverpool.

The results of the study have alarmed UK leaders, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) big business lobby calling on the government to intervene.

“The decline in language learning in schools must be reversed, otherwise the UK will be less globally competitive and young people less prepared for the modern world,” said Matthew Fell, CBI’s UK policy director. , at the BBC.


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