Shock fall in language GCSEs—for 2nd year running

PUBLISHED: 20:28 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 05 October 2010

TODAY’s school GCSE results show another fall in the numbers taking foreign languages. upils sitting a language subject fell by four per cent compared to 12 months ago, says the National Centre for Languages

TODAY's school GCSE results across the country show another fall in the numbers of pupils taking foreign languages.

Numbers of pupils sitting a language subject fell by four per cent compared to 12 months ago.

This comes on top of last year's three per cent fall, according to the National Centre for Languages.

"We are disappointed to see a continued decline in the take-up of languages for GCSE," said the centre's policy research director Dr Anne Davidson.

"There are efforts in so many schools to motivate language learning, but this is not showing yet in these exam results."

French is down 6.6 per cent, which represents more than 13,000 entries, and German by 4.2 per cent, or 3,200 entries, the organisation revealed today. Those taking Spanish remained stable with only 22 fewer entries.

"Language skills are more valuable than ever before, with businesses needing now more than ever to be internationally competitive," Dr Davidson added.

"It is vital for schools to get this message across to teenagers that being able to use another language opens doors wherever you are."

The numbers taking less common languages continued to rise, however, with the biggest increases in Polish, Arabic and Chinese.

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