Teachers predict big decline in pupils taking foreign languages

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The number of children taking GCSE language courses will fall by as much as 50 per cent in some schools in the next two years, teachers warned yesterday.

The number of children taking GCSE language courses will fall by as much as 50 per cent in some schools in the next two years, teachers warned yesterday.

Evidence of a looming decline in the take-up of French and German emerged as GCSE results released today showed a reduction in the number of youngsters taking the subjects. A survey by the Association for Language Learning (ALL), which represents language teachers, indicates this year's drop may be dwarfed in coming years. It shows that in some schools as many as 50 per cent of 14-year-olds may be dropping languages in September.

This year's figures showed the numbers taking French had dropped by just over 8,500 to 338,000. In German, there were nearly 9,000 fewer candidates, at 126,000. These were slightly offset by a rise of 3,600 in the numbers taking Spanish. The reduction in language candidates was set against a rise in the number of exam entries.

GCSE results this year show a slight rise in the number of A* to C grades, but the pass rate remained the same. Girls increased their lead over boys.

Language experts urged the Government to reconsider its proposal to take modern foreign languages off the compulsory curriculum at 14. Linda Parker, director of ALL, saidlanguages were more likely to be discontinued in deprived inner-city areas. "The Government talks about widening participation but this will not achieve that."

Comments