Why the UK Drop in Language Learning is Very Dangerous.

The BBC have today reported that “foreign language learning is at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium (with German and French falling the most).

BBC analysis shows drops of between 30% and 50% since 2013 in the numbers taking GCSE language courses in the worst affected areas in England.

A separate survey of secondaries suggests a third have dropped at least one language from their GCSE options.

In England, ministers say they are taking steps to reverse the decline.”

Why is This Dangerous?

“Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director for business group the CBI, said: "Employer demand for French, German and Spanish skills have significantly increased over the last few years.

The decline in language learning in schools must be reversed, or else the UK will be less competitive globally and young people less prepared for the modern world.

As well as speaking a foreign language, increasing young people's cultural awareness and their ability to work with people from around the world is just as important."

Here at Talking Heads we can add our own experience to this.

It is much more difficult for us to find competitively priced, native English translators for projects than to find translators who are translating out of English into their native tongue. If this situation gets worse, not only will UK businesses and organisations find it very difficult to communicate around the world, but we will be forced to use non-native English translators to translate into English, which will have a dramatically negative effect on the UK English language.

We love the world, and one of the main reasons we do, is because we celebrate diverse cultures. We feel that it is important to have native English speakers translating into English.

What Can You Do?

  • You and your children can learn languages at home - this will not only introduce the idea but also may lead to exploring professional avenues. Try bbc.co.uk/languages for free resources.

  • When you go on holiday, try not to only stick to the English-speaking hotel complexes. Go into ‘real’ places and listen to language and experience the culture - this could ignite an interest and lead to more.

  • Talk to people you know (English and non-English) and listen to their experiences - it could open up the whole world.

if you or your business needs help with languages, contact us on 0114 470 1075 or via info@talkingheads.co.uk.

Full article at bbc.co.uk/news/education-47334374.

#languagelearning #learnlanguages #translation #interpreting

Talking Heads