Do young people care about finding out foreign languages?

Do younger men and women in the Uk care about studying languages? With A-level entries for languages falling above the last couple of many years and acceptances for language degrees final 12 months dipping to the lowest in a decade the simple response would seem to be to be no. Or at least, significantly less than they previously did. This is disconcerting information for a nation which is not precisely famed for its multilingualism.

Nevertheless, investigation conducted for the Guardian and British Academy by the polling organisation ICM paints a far a lot more nuanced picture of youth attitudes in the Uk. People committing to language qualifications might have dropped, but of the 1001 young individuals among the ages of 14-24 interviewed in the survey, almost 20% already communicate yet another language at property with their family, and 70% would be interested in studying an additional language in the potential.

The survey also reveals a conflict at the heart of youth attitudes. Recognition of the approaches that understanding a language can aid open up your long term – economically, culturally and socially – is there. But this awareness is squared with the fact being born a native English speaker is both a blessing and a curse: 39% are put off by the perception that “most folks speak English” and 14% by the notion that “most other languages are not useful”.

Here’s a couple of important observations from the survey:

The primary benefit of learning a language is obtaining a work abroad

When asked to select the three major advantages of learning a language interviewees noticed a sturdy financial situation. Job prospective customers at home and broad were the two essential incentives.

It wasn’t all about work possibilities however, understanding about one more culture and the expertise of communicating also scored extremely.

Languages are observed as too hard to discover

So if languages provide you the capacity to make new pals and function abroad, why are youthful men and women place off? Asked to pick the three main downsides of understanding a language, the problems of the finding out process came out leading.

We want to make GCSE languages far more interesting

Given that 2004 taking a language at GCSE has not been compulsory. Generating languages optional led to a forty% fall in uptake among 2001 and 2010. So given the decision, why had been younger folks more and more choosing a language totally free curriculum? While the perceived difficulty of languages was a important explanation, the idea that they were much less intriguing than other topics came prime for our younger interviewees.

Interestingly, reduced self-confidence ranges in speaking another language also played a part in this choice.

Studying a language doesn’t seem to be to get you quite far

Asking interviewees to comment on their ability in the language they had studied at college supplied possibly the most revealing piece of information from the survey. For most of the languages, students are not progressing – or do not perceive themselves to be – past basic language ranges.

Acquiring students out of the classroom may possibly be the response

The survey recommended the opportunity to use a language outside of the classroom and communicate with native speakers would make language learning more interesting.

As for teaching within the classroom, youthful folks want a lot more interaction, much more technologies, and far more time devoted to language in colleges. Food for imagined for the existing overview of A-level languages?

Do you determine with these attitudes? Share your thoughts in the feedback under

Leave a Reply