This year’s GCSE results showed a marked and very welcome increase in the take-up of modern foreign languages amongst school pupils. It’s the first time in over a decade that the number of students studying a language to this level has risen. Though French and German both registered an increase, at 15.5 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively, and some other minority languages enjoyed something of a surge, Spanish outstripped all other languages with a huge rise of 25.8 per cent. It remains to be seen whether these same students will go on to complete A-levels in their chosen languages. For the moment though, the downward trend at that level continues with numbers of French and German students still in decline. Only Spanish is on the rise with an increase of 4.1 per cent at A-level this year.
This increase can probably be attributed to the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, which recognises pupils who attain a C grade or above in a core of subjects including a language. Though not a qualification in itself, those students who hold the core Baccalaureate qualifications are likely to be looked on more favourably when it comes to university admissions, which should in turn improve their career prospects.
All of which makes the increase in pupils completing foreign language exams really positive news for the future. With the help of a private Spanish tutor, students can greatly increase their knowledge and confidence in the language and could achieve better grades as a result. We’re delighted that more people than ever before are learning our language and are very happy to play a part in that education.