UCML welcomes the new British Council Language Trends report which is published today (29th June, 2023) and which gives insight into the situation for language teaching and learning in English primary and secondary schools.

Key headlines from the report show that French remains the most popular language in Primary Schools and at Key Stage 3, followed by Spanish in both state and independent sectors, whereas for the fourth year running, Spanish continues to have the highest number of A-Level entries. Despite falling numbers, German remains the third most taught curricular language in English Schools but entries are much higher in the independent sector. It is encouraging  to see that international engagement is improving since the Covid-19 pandemic and also that entries in languages other than the so-called ‘Big 3’ are on the increase. Of these languages taught in state secondary schools as a full curriculum subject, Chinese (Mandarin) is the most popular.

The report as a whole highlights both ‘positive practices and gaps in the language education of young people at primary and secondary level’ in England. It also looks forward to reporting on the work of the new National Consortium for Languages Education (NCLE) Language Hubs initiative and its GIMAGINE project which will promote German. Through the Routes into Languages initiative, UCML also looks forward to collaborating with the NCLE to address some of the issues raised in this report

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