To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the British Council's annual Language Trends Report 2019, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of children learning foreign languages.
3 September 2019
The Department wants to see more pupils taking a language GCSE. Since September 2014, the reformed national curriculum makes it compulsory for pupils in maintained schools to be taught a modern or classical language in Key Stage 2. The Department introduced the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure in 2010, where entry into both modern and ancient language GCSEs counts towards the languages element of the EBacc.
The Department has introduced a number of programmes to increase participation in modern foreign languages (MFL). The £4.8 million MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018 and is managed by a Centre for Excellence. The Pilot is run through nine school-led hubs, is aiming to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4, and to share best practice, especially in disadvantaged areas. The Department has also launched a pilot project in languages undergraduate mentoring for secondary school pupils to increase participation in the subject, specifically targeting areas of high disadvantage to extend access to languages for all pupils.