The British Council surveyed 2,000 UK adults to measure attitudes towards learning foreign languages following “Brexit” – the vote to leave the European Union. The respondents believed that it was more important than ever for Britons to learn foreign languages.
63% said that the ability to speak other languages was essential to ensure that the UK is an “outward looking nation” following the referendum, and 61% said languages are crucial to trade and investment, helping the UK remain “open for business”.
At la Academia we have campaigned for years to have more languages in schools – our previous posts have often covered topics around MFL in schools and issues in language learning in the UK. Many of our students are adults who find languages are useful in their careers. If EU citizens leave the UK after Brexit language skills will be in even shorter supply, as many of our language teachers in schools are from other EU countries.
Unsurprisingly, the British Council survey showed many people share our concerns about language teaching in UK schools – 67% said that the UK does not encourage enough young people to learn other languages and 63% said schools should dedicate more time to foreign language subjects. This will be even harder after Brexit.
The British Council called for languages to become “a national priority” in the run up to Britain leaving the EU, and said: ” language skills matter now more than ever…. and we must do everything we can to encourage more people to acquire these vital skills”
“The reality is that speaking another language not only boosts job prospects but also allows you to connect with another culture. If the UK is to remain globally competitive as we prepare to leave the EU, language learning must become a national priority.”
Time to get ahead! Language skills are going to be in even greater demand over the next few years and in the longer term. If you’ve seen the way the wind is blowing and want to brush up a language, or start to learn a new one, la Academia can help! 0161 b491 1444 and email@example.com