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What does the decrease in popularity of French at GCSE level mean for the standard of international communication in Britain?

With the recent news that GCSE French has dropped out of the top ten choices for secondary school pupils, it would appear that communications with our francophone neighbours aren’t set to improve in forthcoming generations.

Taking a more long-term perspective, the number of students studying GCSE French has dropped by 45% in eight years. Although as a country, Britain isn’t renowned for its foreign language expertise, French is a language that most of us could always vaguely grasp. We’re a dab hand at asking for l’addition and never forget to say merci, but is this all about to change?

Stats show that Spanish is up 16% among GCSE students since 2002, Mandarin has increased by 38% largely because of ambitious pupils with hopes for careers in business, and German has become more attractive since it became the central language of the EU’s most dominant economy. This would indicate that students are selecting the languages that they feel will be most relevant to their lives and job prospects. Far from a communications breakdown, the decrease in the popularity of French when aligned with figures from comparable languages points towards school students actually becoming more in-touch with global communication developments.

The world around us encompasses a myriad of languages and with an increasingly globalised marketplace, it can only be a good thing that students are realising the latent possibilities of exploring other languages aside from seeing French as the solitary choice. The more options that are open to school pupils the better, and Britain can only benefit from its discerning adolescents broadening their perspectives and widening their horizons beyond the English Channel.

At Stratton Craig, we provide copywriting in a large variety of other languages as well as a reliable and trusted translation service. If you would like to speak to us about your international communications please call Harriette Hobbs on 0117 9371 383 or email harriette@strattoncraig.co.uk.

 

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