Spanish became the most popular foreign language at A Level with entries overtaking French for the first time, according to the Joint Council for Qualifications.
For the first time, Spanish entries overtook those for French, making it the most popular foreign language. Spanish entries increased by 4.5% to 8,625 and French decreased by 4.1% to 8,355. German entries remained level.
Entries for French, German and Spanish combined, have levelled off, reversing the decline in recent years against the backdrop of a 2.9% decrease in the size of the 18-year old population.
Ignacio Peyro, director of Instituto Cervantes, the official Spanish language and cultural centre said there had been concern in recent years about students taking foreign languages at GCSE and A-level.
But he added: “For us, of course it’s very positive that Spanish is growing and I think that it is in a global country like the UK, there’s a growing perception that the Spanish-speaking world is becoming more important in terms of demography, economy, trade, culture and so on.
“Who would have thought that 20 or 30 years ago that this was going to happen?” Mr Peyro said, pointing out that at that time, other languages such as French were more commonly taught.
“Spanish was in a very different place at that time.”
Mr Peyro also said it was “good to study any foreign language, better than none”.
“I hope that all foreign languages will soon be on the rise again in Britain,” he added.
More information: Spanish Becomes Most Popular Foreign Language, Press Association