Spanish entries at A level exams in England have increased by almost 5% from 2018 making it the most popular language for the first time since A levels began. The records come from the Language Trends 2020 report which was published today by the British Council.
Between 2018 and 2019, entries for Spanish increased by 7.5% whilst French increased by almost 4%, according to official data on GCSE and A-level results from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). In total, 96.811 students took Spanish at GCSE in 2019 and 7.932 did the same at A-levels.
The annual report underlines that, “French looks set to be overtaken by Spanish as the most popular language by 2030, or earlier, if current trends continue,” using the data provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
“The figures for studying foreign languages are still small, but the fact that Spanish takes the first position for the first time in history, is indicative of profound changes. These changes tell us about the growing weight of the Spanish-speaking world and its correlation in a country used to thinking globally, such as Great Britain,” said the director of the Instituto Cervantes in London, Ignacio Peyró.
Language Trends is an annual survey of primary and secondary schools in England designed to gather information about the situation for language teaching and learning. Its aims are to assess the impact of policy measures in relation to languages and to analyse strengths and weaknesses based both on quantitative evidence and on views expressed by teachers.
Instituto Cervantes and the British Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2019 with the aim of strengthening the bilateral dialogue and promoting “the joint work” so that each institution can “achieve its strategic results more effectively”.