Monday, 21 July 2014

Language learning more important than ever!

An All-Party Parliamentary Group has urged politicians to promote teaching and learning of modern languages in the UK.The group has been investigating the impact of poor language skills on the UK economy and its standing in the world. Baroness Coussins, chair of the group, reports that "the UK economy is already losing around £50 billion a year in lost contracts because of a lack of language skills in the workforce. And we aren't just talking about high-flyers: in 2011 over 27% of admin and clerical jobs went unfilled because of the languages deficit."
Not enough youngsters are leaving school with the necessary skills: A 2012 European Commission research revealed only 9% of 15-year-olds are competent in their first foreign language in the UK, compared with 42% in 14 other European countries. 
Luckily, at Tomlinscote we still have a policy where all students continue with at least one MFL out of French, German and Spanish up to GCSE, which will increase their options and choices in their later careers enormously. Furthermore, they have options to learn Chinese, Japanese or Latin in extra-curricular courses.
However, there needs to be more language teaching and learning nationwide. Otherwise, according to Baroness Coussins, "our young people will continue to fall behind their European and global peers in education and employability; our export growth will be stunted; our international reputation will suffer and our security, defence and diplomacy needs will be compromised."
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