ATC council member and Lead on Standards, Raisa McNab, attended the Parliamentary launch of the new British Council report, Languages for the Future , which revealed that a dwindling number of young people are studying modern languages at school or university.
According to the study, there has been a 7% drop in pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland taking GCSE language exams in the past year, and a 1% drop at A-level. It also says only a third of Britons are able to hold a conversation in another language.
The report argues that, in a new era of cooperation with the rest of the world, investment in upgrading the UK’s ability to understand and engage with people internationally is critical.
We back the influential report’s call for action to be taken to improve UK language learning to ensure a post-Brexit Britain can communicate effectively on a global scale, and were delighted to be invited to the prestigious launch event.
Raisa, who is also Learning and Development Manager at ATC member, Sandberg Translation Partners Ltd, met members of the Modern Languages All-Party Parliamentary Group and the British Council All-Party Parliamentary Group when she attended the Portcullis House event which launched the report.
They included MP Nia Griffith, Chair of the Modern Languages All-Party Parliamentary Group and Shadow Defence Secretary. She said: “As a former languages teacher, I am always concerned to hear of any drop in the number of pupils taking a language up to exam level. I always find people so appreciative if you make an effort to speak to them in their own language, and it’s good for business and for international relations. We need to make pupils and parents aware of the importance of languages, as well as ensuring that the opportunities are there for pupils to continue their language study. As members of the All- Party Group on Modern Languages, we try to highlight the importance of languages to Government Ministers and decision makers.”
Raisa said: “The findings of the report are worrying as the UK should be investing in modern language study at this time. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet a number of influential people at the event, and the ATC is looking forward to supporting their work on improving the nation’s language capabilities.”
Raisa is pictured (second from left) with:
– Paul Kaye, Language Officer, European Commission Representation in the UK
– Emma Skelton, Parliamentary Relations Officer at the British Council, supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the British Council
– Philip Harding-Esch, British Council consultant, supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages.