The Guardian online has a disturbing article about Language teaching crisis as 40% of university departments face closure. The Guardian is reporting that the universities in the UK offering degrees in modern language has dropped from 105 in 2000 to 62 today. Some of the reasons given for this drop include:
- The decision that languages should be non-compulsory at GCSE
- Drop in student demand
- The rise of Ukip and xenophobia
A second story, Lack of language skills is diminishing Britain’s voice in the world, goes into more detail on the concern from the foreign service about how “Britain’s global standing in business – and, perhaps most pertinently, in the diplomatic world – was at grave risk from a lack of men and women with language skills.” The article reports a dramatic drop in French and German:
French and German – traditionally the two most popular language courses in schools – both appear in a list of the 10 most rapidly declining subjects this summer. Some 11,272 pupils studied French in 2013, a fall of 10% in a year and a near 50% decline over the last decade. German entries fell to a record low of just 4,242. It was a drop of 11% in 12 months and half the number since 2000.