Thursday 25 August 2022
  • Entries for international languages continue to decline
  • German, French and Spanish entries decline by 6%, 4.6% and 20% respectively
  • Results follow a similar pattern to A-level results – which saw German entries fall by 37.6%, French by 21.4% and Spanish by 19.8%

Jenny Scott, British Council, Director Wales, said: 

“While we congratulate all those students collecting their results today, it’s disheartening to see that the numbers for GCSE international languages in Wales continues to decline, a trend we have seen since 2002. The fall in pupils studying German and Spanish is especially concerning and follows a similar pattern to this year’s A-level results, where entries fell by 37.6% and 19.8% respectively.

“If this decline continues, we may have a situation where there’s no language provision at all in some secondary schools, as it’s just not sustainable. Urgent, coordinated action is required, and while we welcome the Welsh Government’s new Global Futures programme to improve and promote international languages, it may be too late for some languages.

“As stated in our Language Trends 2021 report, languages are vital for the future of Wales as it recovers from the global pandemic and seeks to build and strengthen relationships across the world.  Languages enable us to work together on global challenges, as well as opening doors for pupils to discover new people, places, and cultures. We need more language speakers, not fewer, and all pupils deserve to have access to high-quality language learning.”

The British Council’s latest Language Trends Wales report will be published in the Autumn. Find out more about Language Trends Wales here:

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact:

Claire McAuley, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, UK Region - M: +447856524504

Read the British Council Wales Language Trends Survey 2021 here 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.