Language Trends Wales

Language Trends Wales – research into modern foreign language education

Language Trends Wales 2016/17

British Council Wales has published its third Language Trends Wales report, which finds that teachers are ‘extremely worried about the future of modern foreign languages’.

Headline statistics from the report include:

  • More than a third of Welsh schools now have less than 10% of Year 10 (14-15 year olds) studying a modern foreign language.
  • 44% of schools have fewer than five pupils studying a foreign language at AS level and 61% have fewer than five foreign language pupils at A level
  • 64% of MFL departments have just one or two full-time teachers, with one third depending on non-British EU nationals for their staff
  • Take up of modern foreign languages is continuing to fall in years 10 and 11 indicating that numbers will decline further in 2017 and 2018

Download the report below

Language Trends Wales 2015/16

British Council Wales and the Education Development Trust published the second national survey of modern foreign language teaching in Welsh schools in 2016. 

The report found: 

• the majority of schools - more than two thirds - had less than 25 per cent of pupils studying a modern foreign language (MFL) at GCSE level

• schools in more disadvantaged areas were more likely to report very low take-up of MFL 

• there was widespread support for the Welsh Government’s ambition to see MFL taught from a younger age, but primary schools want to see more resources and training.

Language Trends Wales 2014/15

The first Language Trends Wales survey was published on June 2, 2015, creating widespread interest in modern foreign language teaching and education among the Welsh public, press and broadcast media, and the Welsh Government.

The first report found:

• MFL was becoming increasingly marginalised within the Welsh curriculum

• Many pupils were receiving only a minimal or fragmented experience of language learning

• The potential benefits of bilingualism in Wales were not being realised when it comes to learning a modern foreign language

• In the ten year period from 2005-2014 A-level entries for French, German and Spanish halved

• Only 22% of Welsh pupils take a GCSE in a language other than Welsh or English.