Language Trends Wales 2019
This report presents the findings of the fifth annual Language Trends Wales survey of secondary schools, and the second such survey of primary schools in Wales.
The report gathers information from 269 Welsh schools about the current situation for Modern Foreign Language (MFL) teaching and learning in Wales.
The huge decline in MFL exam entries in secondary schools continues, however a more positive picture is emerging at primary level.
View a blog from our Country Director, Jenny Scott who shares her thoughts on the report here.
Headline statistics from the report include:
- Since 2002, entries for GCSE in MFL have declined by 60% in Wales and continue to fall year-on-year
- 39% of responding secondary schools have no take up or provision of MFL for A-Level in 2019 compared to 29% in 2018 and 20% in 2017
- 73% of schools say the difficulty of MFL exams is putting off pupils at GCSE and A level.
- MFL GCSE take-up is stratified along both academic and socio-economic lines, with students receiving free school meals or with special educational needs or disabilities less likely to take the subject
- The implications of Brexit are seen as a challenge in 41% of schools.
- Welsh is seen as fulfilling the ‘language slot’; responses show a connection between the decline in MFL entries over the past five years and the increase in entries for Welsh
- Primary schools are increasing their MFL provision – 39% of schools said they provide some form of MFL lesson, compared to 28% in 2016. Welsh medium primary schools are embracing international languages at a faster pace than their English-medium counterparts.
- There is a danger of a lost generation of language learners as children engaged at primary find no provision in secondary.
- Welsh-medium primary schools are more likely to be teaching international languages than other types of school.
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