British Council’s report, Languages for the Future, identifies the priority languages for the UK’s future prosperity, security and influence in the world, and of course the languages are of importance to Wales too.
The report considers the outlook for the supply and demand for language competence in the years ahead and looks at the linguistic dimension of a variety of economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors, scoring languages against these.
The report says the top five most important languages are:
The top five languages appear some way ahead of the next five:
Languages for the Future argues that, in a new era of cooperation with Europe and with the rest of the world, investment in upgrading the UK’s ability to understand and engage with people internationally is critical.
Jenny Scott, director of British Council Wales: “In the uncertain context set by Brexit, one thing is clear, Wales will need a network of international economic and cultural connections if it is to build influence and remain competitive. This outward-looking, global Wales can only be realised if we have people with the right language and inter-cultural skills to build relationships across borders.”
Language Trends Wales
Since 2015, British Council Wales has been monitoring the number of entries for GCSEs and A-levels in Modern Foreign Languages in Wales. Our Language Trends Wales reports have shown a continual decline in the learning of French, German and Spanish in Welsh secondary schools.