It would seem that the young people of Britain prefer studying sciences and economics to foreign languages. The latest A-levels figures show that foreign language studies have fallen to their lowest levels in years. This raised concern among universities and industry, and rightly so.
How can the UK be a major player in the world economy when its future captains of industry can’t communicate with the rest of the world?
Nobody denies the importance of learning new languages, but Britain seems to remain unconcerned. As long as English is seen as the default global language, why would they need to bother?
The first step of solving a problem is to admit its existence. A generation of monolingual Brits in a world where global communication is becoming ever more important could be a disaster for the economy and culture of Britain. Most non-English speaking countries already insist on their children learning at least one other language; their governments realise that keeping their population isolated by language is a huge error.
So why do British children avoid studying languages?
Well, even though learning a second language is optional for the British schoolchildren, it is still an option. Let’s MAKE them choose it. Young people, regardless of nationality, are highly impressionable. They generally do whatever they consider cool.
So let’s make language learning cool.
Learning a language is like a role play, you could be:
The joy of language learning lies in the freedom it gives you as a person. Speaking a different language gives your mind a change of clothes.
How do you think we can make learning languages cool again? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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