Apparently it’s a horror that British kids can’t speak other languages. They must be forced to do so.
Learning foreign languages should be compulsory, says report
OK. Or, perhaps, not OK.
The Higher Education Policy Institute’s latest report, A Languages Crisis? (HEPI Report 123) by Megan Bowler, highlights a huge drop in demand for learning languages and makes a set of recommendations for reversing the fall.
The paper shows only 32 per cent of 15-to-30 year olds from the UK can read and write in two or more languages (including their first language). This is less than half the level in the second-placed EU country (71 per cent in Hungary), and far behind France (79 per cent), Germany (91 per cent) and Denmark (99 per cent).
We’d probably run with the idea that 90% or so of all those Europeans with another, other than their native, language have English as the second. Which is, of course, the one language that the peeps here already have.
Doesn’t really seem much point in a Brit learning Hungarian, does there? Unless you go live there in which case you’ll not be included in the UK resident figures.
But there’s an easier way of dealing with this claim:
Megan Bowler is a third-year undergraduate studying Classics at Oriel College, Oxford. During vacations, she tutors in Latin, Ancient Greek and English and she recently completed an internship at HEPI.
Well, insisting that all learn a language would aid in gaining a decent working career for Megan but why the rest of us should pay much attention to such a naked ambition is uncertain.