UK Language Hours Half of EU Rivals

A worrying article in the TES today has revealed that the quantity of language hours in English schools is half the EU average. This is as a result of cuts in the compulsory language element of the National Curriculum – now the only period of compulsory language studies is the first three years of secondary school.

The recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), however, shows that the UK does not spend much time teaching languages. The UK came bottom (along with Ireland) of a recent survey with just 7.25% of compulsory curriculum time devoted to the study of foreign languages amongst 12-14 year olds.

By comparison, the average of the 15 EU respondents was 15%.

Whilst the Italians spends 160 hours per year studying foreign languages, the average in England is just 67 hours.

Following the decision to make foreign languages non-compulsory at GCSE level in 2004, participation in language GCSEs dropped from 75 percent in 1998 to 44 per cent in 2008.

A Cambridge University survey of foreign language heads revealed that pupils were not given enough tuition hours to perform well in these subjects.

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1 Comment

Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 3, National Curriculum, News

One response to “UK Language Hours Half of EU Rivals

  1. Pingback: Education White Paper: Our Thoughts | Brilliant Book Reviews

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