Thursday 25 August 2022


•  French is the most popular modern foreign language despite a slight decrease in entries.

•  Entries for Spanish decreased this year after a period of growth since 2018.

•  Entries for German continue to decrease.

Vicky Gough, British Council Schools Advisor, said: 

“Congratulations to those pupils collecting their GCSE languages results today for all their hard work. 

“It’s disappointing that that numbers taking GCSE languages have decreased this year. Spanish has decreased 1.7% after a period of rapid growth since 2018.

French remails the most popular language subject despite a 1.9% decrease in entries. The continued decline in numbers taking German (a decrease of 5.1% this year) is a concern.

“Hopefully we’ll see more pupils go on to choose languages at A-level and university, because the UK needs more foreign language speakers. 

“As stated in our Language Trends Survey, and as schools continue to recover from the pandemic, it’s essential that schools prioritise language learning and look to build back international opportunities and connections that have been lost. Languages enable us to work together on global challenges, as well as opening doors for pupils to discover new people, places, and cultures. It is vital for the UK’s future that all pupils have access to high-quality language learning.”


Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Beatrice Cole in the British Council Press Office on

Read the British Council Language Trends Survey 2022 here:


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.