Tuesday 10 August 2021
  • Entries for modern foreign languages up;
  • Spanish consolidating lead over French as most popular foreign language;
  • German entries continue to decline.

Vicky Gough, British Council Schools Advisor, said: 

“Congratulations to those pupils collecting their A-level languages results today for all their hard work. The past year has been extremely challenging for schools and pupils, with recent British Council research highlighting the disruptive impact of Covid-19 on the teaching and learning of languages.

“It’s encouraging that numbers for A-level languages have increased overall this year, but this has to be seen in the broader context of a huge decline over the past 20 years.

“Spanish has consolidated its lead over French as the most popular A-level language for a second year in a row. However, it’s disappointing to see a further drop in the number of pupils studying German. We must encourage students to continue learning a range of different languages.

“As education begins to recover from the pandemic, it’s essential that schools prioritise language learning and look to build back international opportunities and connections. The benefits of having language skills and an understanding of other cultures cannot be overstated, particularly as the UK renegotiates its place on the world stage.”



Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Vicci Nelmes in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)7933 386075 or vicci.nelmes@britishcouncil.org

Read the British Council Language Trends Survey 2021 here: https://www.britishcouncil.org/about/press/british-council-report-reveals-impact-covid-19-language-learning-schools-england 


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. www.britishcouncil.org