Thursday 17 August 2023
  • German had the largest decrease of A-level entries compared to other subjects since 2022, at 15.9%.
  • French and Spanish saw the third and fourth largest decrease, at nearly 11%.
  • Number of A-level entries for other modern languages has increased.
  • Spanish is the most popular A-level language in schools across England for the fourth year running.
  • Launch of the National Consortium for Languages Education to improve uptake in German and other modern languages.

Vicky Gough, British Council Schools Advisor, said:

“Congratulations to all pupils who have received their A-level languages results today.

“It is disappointing to see continued decreases in the numbers taking A-levels in German, French and Spanish, particularly as they have seen some of the biggest decreases out of all A-level subjects.

“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.

“This year we are playing an important role in reinvigorating languages education in England with the formation of the National Consortium for Languages Education (NCLE), led by University College London with the British Council and Goethe-Institut.

“Funded by the Department for Education, the consortium will select twenty-five lead hub schools across England to deliver training to improve language teaching and learning across the country.  

“Importantly, this will boost the teaching and learning of German, which has seen another drop in A-Level entries this year and increase the possibility for students who speak a language other than English at home to get accreditation in that language.

“We are optimistic this initiative will make more students aware that language learning is a valuable skill, not only for future employment, but also for a deeper appreciation and understanding of the wider world.”

Notes to Editor

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Read the British Council’s Language Trends England 2023 Survey here:

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people