BY 2020, Spanish will overtake French to become the most popular second language in British schools.
A report from the British Council’s Language Trends and another from the Cervantes Institute confirmed a move towards Spanish and fewer pupils learning French or German.
Despite its popularity, the number of pupils learning Spanish in primary and secondary schools fell by five per cent to 88,022 in the last five years although French and German experienced an even greater drop of approximately 30 per cent.
The British Council found that the level of difficulty of exams influenced the move away from languages, while teachers at low-income schools were less concerned about lack of resources for languages than parents who dissuade their children from learning them.
“Brexit threatens to broaden the socio-economic and academic divide,” the British Council report pronounced, although the Cervantes Institute has found otherwise.
“We were afraid that Brexit would trigger a drop in enrolments at our centres but, oddly, they have increased,” said Francisco Oda, who heads the Cervantes Institute in Manchester.
Similarly, London enrolments have also increased by 10 per cent since 2017, said Ignacio Peyro of the Institute in London.
“But London is different and there is more global awareness,” he said.