Schools selected to lead on improved language-teaching

Eighteen schools have been selected to be part of the Government’s Language Hubs programme to lead on how languages are taught across the country.  
This is the next step in the rollout of the programme, which aims to raise national interest in studying languages and drive more pupils to study them throughout their education from primary schools onwards.  
Data from this year’s GCSE entries showed that modern foreign languages have become increasingly popular as a subject, with a 5.1% increase in GCSE entries in 2023 compared to last year and a 9.2% increase compared to 2019.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “Young people who are confident in a second language are at a huge advantage in life. On top of the social and cultural advantages it provides, there are many economic benefits of learning another language.
“That is why I have long called for more pupils to consider studying languages such as German at GCSE and this programme will crucially equip teachers with the necessary training and knowledge to support pupils looking to do so.”
The Language Hubs programme, which will start from September 2023, aims to encourage more pupils to study a language at GCSE as the evidence shows that pupils who do so are more likely to study that language at A Level and have a lifelong interest in languages.
Speaking an additional language can also increase lifetime earnings by 2% and demand for language skills has increased due to globalisation, for example, a recent survey of British businesses highlighted German as the most widely useful language within their organisations.

As well as being beneficial in business, the need for linguists is becoming more pronounced in careers like diplomacy, defence and security where languages help ensure effective communication between different peoples and cultures.

Research shows that students who study a second language perform better across a range of academic subjects than students who don’t study a second language. The brain's plasticity is heightened when learning a language, leading to increased cognitive flexibility and adaptability.

The programme - which is backed by £14.9 million over the next three years and builds on the previous Modern Foreign Language hub pilot, which ran from 2018 to March this year - will be managed by the National Consortium for Languages Education (NCLE).