GCSE results: Spanish to become ‘dominant’ language in schools

The TES is reporting that claims from the head of one of the country’s biggest exam boards that Spanish will soon become the most commonly-taught foreign language in UK schools…

The prediction by Andrew Hall, chief of executive of AQA, comes after the subject bucked the national drop in GCSEs taken this summer to record a record number of entries.

While French and German declined in line with the overall cohort, there were 93,028 Spanish entries, up almost 2,000 from last year and more than 20,000 from 2012.

French remains the most popular language in schools with 168,042 entries, but this dropped from 177,288 in 2013. The number of German entries also went down, from 62,932 last year to 59,891.

The number of entries in the main foreign languages has increased since 2008, but the overall decrease across all subjects this year – attributed to a sharp fall in the number of early entries – led to French and German entries falling for the first time in six years.

Spanish, however, “goes from strength to strength” and could soon become the “dominant language” in UK schools, Mr Hall said this morning.

“It’s catching up fast, and I think it’s only a question of time before the most popular language studied in the UK in Spanish.” He added that the rise was also due to “savvy students” spotting the rising economic power of Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said many students found Spanish easier to learn than other foreign languages…

More at: GCSE results: Spanish to become ‘dominant’ language in schools


Your thoughts on the rise of Spanish? Economic opportunity? Easy to learn? Something a bit different? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Secondary.


  1. Janet2

    Spanish is one of the major languages spoken in the world.  French and German are not.  It’s not surprising more pupils are studying Spanish.

    And it is easier to learn that French and German.  All the accents lean the same way and are used sparingly; there are no cedillas or umlauts; and pronunciation is constant.

    ¡Viva Español!

  2. Wozedu

    SchoolsImprove interesting stat,-do you think we should be learning multiple languages like some of our EU neighbours? #wozedu

  3. iantindal

    Wozedu SchoolsImprove Our neighbour in rural Galicia cld speak Italian, Arabic, French, Castilian and Galician fluently + a little English

  4. iantindal

    Wozedu SchoolsImprove She said the more she learned the easier learning became but she couldn’t see any career benefit.

  5. Wozedu

    elcapitanleics SchoolsImprove Agreed,English as GCSE has slipped this yr,but could open many opps if lang studies are taken more seriously

  6. Wozedu

    iantindal SchoolsImprove Wow,that’s impressive! i’m a little embarrassed when i explain my basic knowledge of school educated french!

  7. Wozedu

    elcapitanleics SchoolsImprove Unless we count private tutoring,we unfortunately cant see Chinese being considered as a curriculum subject

  8. elcapitanleics

    Wozedu SchoolsImprove I’m primary anyway but feel Chinese would be more useful than french but it depends on people’s future prospects

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