How Brexit is hampering modern foreign languages uptake - Yorkshire Post Letters
In commenting on the perceived low uptake of modern foreign languages as a GCSE option your headline writer erred in stating that most students do not study a language.
The proportion not doing so may well constitute a majority but the article concerned was discussing the percentage of schools entering all for compulsory GCSE language exams which isn't the same beast.
I have just retired from thirty years of language teaching. My own enthusiasm to practise Spanish in Spain wanes because all too frequently the Spaniard insists on replying in English and continues to do so even if I persist in Spanish. Students notice this and often ask ‘what's the point?’
I wouldn't be me though if I failed to point out that Brexit has impacted negatively on the relevance of learning foreign languages as the obsession with passports has complicated the organisation of trips and our self-imposed exile from the highly successful Erasmus and Horizon programme means less co-operation.
GCSE language study should whet appetites for future linguistic, social, cultural, sporting even dare I say, romantic contact.
Freedoms known to previous generations have callously and casually been taken away by Brexit backed by both main parties so that today's young people can't legally experience the thrill of selling ice cream on a French beach as did a young Sir Keir nor share with their Irish cousins in grape pressing chez le vigneron. Brexit red tape would have made The Beatles trip to Hamburg impossible.
Labour would be pushing at an open door if with other progressive parties there was a manifesto commitment to a national discussion about how the UK might ultimately rejoin with consequential benefits for language study.