Best Practice

Motivating students to stick with language learning

We continue to face an uphill struggle to get students to consider language options at GCSE. Lucy Jenkins from considers how we might motivate more of our students to stick with languages
Image: Adobe Stock

In an increasingly globalised and diverse world, the role of languages in supporting open communication, effective collaboration, and solving some of the world’s greatest shared challenges seems irrefutable.

Indeed, countless organisations have testified to the central role of international languages to the prosperity of the UK as a whole – economically, socially, and culturally (British Academy et al, 2020) – and yet, uptake of international languages at key curriculum stages continues to decline across the UK (Gorrara et al, 2020; Henderson & Carruthers, 2022).

With the belief that languages are more important now than they were 20 years ago, why are languages so overlooked by learners? And how can we, as practitioners, support a renewed and revitalised understanding of the critical role of languages?

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