The life-changing power of languages

A top university has launched an initiative to encourage more young people to study languages.
Concerned by the low take-up of languages in state schools, the University of Cambridge is running a series of events to highlight “the life-changing power of languages”.

Even though the UK economy is losing billions of pounds every year through a lack of language skills, A level language entries fell by 28 per cent between 1996 and 2014 while the proportion of students taking GCSEs in languages dropped from 78 per cent in 2001 to 40 per cent in 2011.

Cambridge, which provides teaching and resources in more than 170 languages, has offered multilingual talks, language and culture workshops and access events for schools and sixth form colleges. Girton College recently ran a modern and medieval languages inspiration day for 70 year 10 and year 11 students from non-selective state schools. Teachers were asked to nominate one or two pupils they thought would benefit.

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