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Brits Yearn to Speak Foriegn Languages


Most Brits wish they could speak a second language and 70% have tried to learn one at some point in their life, according to a new survey.

A poll of 1,000 people, to coincide with European languages day, found that while the UK may have a poor reputation for speaking anything other than English, nine out of 10 of us believe children should learn foreign languages at primary school.

Languages are no longer compulsory for pupils aged 14 and over, but the government wants all primary school pupils in England to learn a language by the end of the decade.

Barrie Hunt, from OCR, said: "People are often very negative about Britain's grasp of foreign languages but in reality the number who can speak a second language is impressive."

He believes that the language skills of many people in the UK are hidden by their lack of formal qualifications.

However, a poll by the Council of Europe found that 30% of the British population say they can speak another language, compared to an average of 50% across Europe as a whole.

English was the most common second language among Europeans (33%) followed by German (12%) and French (11%).

Around half of all pupils in Europe learn at least one language and by the time they get to college, eight out of 10 students can use another language.


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