Schools: Modern Languages - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:55 pm on 24th May 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 2:55 pm, 24th May 2016

I certainly agree that learning a language is hugely important and beneficial, which is why, as I have said, we are delighted to see an increase in the number of pupils at GCSE studying languages and a more modest increase in pupils at A-level. But we also want to encourage pupils to get a taste of other cultures, which is why, in 2014, the British Council launched a campaign calling on schools to back more overseas exchange trips. In secondary schools, actually quite a small percentage of children get the opportunity to do that. Going to another country whose language you are learning can often help to instil a further love of that language. There are certainly a lot more things that we can do to ensure that we give our young people the best opportunities to take the advantages that learning language skills can give them.