LONDON, UK— The government has stepped in to secure the future of GCSEs and A levels in community languages such as Punjabi and Turkish – Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced today.
Exam boards have said that there are a number of community languages which may not be continued at GCSE or A level but the government is today announcing that it is taking action to work with the boards and Ofqual to make sure as wide a range of language subjects as possible continue to be taught in the classroom.
School Reform Minister Nick Gibb said:
All pupils should have the opportunity to study foreign languages as part of a core academic curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain. This should extend to community languages.
There are some community languages which exam boards have said they need to discontinue at GCSE or A level, which is why we are now taking action and working with them and Ofqual to determine how these qualifications can continue.
In an outward-facing country such as Britain, it is important that we have high-quality qualifications not just in French, German and Spanish but also in languages such as Polish, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati and Turkish.
To avoid any gap in provision in certain languages we will, where necessary, extend the timetable for awarding organisations to continue with existing qualifications until September 2018.
Further announcements about the proposed approach will be made later in the year.
There are considerable benefits to learning a second language and the government is keen to preserve a wide range of languages being taught at GCSE and A level including Polish, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali and Turkish.
Interest in studying languages remains high with the number of pupils entering for a modern language GCSE rising by 20% since 2010.
As well as speaking to exam boards, the government has been meeting representatives from embassies and communities, including supplementary schools, to hear their concerns and discuss ways to resolves the issue.