Learning English - Words in the News
01 September, 2008 - Published 11:16 GMT
Young Britons shy away from learning languages
Two out of three teenagers in Britain are keen to work abroad but most of them don't speak foreign languages. Government figures show that 58% of 11-18 year olds in the UK have no foreign language skills, and this has a negative effect on the economy. Tom Burridge reports:
Fact or fiction? Most British people are lazy when it comes to learning a foreign language.
Those views on the streets of London are backed up by figures out this week. The British Government found that 58 percent of 11-18 year olds in the UK do NOT speak a second language. However two thirds of teenagers in Britain want to work abroad when they're older - the countries of choice being Italy, Spain, France or China. The British Government admits there is a problem - that not enough young people continue learning a second language when they leave school. Teresa Tinley from the country's national centre of languages says it has big implications for the economy:
The research is seen as further evidence that most young people assume they can get by in a foreign country by speaking English - something the authorities in London want to change.
Tom Burridge, BBC
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