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Last update: 27/05/2012


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Summary of analysis of ML figures at GCSE 2010

Figures are for England and have been taken from JCQ statistics. There is an accompanying Excel spreadsheet with all the figures and graphs.

 ASCL, ALL (Association for Language Learning) and ISMLA (Independent Schools Modern Language Association) have worked closely together on these matters which affect all sectors (state and independent).  


    There has been a steady decline in the numbers taking GCSE Modern Languages over the last ten years, with sharp declines for the exams taken in June 2005 onwards, so that now the  numbers have fallen by around half.

    The pattern is very similar for French and German, just different starting points
 (e.g French: 2002 = 315,071,   2010 = 163,283  (i.e. 52%);
      German: 2002 = 122,053,   2010 =   67,084  (i.e. 55%)

    The decline has been particularly marked in lower-attaining pupils at GCSE
 (e.g. in 2002 165,412 gained A*-C and 149,659 gained D-U,
   but in 2010 116,911 gained A*-C (i.e. 71% of 02) and 46,372 gained D-U (i.e. 31% of 02))

    The change in the intake profile for GCSE has led to an increased percentage of entries getting higher grades, but there is an unresolved question as to whether the increase  has been great enough to match the attainment of the students.  

    The numbers taking Spanish and some other languages (with many native speakers) have increased slightly in the same period, but are far outweighed by the decline in French and German (e.g. Spanish: 2002 = 54,050, 2010 = 62,580)






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