The number of pupils learning Mandarin has more than doubled according to a new report on a drive to increase the use of modern foreign languages.
In October 2015 the Welsh Government published Global Futures, a plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales and today a new report on the progress made has been published.
It comes as the Education Secretary will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Spanish Government to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the Spanish language in Wales.
The MOU builds on a range of activity being carried out in Wales by the Spanish Embassy Education Office.
The new report shows:
- Figures for those learning Mandarin in Wales have risen from 1,370 in 2014-15 to 3,303 in 2015-16.
- The number of schools participating in the modern foreign languages student mentoring project has increased from 28 to 44 this year. Over half of the schools that took part reported increased numbers for GCSE classes.
- Provision of free Italian lessons by the Italian consulate has expanded and will be provided to 12 schools across South East and Central South Wales in 2016.
- The Erasmus+ project will fund 91 study visits to European countries for teachers from 21 schools.
- Pupil Language Ambassador training events delivered by Routes into Languages Cymru and with the support of the language institutes have seen an increase of 188% pupils across Wales trained compared to the previous year.
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said:
“The benefits of learning another language are extensive, from gaining new linguistic skills to learning more about the culture of other nations.
“We are committed to working with a range of bodies, from language institutions, our universities, the teaching profession and others to continue to promote and raise the profile and benefits of modern foreign languages. We still have a long way to go, but this report clearly shows that the foundations are being laid to ensure that we will see an upturn in the take-up of modern foreign languages in years to come.”