According to Mike Buchanan, the Executive Director of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), GCSE exams on modern languages should be more accessible, in order to preserve students’ interest in these subjects.
Mr. Buchanan, a representative of the best-performing state schools in the United Kingdom, has claimed that students about to take their GCSE’s are choosing their subjects based on the knowledge they already have. This tendency is worrying as most students about to graduate should be trying to build up their skills and expertise, rather than choosing comfortable topics.
Security over modern languages
Ambitious high-school graduates are often looking for the best way to rank higher among their school mates, and choosing their strong subjects over modern language exams is a logical decision. However, this is a worrying statistic, which is taking over education in the United Kingdom. According to recent reports, interest in foreign languages is gradually dropping around the country, and the main reason for this is Brexit.
During an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr. Buchanan said that:
Students are weighing up their options and if they are ambitious and want to go to a highly ranked university, they are sometimes choosing subjects on that basis.
According to the 2017 and 2018 analysis of GCSE test takers, the number of students who decided to take the French language exam has significantly dropped over the course of one year.
Mr. Buchanan also stated that the current trend of students choosing to take the most accessible subjects for the GCSE’s exams should be changed, as this is not the way to build prosperity and development throughout Britain’s educational system.
To boost interest in foreign language GCSE exams, Mr. Buchanan has suggested that the exam questions should be simplified, so that more students would be compelled to take a test in a modern language discipline.