CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Changing trend for British people learning languages

12-06-2013 10:20 BJT

Watch Video

Play Video

In UK many people's inability to speak "important" foreign languages is considered an issue that could jeopardise the country's future prosperity. A recent survey found that three quarters of British adults are unable to hold a conversation in emerging languages such as Arabic, Mandarin and Japanese. Luckily people from all walks of life are teaming up to change that.

It’s becoming an unfamiliar sight. In a Mandarin class at St. George’s School for Girls in Edinburgh, students are taking the time to learn a language considered to be vital to the UK’s prosperity over the next 20 years.

It’s identified Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese as the most important languages to know over the next 20 years.

"The big myth that we need to bust with this report is the idea that English, on its own, is enough," said John Worne, British Council Director of Strategy. "If you go to China, if you go to Brazil where Portuguese is spoken, if you go to Russia, they’re places where it’s very hard either to do successful business, or indeed have a great holiday, if you haven’t got some smattering of the language."

Foreign players at Premier League team West Ham are also tackling Britain’s foreign language deficit. They are giving their academy children lessons in their native tongue.

"I think it’s good for the youngsters to get used to learning new languages because it enriches the Premier League and it could help them if they play with foreign team mates in the future," said footballer Alou Diarra of West Ham United.

A recent study shows fifteen percent of all British people can speak French, six percent German and four percent Spanish. But other languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, Russian and Japanese can only be spoken by one percent. Teachers and activist are hoping to turn the tide with their efforts.

Mandarin learning is on the rise in UK.

Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source: CCTV.com

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program