Plan to avoid post-Brexit language crisis

Modern languages teachers could be even more in demand once the UK leaves the EU.

MPs now plan how to prevent a language crisis from occurring in the UK once Article 50 is triggered by March 2017. As of now, the country relies on the EU to negotiate trade deals, but this is to change once the UK has left the union. This means that we need more UK officials with language skills to complete our trade talks.

However, the lack of language skill that the country currently possess, loses the UK an estimated 3.5% economic performance according to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages.

Baroness Coussins, co-chair of the group said: “Brexit must make the UK’s language skills a top policy issue.

“Language skills are vital for our exports, education, public services and diplomacy.”


They are also keen to continue the Erasmus+ scheme, where young individuals are able to study, train, volunteer or gain work experience abroad.

Further discussions with the EU will assess the UK’s future with the programme, but this is something on their ‘checklist’ that they are eager to keep alive. As well as:

  • A guarantee for residency for all EU nationals currently living in the UK
  • A plan to nationally boost language education from primary school through to post-graduate level

At the current rate, we do not produce enough linguists in this country to fill modern languages teaching vacancies that already exist.

Therefore, the need for native speakers from countries such as France, Germany and Spain are essential in keeping the education running. But how easy will that be come post-Brexit?

Here at Bournemouth University, there is no option of studying a language at degree level, so we will not be massively effected.

However, schools in the local area that offer a language at GCSE or A-level may experience loses in terms of what subjects are available due to lack of teaching staff.

According to reports from a Department of Education spokeswoman, the number of students taking a language at GCSE has increased from 40% in 2010, to 49% this year, due to new government policies. While this could be the solution to our problem, teachers are necessary in supporting this increasing figure.