A-level results 2019: Spanish overtakes French as most popular language

Spanish has become the most popular modern foreign language at A-level in England, overtaking French for the first time.

Figures released by the Joint Council for Qualifications today show that 7,932 pupils took Spanish A-level this year, up from 7,591 last year – an increase of 4.5 per cent.

The boost in popularity for Spanish has pushed French into second place. French saw a 3.4 per cent drop in entries with 7,601 pupils taking the subject this year, down from 7,874 last year.

Entries for German have been on the decline, but steadied this year as the subject had a small increase, with 2,864 entries compared to 2,859 last year.

Other modern foreign languages – which includes all languages except French, German, Irish, Spanish and Welsh – saw a 14.6 per cent slump this year, with just 7,762 entries compared to 9,091 last year.

No pupils in England studied Irish or Welsh First Language. Just one pupil studied Welsh Second Language, and achieved an A*.

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  1. Philip Robles

    Irish and Welsh are NOT foreign languages as they predate English and are spoken in Thuaisceart Éireann/NI and Wales/Cymru respectively, Welsh/Cymraeg being the most spoken language of all.

  2. As a former teacher of Italian in which I graduated, with French and Spanish to A level,I am sad to see the current decline in foreign languages .My son studied Spanish at IB. And is mixing with European students on Erasmus exchanges at his university.
    I am convinced that at least one language should be taught til GCSE.It is in the private schools where I live(Channel Isles)

  3. Emmanuel

    It is so sad to see comprehensive schools struggling to offer A Level MFLs. I am a fluent speaker of Spanish (I lived in Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain as a child) and I helped my daughter, who attended a comprehensive school, so much last year but she still only got a grade C and the other students did worse. The local grammar schools did so much better; I would love to know how they do it! As a fluent speaker I was able to speak in Spanish to my daughter’s teachers and they were very competent so I don’t know why it is so hard for sixth formers in comprehensive schools to get a decent grade in languages.