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F.8 What do you do in the morning
F.9 Making a weekend plan
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Top Notch TV 1
1.1 Giorgio Moretti
1.2 Interviewing Giorgio
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1.7 What's in the salad
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1.13 Mr. Rashid's vacation
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1.15 Which do you prefer?
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1.17 A trip to South Africa
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Top Notch TV 2
2.1 Have we met before?
2.2 The Museum of Cheese
2.3 Choosing a movie
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2.8 A luxury van
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2.15 Art for the office
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3.01 A little early
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3.17 Discussing politics
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3.19 Planning a honeymoon
3.20 A trip to Tahiti

isten in English

Language Learning in England

Published: 5.03.2019
Level 4   |   Time: 2:58
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (4.15.2019)

There has been a steady decline in the second language education in England.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • appalled [adj] - horrified, strongly dislike
  • an analysis [n] - a detailed examination or study
  • an 18 year low [exp] - the lowest point within 18 years
  • a drive [n] - a desire
  • a decline [n] - a reduction
  • a critical tipping point [exp] - an important moment when something changes a lot
  • tolerant [adj] - accepting something that one does not agree with
  • globally mobile [exp] - able to move around the world
  • culture ambassadors [n] - people who represent a culture
  • Mandarin [n] - the main language of China
  • pupils [n] - students
  • flourish [v] - develop rapidly and successfully
  • scrap [v] - throw away, cancel
  • weigh up [phv] - choose between

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. The woman begins the news story by speaking German and French.

  2. Foreign language learning in schools in England is at an all-time low point.

  3. The two students at Cardiff University are losing their ability to speak German.

  4. Cardiff University has stopped offering German A level classes.

  5. The student thinks that German in not an important language anymore because of Brexit.

  6. The study of both German and French as second languages seems to be declining in England.

  7. 75% of the world's population doesn't speak English.

  8. Professor Gorrara says that second language learning helps people be more tolerant of other cultures.

  9. Professor Gorrara suggests that second language learning will help students in their professional careers.

  10. Professor Gorrara states that second language learning improves your use of your first language.

  11. Many students think that studying other European languages is too esay.

  12. Langauges such as Mandarin and Spanish are becoming more popualar in England.

  13. Some people think that English students should focus on learning the languages of the countries that are closest to England.

triangle Script

[German] [French]

If you don't speak French or German, or you do and were just appalled by how I do it, I asked you how you are and if you speak another language.

Well here in England, new BBC analysis of data has shown that foreign language learning in schools is at an 18 year low. The BBC's Education Editor Branwyn Jeffreys sent this report.


Alice and Jocelyn, two students at Cardiff University, have a disappearing skill: they've learnt German and with the language an understanding of the history and culture of one of our biggest European neighbours.

There were 250 people in my year, and I was the only one doing German A level. They actually don't do that anymore in my school.

So that's completely gone as an option for people who are younger than you. How do you feel about that?

I think it's really sad. I think especially with what's going on with Brexit and everything, it's such a shame that we're losing such an important European language from our schools. Germany is a really cool place and I think if we're losing German as a subject in our schools, then we're losing that that drive to go and visit Germany and incorporate both our cultures and unite as one.

The decline in language learning has been happening for 20 years, but many now believe it's reached a critical tipping point. French appears to be following a similar pattern of decline. Professor Claire Gorrara at Cardiff University says linguists across the UK are seriously worried.

People may speak English, but we know that three quarters of the world's population does not speak English. It also opens up to other cultures, enables us to be more tolerant of otherness and other cultures. And for young people today to be globally mobile and to present a global Britain, they will need to be able to access other cultures in ways that make them valuable employees and valuable cultural ambassadors. And without languages, [they are] they will be deficient in both those areas.

The perception is that languages are too hard. Schools worry about their results. Pupils too.


But on a smaller scale, other languages are flourishing. Melbourne Village College in Cambridgeshire scrapped French and German three years ago. Instead, Spanish and Mandarin are among the options these pupils weigh up.

It's just quite unfortunate and different languages because not everyone can learn English just because we don't want to learn every other language.

I think it's really important because you get to learn other places, cultures, and their like their food, their cuisine, and everything like that.

Some will argue this is the future: languages with big global reach. Others will fear we’re becoming ever more distant psychologically from the countries geographically closest to us.

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