As reported in the Telegraph today, foreign language GCSEs are making a return to the syllabus.

The current government is ‘overhauling’ the education system and this means that many more pupils will be taking a GCSE in languages including Spanish, French and German. Languages are counted as one of five ‘core’ subjects which also include English, maths, science and a humanities subject. Interestingly, the language requirement also includes ancient languages, allowing for students to study Latin as well as more contemporary options such as Mandarin.

I am, of course, in favour of people learning new languages. But although this policy seems like a good idea, as someone who has a GCSE in French and can barely speak a sentence in it, I have to wonder if it’s going to be effective. Post-16, are students going to continue with their language studies or, like me, forget what they have learned only to regret it later?