Languages & education – Finland vs. UK

If education was the same as football, then Finland would win every game every year against the UK easily.

A new paper from the British Council has come out with a shocking report that an increasing number of young British school students between the ages of 14 and 16 years have decided that learning any foreign language is a waste of their time. 

In 2002, according to this report, some 76% of this group studied at least one foreign language, but by 2017 this percentage had dropped to 47%!

Finns must learn languages and not just one but at least 3, and more if they have any sense. The whole point is that learning languages opens up a huge new world that dear Mr. Google will never discover… and that is a good reason to understand why Finns do better in exports than many other countries.

Learning languages opens up different cultures, new ways of thinking, a deeper understanding of neighbouring countries, as well as greatly increasing the possibilities for better paid and more interesting jobs.

The Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce, has warned: “Few businesspeople are confident enough to conduct deals in the buyers’ language, while non-exporters see a lack of proficiency in another language as a barrier to do so.”

It appears obvious to all but many Brits that when foreigners can speak English they can access the British market, yet they cannot access the foreign markets because they do not speak their languages. 

It is no wonder that Brexit won the day with such a backward-looking country… learning languages is not just for fun but for a better life.

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