Sprechen Sie DeutschAs I am a German teacher people will (quite rightly J) say that I am biased, but I have always said that for businesses German is a far more important language than other foreign languages.
Yesterday I read about the compulsory language lessons planned for primary schools and I wasn’t surprised when I read:  ‘The plans to be unveiled by the Education Secretary Michael Gove, coincide with a report from Britain’s bosses published today which warns that the UK has “the worst language proficiency in Europe”.
 
This report got my interest and I googled and found it – it’s the CBI/ Pearson Report and – surprise, surprise –  they say the same as I do:

Languages will help open up new markets to UK companies

Operating effectively in a global economy relies on the right language skills, but the UK has the worst language proficiency in Europe, according to the Education & Employer Taskforce. An overwhelming 72% of businesses say they value foreign language skills, most importantly for building relations with overseas contacts (39%). The major European languages continue to be the most in demand, but language skills geared towards doing business in China and the Middle East feature prominently:

  • German – 50%
  • French – 49%
  • Spanish – 37%
  • Mandarin – 25%
  • Polish 19%
  • Arabic – 19%
Call me biased, but now you know why I say that German is more important than other foreign languages!
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3 Responses to British Bosses value foreign language skills, especially German!

  1. ShaunGisbourne says:

    Time to brush up German skills since demand is rising for German. With the most stable economy in Europe, it’s hardly surprising. 

  2. ShaunGisbourne says:

    Schools seem to me to be like huge committees really. They are part of government after all. By the time everyone with influence in the decision making has been consulted, the decision either comes too late to have valuable impact or is shelved in favour of more pressing concerns. What irks me is that the core topic here is improving communication skills, something which is given precedent in many a workplace as you point out. German should be on the curriculum. 

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