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Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education

First published:
5 December 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

In October 2015, the previous Welsh Government published Global futures: A plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales 2015–2020. This plan was the government’s response to the decline over the last 10 years in the take-up of modern foreign languages in Wales.

Today, I am publishing a report into the second year of the plan. Working with partners from across the sector, including; the four regional education consortia, language institutes, universities in Wales, Estyn, the British Council, the Open University, Confucius Institutes, BBC Wales, Routes into Languages Cymru, and the teaching profession, progress has been made in implementing the vision of Global futures.  

Particular highlights from the second year include:

  • the success of the Welsh Government funded Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Student Mentoring Scheme, managed by Cardiff University. Independent evaluation has confirmed that the mentoring scheme is significantly increasing the numbers of pupils studying languages at GCSE. The increase during phase 1 was 57%. In phase 2, this was 50%, and included a far larger cohort of mentees.  As recognition of their achievements, the project was awarded the prestigious Threlford Cup by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics in November, as an outstanding project supporting languages in schools;
  • the establishment of the Goethe-Institut and Spanish Embassy Education Office presence at Cardiff University’s School of Modern Foreign Languages through funding from Welsh Government;
  • the increase in those learning Mandarin in Wales from 5,261 in 2015/16 to 6,941 school pupils in 2016/17. The number of Confucius Classrooms in Wales has also increased from 13 to 19.  
  • success at the German Teacher Awards 2017, where 2 of the 3 winners were teachers from South Wales’ EAS Consortium, recognised as having made an outstanding and dedicated contribution to German teaching;
  • continuing school-to-school support to partner primary and secondary schools from the Lead Schools/Curriculum Hub Schools; and
  • the range of MFL resources created and shared on Hwb, and virtual MFL networks for each of the regional education consortia.  

Copies of the Global Futures plan and the annual report can be found by clicking on the following link: