According to recent reports from both Cambridge University and routes into languages, the uptake of all modern foreign languages at GCSE has fallen over the past 10 years, but no language has fallen quite as dramatically as German. In fact, according to Cambridge University, less than 12% of GSCE students in state schools across the UK now take German as a GCSE. In Wales alone the German uptake rate has dropped by 10% in the last 10 years alone. However, before you read this and decide not to take German as a GCSE subject, here are some reasons you should reconsider:
It will put you ahead of the competition
With GCSE, A-Level and university uptake rates this low, in 10 years’ time there will be a massive shortage of German speakers in the UK and abroad. Learning German will help you with university and future job applications.
With 120 million native speakers, German is Europe’s most widely spoken mother tongue. Add to that the fact that it is the second most spoken second language in Europe (behind English), it means that by learning German you will never face tricky language situations on trips to Europe again! Follow this link to find where German is spoken in the world: http://german.about.com/od/culture/a/germanspoken_3.htm
The internet is filled with German
The internet is a big place, but with 8 million internet sites using ‘.de’ as their domain, German is second only to ‘.com’ in terms of the number of internet pages. By learning German you will never get bored on the internet again!
The opportunity to explore Germany’s rich heritage
Whether it be history, literature or architecture you are interested in, Germany has it all. From the old hanseatic city of Hamburg in the north to the Bavarian capital Munich in the south, no two German towns look the same. A range of historical time periods have also influenced Germany’s culture, and this can also be seen in every city, especially Berlin. You can also lose yourself in famous books by Goethe, Schiller or Kafka. This shows learning German is much more than just learning a language.
The last point on this list is probably the most important, learning German is fun! Speak to anyone who has studied the language and they will all tell you the same. It is challenging, but being able to communicate with people from a different country is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. Studying German is an investment in your future!