Thursday 24 August 2023


  • Languages continue to decline across the board at GCSE
  • Spanish retains its title as most popular language, followed by French, Irish and then German
  • German saw a decline of  22.96%, Irish by 18.18%, French by 5.23% and Spanish by 2.97%

 Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said: 

“On behalf of British Council Northern Ireland, congratulations to all students collecting their results today.

“Today’s results reflect the effort and determination of our students and we wish them well as they take their next steps into further education, training, employment and other pathways.

“Once again, there has been a decrease in the numbers taking GCSE languages in Northern Ireland. In our increasingly multicultural society, it is more important than ever to promote languages in our schools and colleges, and for our young people to see the value of languages. The benefits cannot be overstated – it is a valuable skill, not only for future employment, but also for a deeper appreciation and understanding of the wider world.

“Our most recent Language Trends Northern Ireland report revealed that pupils do enjoy learning languages, but don’t see the potential for languages to be a part of their future careers.”

The British Council’s latest Language Trends Northern Ireland report was published in June. Find out more about Language Trends Northern Ireland here:

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact:

Claire McAuley, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Twitter: @BCouncil_NI, Facebook – Instagram: BritishCouncilNorthernIreland

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.