Modern Languages GCSE/National 5 Results, 2021

England results:

Numbers taking French at GCSE in England in 2021 were up slightly at 124,739 compared to 124,404 in 2020 with 32.9% gaining grade 7 and above compared to 29.9% in 2020.

German numbers were down with 36,933 students taking GCSE in 2021 compared to 40,748 in 2020. The percentage gaining grade 7 and above is 38%, up from 34.1% in 2020.

Numbers taking Spanish GCSE in 2021 have risen to 108,982 from 104,280 in 2020 with 34.4% gaining grade 7 and above compared to 32.5% in 2020.

Numbers taking languages other than French, German and Spanish in 2021, were up slightly to 24,103 compared to 22,344 in 2020 and 72.7% gained grade 7 and above compared to 68.6% in 2020.

Overall, despite the drop in numbers of young people taking German at GCSE in 2021, overall numbers taking a language rose by nearly 3,000 to 294,757 compared to 291,776 in 2020.

Northern Ireland results:

There were 3838 young people taking Spanish GCSE in Northern Ireland in 2021, an increase on the 3583 in 2020, with 45.8% gaining A or A* in 2021 compared to 43.4% in 2020.

Numbers taking French GCSE in Northern Ireland in 2021 were down slightly at 3567 compared to 3681 in 2020 with 46.0% gaining A or A*compared to 42.2% in 2020.

Numbers taking German GCSE were 692 in 2021 down from 835 in 2020 and 47.8% gained A or A* compared to 41.4% in 2020.

Numbers taking Irish GCSE were 1757 in 2021 compared to 1764 in 2020 with 59.4% gaining A or A* compared to 53.5% in 2020.

121 students in Northern Ireland took GCSEs in other Modern Languages in 2021, down from 233 in 202080.2% gained A or A* in 2021, against 76% in 2020.

Overall slightly fewer young people took a language GCSE in 2021; Northern Ireland saw 9975 entries compared to 10096 in 2020.

Scotland results:

The numbers taking Chinese in 2021 at National 5 were 245 compared to 258 in 202074.7% of these received an A grade as opposed to 76% in 2020.

Numbers taking French in 2021 were down slightly to 7,115 compared to 7,752 in 2020 and 60.1% received an A compared to 59.9% in 2020.

German numbers were down slightly at 1,422 in 2021 compared to 1,712 in 2020 with 58.4% gaining an A grade compared to 57.9% in 2020.

161 students took Gaelic in 2021 up from 125 in 2020, and 54.7% received an A grade compared to 50.4% in 2020

Italian numbers dropped to 114 in 2021 from 280 in 2020 and 60.5% gained an A grade compared to 57.9% in 2020

Spanish numbers at GCSE were slightly down at 5,424 compared to 5813 in 2020 with 59% gaining an A grade compared to 56.4% in 2020

66 students took Urdu at GCSE in 2021 as compared to 87 in 2020 and 78.8% gained an A grade compared to 89.7%in 2020

The total number of entries for languages at National 5 in 2021 fell to 14,547 from 16,027 in 2020 and French remained the most commonly chosen language at this level.

Wales results:

Numbers taking French GCSE in Wales in 2021 dropped slightly to 2711 from 3040 in 2020 and 54.6% gained A or A* compared to 46.1% in 2020.

Numbers taking German were 485 in 2021, down from 556 in 2020 and 59.2% of these students gained A or A* compared to 52.0% in 2020.

Numbers taking Spanish rose in 2021 to 1,553 up from 1,120 in 2020 and 50.9% gained an A or A* compared to 46% in 2020.

Numbers taking Welsh as a second language increased slightly in 2021 to 21,798 from 21,351 in 2020 with those gaining A or A* dropping to 26.5% compared to 28.2% in 2020.

The number of students taking other Modern Languages decreased in 2021 to 175 from 264 in 2020 with those gaining A or A* dropping slightly to 80% compared to 80.7% in 2020.

Overall, this represents a slight increase of just under 400 Modern Languages entries in Wales to 26722 in 2021 from 26331 in 2020.

We congratulate all these young linguists on their success and wish them well for their future studies.

Sources

The Welsh/ English / NI results are published by JCQ – Joint Council for Qualifications

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