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Significant rise in the number of London students taking less widely-taught languages

Success for students of Portuguese, Turkish and Chinese in Greater London is on the up, according to exam board OCR. The number of qualifications issued by OCR to people in Greater London learning this trio of less widely-taught languages has risen sharply in the past two years.

The capital is identified as one of several hotspots for less commonly- taught languages in figures released by the exam board to mark European Language Day. The rise is due to the popularity of OCR’s traditional qualifications such as GCSEs and A levels, alongside new “Asset Language” qualifications, which give learners the chance to be tested in small steps.

Across the capital in 2006/7, OCR issued:

·1,608 GCSE and A Level grades for Turkish

·786 GCSE and A Level grades for Portuguese

·918 Asset Languages awards for Chinese

OCR chief executive Greg Watson said: “Learning these languages has proved to be increasingly popular in London, with more significant rises than the rest of the country.

“We have worked hard to explore new ways of supporting language students and help the UK improve its skills in this area. Learners at all levels and of all ages are striving to be recognised for their efforts.”

Asset qualifications can be used from primary school level up to adult education. Asset helps learners of all ages gain confidence in languages with separate testing of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

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