In July 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU in what is known as the Brexit referendum. Even before the referendum, the British—like native speakers of English in general—were not known as the keenest foreign language learners.

Has the outcome of the Brexit referendum had an impact on the motivation to learn foreign languages of the UK? If yes, how strong is the impact?


1 Answer 1

  • According to Lingvist, they saw a big 91% uptick in the usage of their app after Brexit, suggesting that Brits realize learning a foreign language will suddenly become more important.

  • Unfortunately, I can't access this article, but it looks very relevant. Same for this scholarly article.

  • Another hypothesis (not exactly your question but tangentially related) is that English will become less important due to no longer having and automatic right to live and work in the UK.

There are other articles besides these, but it seems like the general thought is that Brits will study foreign languages more now that English will become slightly less important in Europe.

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