In terms of language learning, we’re a nation of committed non-swimmers faced with a swimming pool – anxious about diving in and not convinced of the joys of taking the plunge, writes John Worne

Can’t, won’t, don’t, three words which sum up our national view on speaking foreign languages. Of course it’s not entirely true, but last week saw another day of disappointment for language lovers, as we saw the continued decline in UK students choosing to study foreign languages at university level.

I’m pretty much lost for words, having written and spoken on this topic many, many times in the last few years.

So for inspiration I turn to the writer and author Christopher de Bellaigue, who wrote to encourage me in my labours last autumn:

“It’s as well to remind ourselves that our ancestors thought nothing of picking up languages: one for the village, the other for the town, and perhaps another one entirely for the capital city, and that nowadays supposedly less educated people in other countries can end up knowing half a dozen. More.

See: The Telegraph

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