ERIC Number: ED439262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Tongue-Tied But Trying? A NIACE Survey on the Languages Adults Speak in Great Britain.
Tuckett, Alan; Cara, Sue
The language competence of adults in Great Britain was examined in a national study involving interviews between April 28 and May 9, 1999, with a representative sample of 3,967 adults over the age of 16 years. Of those surveyed, 58% spoke only their mother tongue, 29% spoke one additional language, and 10% spoke two additional languages. Fifteen percent of those surveyed were bilingual. Although 41% of those interviewed stated that they would like to learn an additional language, only 5% were currently learning a language. Younger people spoke more languages than older adults; 70% of respondents aged 16-19 years spoke more than one language. Fewer unemployed than employed people spoke additional languages. Social class was found to have a big impact on language learning: 65% of professional and managerial workers spoke more than one language, versus 49% of white collar workers, 34% of skilled manual workers, and 28% of the least-skilled individuals. Strong regional differences in the numbers of people speaking additional languages were identified. Only 10% of those whose first language was English spoke at least 2 other languages (versus 49% of people whose first language is a language other than English). Men and women tended to speak the same numbers of languages. (Contains 18 tables.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adults, Age Differences, Bilingualism, Blacks, Differences, Employment Patterns, Foreign Countries, Individual Characteristics, Influences, Language Attitudes, Language Dominance, Language Enrollment, Language Fluency, Language Skills, Language Usage, Literacy Education, Minority Groups, National Surveys, Native Speakers, Regional Characteristics, Second Language Learning, Second Languages, Sex Differences, Socioeconomic Status, Tables (Data), Trend Analysis
National Institute for Adult Continuing Education, 21 De Montfort Street, Leicester, LE1 7GE, United Kingdom (5 British pounds). Web site: http://www.niace.org.uk.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: European Social Fund, Dublin (Ireland).
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Adult Continuing Education, Leicester (England).
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)