A BBC journalist has suggested that the TV, Internet and music are turning teenagers off learning foreign languages.
Kate Adie, who speaks French and German, said it was a "huge shame" that demand for foreign languages had dropped off in schools.
"What you do have is the influence of both the internet and pop music and TV," the Daily Express quoted her as saying ahead of a conference to nurture teachers' interest in languages.
"When you can get these three in your own language, young people might be quite reasonable to ask: 'Why bother with another one?'
"One of the great misnomers is that English is the most-spoken language. In the future, languages like Chinese will be heard all over the world," she added.
Around 11,000 fewer students took French GCSE last summer - a drop of 5.9 percent on 2009. Entries for German dropped by 4.5 percent, around 3,300 down.