An Ofsted report has highlighted that there are "significant barriers to good language learning" in many British secondary schools.
It was noted that in some state schools there is not a single pupil studying a modern foreign language at GCSE level.
Inspectors claimed that too often lessons are "uninspiring" and languages are not brought to life.
"Too many students are failing to reach their full potential and do not choose to undertake more advanced study beyond 16 because of the way they are taught languages in many secondary schools," said Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert.
"In particular, secondary schools should ensure their students get regular opportunities to speak and read realistic material in the target language so they build the confidence to use their skills in the world beyond the classroom."
She added that to raise standards schools should address the areas of concern that are highlighted in this report.