Last week's GCSE statistics revealed a slump in the number of students studying modern languages. Husband and wife Peter and Anne Goldstein think they have an answer: they have set up language-
exchange website to boost children's interest and expertise in learning foreign languages.
The couple, who believe the most effective way to improve a language is to live in the country where it is spoken, have created www.lingoo.eu, which enables parents to organise language-exchange holidays for their children.
French-born Mrs Goldstein, 48, a former teacher and journalist, tells People: "We feel the dominance of the English language in the world might be very detrimental to native English speakers. Today, an English-speaking child often asks: ‘Why should I go through the pain of learning a language if the world is happy to speak mine?'
"With Lingoo, families are allowed to choose who they want their child to stay with," adds Mr Goldstein, 49, a former director at Haymarket Publishing. "Parents can meet via the website, where security is a priority."
The couple, whose three children are bilingual, divide their time between their London and Paris offices.
"We are aware of the different approaches towards foreign languages on both sides of the Channel," says Mrs Goldstein.
"The problem is that the rest of the world is rapidly becoming multi-lingual."