[lg policy] British Academy's Language programme

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 7 14:51:08 UTC 2013

 The British Academy's language programme

Launched in 2011, the programme reflects the Academy's longstanding
concerns about the deficit in language learning in UK education. It funds
research and initiatives that promote best practice, and seeks to influence
language policy

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 [image: speech bubble with text]
British Academy funds research and initiatives that promote best practice,
and seeks to influence language policy Photograph: British Academy

The Academy has repeatedly stressed that language scholarship is a
long-term investment: for the individual, for research, for competitiveness
and for society at large. In 2011, the British Academy launched a four-year
programme to address the skills deficit in language learning in UK
education and research. The programme is seeking to supply leadership to
help strengthen skills in these vital areas. We do this through funding
research and relevant initiatives, and seeking to influence policy in these

There is strong evidence that the UK is suffering from a growing deficit in
foreign language skills at a time when globally the demand is expanding.
The problem relates to the range and nature of languages being taught at
all levels, as well as the way in which employers respond to the weak
supply of these skills.

The Academy, alongside many others, has repeatedly called for action to
address severe skills shortages in languages – within the humanities and
social sciences and more widely.

The skills deficits are largely rooted in the way that these 2 areas are
taught (from school, through to university and beyond) – but also in the
way that they/their importance is understood more widely.

Our language programme engages in:
- High level activity working with key stakeholders with the aim of
facilitating greater change and deepening awareness within relevant
communities; and
- Identifying and promoting best practice, and supporting research and
scholarship in language learning in the UK.

The British Academy's language work includes: fellowships, scholarships and
grants (largely delivered through the Academy's existing schemes); policy
reports, statements and events; prizes, partnerships and collaborations.

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