[lg policy] Urgent action needed to close UK languages gap

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu May 26 10:54:13 EDT 2016


Urgent action needed to close UK languages gap

25/05/2016
[image: public/news/thumbnail_swahili-cropped-for-web.png]

The UK Government needs to urgently adopt a new, comprehensive languages
strategy if it is to keep pace with its international competitors and
reduce a skills deficit that has wide-reaching economic, political, and
military effects.


It is vital that we communicate clearly and simply the value of languages
for the health of the nation. English is necessary, but not sufficient.
*  -  Wendy Ayres-Bennett*

The findings are included in a new report,* The Value of Languages,*
published by the University of Cambridge this week, after wide-ranging
consultation with government bodies and agencies including the MoD, Foreign
and Commonwealth Office, GCHQ, and the Department for Education.

The report argues for the full contribution of languages to the UK economy
and society to be realised across government, rather than falling solely
under the remit of the Department for Education, thereby allowing a
centralised approach in how language impacts the UK in almost every sphere
of 21st-century life.

Recent independent research, highlighted within the report, indicates the
language deficit could be costing the UK economy billions of pounds per
year.

*The Value of Languages*
<http://www.publicpolicy.cam.ac.uk/research-impact/value-of-languages>
draws on discussions at a workshop held in Cambridge, co-chaired by
Professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett of the Department of Theoretical and Applied
Linguistics, and Baroness Coussins, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary
Group on Languages. The workshop was attended by representatives from
across government and is likely to inform future policy decisions in this
area.

Professor Ayres-Bennett said: “It is vital that we communicate clearly and
simply the value of languages for the health of the nation. English is
necessary, but not sufficient. We cannot leave language policy to the
Department for Education alone."

Read the full story
<http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/urgent-action-needed-to-close-uk-languages-gap>

https://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/news/urgent-action-needed-to-close-uk-languages-gap/
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