More of us living in western societies tend to speak English to our children at the detriment of our own local languages. The British academy policy centre finding reveals that, language matters a lot. We should try to engage our children with our home language more. Although our children tend to prefar anwering the phone, talking us and our friends in English, Swedish, Denish or French, we should lead the way in talking to them in our native languages. This will strengthen their identity and give them something that is theirs.
"Language matters more and more"
On Wednesday 9 February, the British Academy Policy Centre launched its latest Position Statement, Language matters more and more.The British Academy has for some time been concerned that fewer and fewer students are studying languages at school or at university. Given the interconnectedness between language learning at all levels (from primary, secondary and tertiary levels), language research, teacher training, and wider intercultural understandings, the Academy believes that this decline is damaging the whole education system. Our Language Matters report (published last year) warned of the damaging impact on universities, the skills base of UK citizens, and the UK’s future international competitiveness.
Language matters more and more will make recommendations on how the higher education sector itself can incentivise and increase language take-up at both school and university levels, whilst building the capacity of the UK’s knowledge economy to meet national and international challenges.
Language matters more and more was launched at a special event on 9 February 2011 by the British Academy Policy Centre, bringing together experts to discuss their different perspectives, and the action that needs to be taken to promote and incentivise the learning of foreign languages both at school and at university.
Professor Nigel Vincent, the Academy’s Vice-President (Research and Higher Education Policy) spoke to the British Academy’s recommendations and new programme of funding to strengthen support for Languages and Quantitative Skills; Baroness Jean Coussins, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages, spoke about the need for a national recovery programme for languages; Chief Executive of the Council for Industry and Higher Education, David Docherty provided a business perspective on the value of language learning; Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost of University College London spoke about what universities and the Higher Education language community can do to strengthen language learning provisions; and the Rt Hon David Willetts, MP, Minister for Universities and Science provided the government perspective on the priority it places on language skills.
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH Tel: 020 7969 5200 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7969 5200 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Fax: 020 7969 5300, Web: www.britac.ac.uk