by Martin Berger
In our globalised world, foreign language skills are becoming more and more important for successful career progression.
According to the BBC, the number of people able to function in a language other than their native tongue is starting to be a problem for the future of the country, and its global position as an economic power.
The issue of not starting early
The British Council (international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations) says that schools across the country should be offering a wider range of languages courses and that language teaching should get a higher status in education. The warning is that if the UK doesn’t fix the problem soon, the country will suffer economically as well as culturally.
One of the key issues in the UK is that schools are not teaching the emerging languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese. This means that as these regions become powerhouses in the future, the UK will be at a disadvantage in communicating with them.
A little less conversation
The BBC says that three-quarters of UK adults are not able to hold a conversation in any of the 10 most used languages as defined by the British Council. Spanish was chosen as the top language, followed by Arabic, French, Mandarin and German.
The call is for the UK government to create a stronger connection between language teaching and international business, education and culture. However the onus needs to be on business too.
The role of business
Businesses should invest into language teaching of such languages that are beneficial to them. While in education a bigger emphasis should be put into developing those language skills of minority communities within the UK.
That’s why Wolfestone are involved with CILT Cymru and local schools, to encourage the use of language and show students the kind of careers languages can lead to.
What do you think? Are language important for the future prosperity of your country?
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