Languages: the State of the Nation
Demand and Supply of Language Skills in the UK
The British Academy has today launched Languages: the State of the Nation. The report, prepared by Teresa Tinsley, outlines the baseline data on foreign language use and deficits in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Key findings from the report include:
· There is strong evidence that the UK is suffering from a growing deficit in foreign language skills at a time when globally demand for language skills is expanding.
· The range and nature of languages being taught is insufficient to meet current and future demand
· Language skills are needed at all levels in the workforce, and not simply by an internationally-mobile elite
· A weak supply of language skills is pushing down demand and creating a vicious circle of monolingualism
· Languages spoken by British school children, in addition to English, represent a valuable future source of supply – if these skills can be developed appropriately.
These findings present us with cause for both cautious optimism and rising concern. Our diverse demographics and world-class higher education system provide us with the tools to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future. But, too often, education policies are operating in isolation of demand. The report concludes that without action from government, employment and education sectors, we will be unable to meet our aspirations for growth and global influence.
Click hereto download the Summary and Full Reports.