City Lit Blog

City Lit welcomes today's report about the importance of languages

Story added 2nd Dec 2020


Today’s British Academy report  The Importance of Languages in Global Context – states that the pandemic is a wake-up call to the decline of  language learning across English-speaking world. 

In their press release they state that the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates how essential foreign language skills are to international cooperation and highlights the need for Anglophone nations to step up language learning.  The report calls on governments, policy makers, educators and industry to take "concerted, systematic and coordinated" action to increase capacity for easily accessible education in a broad range of languages.  The statement is signed by the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Society of Canada

To build foreign language skills in countries where English dominates, the Academies call for more language education in schools, colleges, universities and workplaces, with three main goals: 

-            To celebrate all languages, including those spoken by minority and indigenous populations. This means protecting against discrimination on the basis of language, preserving linguistic diversity and continuing access to education across a full range of languages 

-            To acknowledge the English language's position as a world language by enabling full access to literate English, recognising this may be enhanced by awareness of other languages  

-            To gain greater language skills by providing every student with access to learning additional languages. This will foster literacy and educational attainment, build confidence, enhance employability and help them to navigate multicultural environments. 

The academies also argue that students from every socioeconomic background must have equal access to language education to reach their full potential in the 21st century.  The report outlines necessity, however, City Lit’s own experience during the pandemic has shown that there is demand for language skills at all levels; not only in London but throughout the UK.  Demand for online language classes has grown significantly since March 2020 as people look to revive long-lost foreign language skills, learn a totally new language, upskill to help with their career, or simply partake in an enjoyable class to gain a lost sense of community.  We help to make those classes accessible through our student bursary scheme which strives to ensure that finances are not a barrier to lifelong learning.

City Lit’s passion for languages over the last 101 years has seen us champion the teaching of some of the indigenous languages the report discusses, from Cornish, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic as well as Welsh.  We know that preserving linguistic diversity is important, not only culturally, but helps with the learning of languages from across the modern and ancient worlds.  We’re happy to lead the charge to unlocking the skill of new languages to those across London and throughout the UK.  

Find out more about the languages we teach at City Lit >