As almost 50 European nations celebrate a Day of Languages, 300 pupils in schools across the UK are set to receive free access to online language learning in a groundbreaking programme to boost language learning in underprivileged areas.
London, September 26: Today, in the culmination of the #languages4schools initiative launched by Rosetta Stone on July 9, Gary Lineker, ambassador of #languages4schools, will announce the 10 schools across the UK that will receive free language course licenses for a year. The #languages4schools initiative was launched to help boost the number of people in the UK who are able to speak a second language. A survey conducted by the language learning company earlier this year revealed that less than 1 in ten Brits are able to speak more than one language.
“The #languages4schools programme was designed to help pupils in UK’s underprivileged areas get access to extra free courses to help improve their language skills. We invited schools in inner city areas to tell us why their pupils would benefit from free access to language learning for a year. Language enthusiasts, who bought a new language on RosettaStone.co.uk in the period of July to September, automatically contributed tokens that went into the #languages4schools fund. The aim was to collect 26,000 tokens until September 26, the European Day of Languages, giving 30 students in ten schools the opportunity to learn a new language,” explains Gustaf Nordbäck, Managing Director-EMEA at Rosetta Stone.
European Day of Languages was launched by the Council of Europe in 2001 to celebrate and encourage language learning and its ability to foster understanding between cultures. Gary Lineker, English former footballer and sports broadcaster and ambassador of the #languages4schools project says: “During my football career I realised quickly what a difference language skills can make. Speaking Spanish and Japanese has opened doors in my career and helped me bridge cultural differences, both in my personal and business life.”
The Rosetta Stone survey also revealed that despite the relatively low level of language skills in the UK there is an increasing awareness of the value of learning a foreign language in helping people realise their potential in a globalised workplace. Rosetta Stone reveals that half of Brits deem it very important that young people learn a foreign language during the early stages of their lives.
Gary Lineker says: “In fact, according to the Rosetta Stone survey over a fifth (21%) of Brits who speak a second language say that it has allowed them to further their career. Investing in the skill set of young people today, will increase their understanding of other cultures, but will also open doors to new opportunities. Young people will be employers and employees of tomorrow who will bridge cultural differences – thanks to their language skills and cultural understanding.”
Gustaf Nordbäck says: “Our latest survey reveals that 21% of Brits regret not having paid more attention to language learning when younger. We launched the #languages4schools project, because we believe that anyone at any age should be given the opportunity to learn a language. Thanks to our language learners, who contributed with every purchase to our #languages4schools fund, we can today donate 300 1-year language licenses to 10 inner-city schools in the UK.”