Focus on languages is gaining momentum in the UK. At this year’s Language Show Live in Olympia, London, Rosetta Stone was the proud sponsor of the Language Leaders Summit looking at the ‘The Road Ahead’ for language education policy up to 2025.
The summit brought together key influencers in the industry, including Baroness Jean Coussins, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages, and Bernardette Holmes, Campaign Director of Speak to the Future and Principal Researcher of Born Global, to share their thoughts on why languages are important in today’s society and how the UK can improve its linguistic ability.
During the summit, Holmes shared latest research findings on language skills for employment, followed by two panel discussions looking at understanding the value of languages for employment. Both the research and panels are particularly pertinent, given the recent ‘Manifesto for Languages’ estimate that the UK economy loses £48 billion a year due to poor language skills.
Humair Naqvi, Rosetta Stone’s Enterprise & Education Regional Director, who participated on one of the panels, highlighted that “In UK economy we have a skills gap in languages. Whilst Government, the Education Sector and all other mainstream stakeholders repair the damage of the last 20 years, we need to thoroughly join up the dots in the language learning process to fill the gap and technology can help tofacilitate that. As a global organisation that has in-depth knowledge of the requirements of Educational Institutions and Organisations, both Public and Corporate Sectors, Rosetta Stone work with numerous employers globally and have found that online learning offers an increasingly effective way for employers to implement language learning to their work force globally.”
But also Educational Organisations had the chance to show how they are investing into their students language skills. Bethnal Green Academy is at the forefront of schools that are supporting their students in learning not just a second language but numerous languages. During the day, one of the most popular, if not brief, sessions was a 10 min window in which the students of Bethnal Green Academy spoke to the audience in an impressive number of languages including French, Spanish and Bengali.
The day wrapped up with Baroness Jean Coussins, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages discussing the ‘Manifesto for Languages,’ calling for all political parties to recognise the value of language skills.