From education to employment

Learners of all ages get involved in European Day of languages

Tongues will be wagging on Wednesday as the UK marks the seventh annual European Day of Languages. The Day, which is a Europe-wide celebration of all languages, will see learners of all ages engaged in a range of events in schools, colleges, workplaces and local communities. Many people will get a first taste of a new language while for others the Day is an opportunity to show off what they have learned. FE News is marking the day with coverage of events around the country

Adult learners will be actively involved, a series of taster sessions from the Open University just one example of what is taking place across the UK. Employers also keen to boost language skills will be encouraging their staff to participate. In Yorkshire retail workers can get a taster of Polish, Italian or German and SMEs trading with China and Arabic-speaking countries can take advantage of intensive business briefings. In Liverpool, bus drivers have been learning Spanish with which to greet their passengers. The BBC will be marking the Day with the launch of a series of free twelve-week language courses in French, Spanish, German and Italian.

Meanwhile, CILT’s national Employers Advisory Group for languages will meet to consider new research by Professor James Foreman-Peck of the Cardiff Business School on the economic benefits of languages skills.

At European level, the Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, will be launching the report of the High Level Group on Multilingualism, which has been meeting over the past year. Isabella Moore, Chief Executive of CILT the National Centre for Languages, who has been a member of the group, said “I am delighted that languages are at last being seen as crucial in an economic context as well as for education and culture. The Business Forum launched by the Commission last week will help put languages at the heart of the Lisbon agenda for growth and jobs.”

Related Articles