2017: Changing world,
Many of the values which we hold dear – language as a source of mutual understanding, the value of communication, openness to the world – have been called into question. In the coldness of this winter there are lessons to be learned about the strength of an opposing tide – the fear of change and the desire to return to an imagined simplicity.
This does not change what we believe, but it creates new and more challenging contexts in which we work. We know that languages are for all, that openness is not the preserve of an elite, and yet in our schools they are becoming more marginalised than ever. It has become an annual ritual to lament the decline in numbers of learners: languages for the few; while the “gift of bilingualism” offered by immigrant communities is largely ignored.
Are we without hope? Of course not. As always new solutions are emerging, new answers being sought. Teachers continue to find ways to engage with learners. Although much official support for languages has disappeared since 2010, new possibilities emerge – in teacher organisations such as ALL, in new networks and the creativity of the classroom.
We hope to identify and support these forces for change in our changing world, not least by showing that there is continuity in our history – both lessons from the past and principles which do not change.
Our own role, however, will be more modest. This is in part a question of resources, but also a reflection of the passing of time. We must do what can be of use. This means a more focused range of activity, and so a more focused (smaller!) website. We will leave the news review to others more equipped to respond – ALL and Speak to the Future for example. We will though leave the past news items as an archive which should be of interest.
You will also find information about past and present policies on languages in the UK and more widely.
We will highlight those areas where The Languages Company is active:
Since 2010 we have highlighted the city as a source of change and a possibility for the future. Many of the lessons about today’s confusing world can be understood from our studies of the multilingual city – LUCIDE, Euromec – which highlight both the dangers and the potential solutions.
Support for language learning, language teaching & information on languages policy.
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