International Education Week 2016: Make Time for Languages


14th-18th November marks the British Council’s International Education Week and the theme for 2016 is #MakeTime4Languages.

Across the country, language teachers face challenges in engaging young people in language learning and in studying for foreign language qualifications. Primary schools in England are grappling with the new requirement to teach languages at Key Stage 2. At the same time, whilst the number of young people studying foreign languages at GCSE has stabilised in recent years, language A-Level entries continue to decline. For pupils who do not grow up in bilingual households, school is the key site for intervention on languages.

However the importance of languages is often not recognised by children at the young age where they will most easily be able to learn languages so as part of the Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures programmes, we run a campaign called Inspiring Languages which encourages our volunteers to go into schools to talk about the importance of languages. This can range from inviting volunteers to talk in a classroom, assembly or to help judge a language contest!

3,500 of our Inspiring the Future volunteers have made themselves available to speak to young people about all the wonderful reasons having even a basic proficiency of a second language is so useful. The languages they are equipped to speak about include French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Urdu, and many more. With so many volunteers eager to help why not log in to your account and invite a working professional to broaden your pupils’ horizons.

To log in to your Inspiring the Future account to invite a volunteer to talk about the importance of languages, go to our website here

You can read more about Inspiring Languages on our website

To find out more about International Education week and to download free resources, click here



By Steve Iredale

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