On Wednesday 9 February 2011, the British Academy launched its latest position statement, Language matters more and more.
For some time, the British Academy has been concerned that fewer and fewer students are studying languages at school or at university. Given the interconnectedness between language learning at all levels (from primary, secondary and tertiary levels), language research, teacher training, and wider intercultural understandings, the Academy believes that this decline is damaging the whole education system.
The British Academy's previous report, Language Matters, published in 2009, warned of the damaging impact on universities, the skills base of UK citizens, and the UK’s future international competitiveness.
Language Matters More and More makes recommendations on how the higher education sector itself can incentivise and increase language take-up at both school and university levels, whilst building the capacity of the UK’s knowledge economy to meet national and international challenges.
Rt Hon David Willetts, MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
Baroness Jean Coussins, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages
Professor Nigel Vincent, Vice-President, British Academy
Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost, UCL
David Docherty, Chief Executive, Council for Industry and Higher Education