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2014 British Academy and Guardian Language Festival launches

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The British Academy and Guardian today launch the 2014 Language Festival with the Born Global Symposia at the Language Show Live at Olympia, London. Running from 17 October to 28 November 2014, the UK-wide festival celebrates the importance of language learning and the UK's diverse cultural heritage. 

As part of the 2014 Language Festival, schools can join the debate in a variety of ways, by: attending or hosting an affiliated event; engaging with interactive material such as the downloadable Language Festival packs on the Guardian’s website; participating in live online Q&A’s; and through social media. The downloadable packs have been designed to help schools join in the Language Festival by sharing creative ideas for events, promotional materials, and interactive games. 

Festival, schools can join the debate in a variety of ways, by: attending or hosting an affiliated event; engaging with interactive material such as the downloadable Language Festival packs on the Guardian’s website; participating in live online Q&A’s; and through social media. The downloadable packs have been designed to help schools join in the Language Festival by sharing creative ideas for events, promotional materials, and interactive games. 

A full list of activities that are part of the festival can be viewed on the Language Festival website: http://www.theguardian.com/language-festival/programme-listing-2014, highlights include:

  • Guardian Public Language Champion Award
  • Born Global Symposium at Language Show Live on 17 Oct
  • Guardian online Q&A: How to learn a language on 24 Oct
  • Free Public event at the British Library: Prejudice without the pride? Changing perceptions of multicultural communities in the UK on 6 Nov
  • Guardian online Q&A: Supporting community languages - how can policymakers meet the needs of minority groups? on 4 Nov
  • British Academy Schools Language Awards Ceremony on 28 Nov

Roger Kain, British Academy, Vice-President for Research and HE Policy, said: “Celebrating the importance of language learning and the UK's diverse cultural heritage, the festival provides a platform for schools, universities, students, policy makers and employers from across the UK to debate and explore the wide ranging benefits of language learning.”

Paul Johnson, Deputy Editor of the Guardian, said: "The Guardian is delighted to be working with the British Academy to raise a public debate about the importance in our global society of learning foreign languages and the value of our own indigenous and community languages here in the UK. This month long languages festival is a wonderful opportunity for thousands of people to be exposed to new languages while celebrating them also reminds us why learning foreign languages are crucial to our national success."

The Language Festival is part of a wider national campaign, aimed at encouraging schools and organisations to get involved with, and to help raise the profile of, language learning and showcase its importance for the UK’s wellbeing. The joint campaign is running until March 2015, and as part of the campaign a new dedicated website developed by the Guardian and the British Academy provides a forum for language debates and discussions. 

Visit the Language Festival website to download the Language Festival packs and read more about the festival. Further details are also available via @gdnlanglearn, @britac_news and by searching #languagesdebate.

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