Language Learning for Work


Language Learning for Work

Business Brunch 2017 events webpage now live!

25 April 2017 (SCILT)

A series of five successful Business Brunch events organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland took place this year where 535 learners from S3-S6 were given the opportunity to hear from a wide range of exciting business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The events demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Find out more about the events on our new Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

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Linking languages to learning about the world of work

25 April 2017 (Skills Development Scotland)

Lesson inserts are a really simple way of linking learning to careers using resources found on My World of Work.

The importance of linking learning to the world of work is highlighted in the Curriculum for Excellence – in both the principles of curriculum design and the entitlements. It is further reinforced in Developing the Young Workforce and the Careers Education Standard.

To support teachers in making these links explicit, Skills Development Scotland has worked with secondary school teachers across Scotland to develop lesson inserts.

Lesson inserts are short activities which link subject content to relevant labour market information, job profiles and videos on My World of Work.

For languages, lesson inserts are available for:

  • BGE – Modern Languages job research
  • BGE – Modern Languages job market
  • National 4/5/Higher – Global citizenship
  • BGE – Gaelic (learners)

To access the lesson inserts, teachers need to register on My World of Work as a partner. To do this, check the partner tickbox when registering. Once registered as a partner, the lesson inserts can be accessed.

My World of Work has job profiles, real people stories and videos that you can insert into your lesson as a short reference to answer that question that many young people ask “Why are we doing this?”. It will remind them that what they learn today will help prepare them in choosing and following a career path in the future.

To give you an overview of what they are and how they can help you make a connection between school subjects and the wider world of work, have a look at this recent blog post from Skills Development Scotland.

New job profile on the SCILT website

21 April 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from David Rodger, Area Manager at Amazon Germany. He tells how people engage with you and realise you're on their side if you demonstrate the willingness to understand their language and culture.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

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Biscuits galore!

20 April 2017 (CISS)

For some S2 pupils from Elgin Academy, the term began with a busy and exciting visit to Walkers Shortbread HQ in Aberlour, Moray.

The pupils have been studying Mandarin since January with the support of the Hanban teacher Sufang Wang and under the guidance of Jerome Lestienne, PT of Modern Languages. The pupils presented to members of the International team from Walkers and the HR team. The presentations reflected what they had learnt so far, which included simple greetings, some numbers (and how to express numbers with hand gestures) and explanations of what is peculiar to the Chinese language such as learning tones, characters, etc.

The presentations also incorporated advice on effective “dos and don’ts” of Chinese Business Etiquette. These were well received by the International Team, who later explained they are increasingly doing business with China. It is now one of the top ten countries with whom they deal and in the near future will be opening an office in Shanghai.

Pupils were judged on presentation skills, clarity of delivery, content, structure and language skills. (The latter were judged by members from CISS and the Hanban teacher.) The winning group were generously rewarded with a prize and all pupils left with a goodie bag.

Pupils were asked questions by the team regarding how they found learning Chinese. They replied they had found it interesting and were grateful to have the chance to learn some Chinese whilst at school.

The Director of the International Team thanked them for the useful and stimulating presentations. He highlighted the fact that future employees with such knowledge would be most welcome for the company to employ.
Walkers' staff enjoying the presentationElgin Academy pupils presenting

From Toulon with Love: Jonny Wilkinson on language learning

19 April 2017 (Cambridge University Press blog)

Is it ever too late to learn a language? In 1997, Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Wilkinson left university to become a professional rugby union player. Since then, Jonny Wilkinson has excelled in the sport, becoming captain of the English rugby national team and seen as the key force that drove his teams to victory in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. After 12 years with the Newcastle Falcons, he transferred to Toulon in 2009 and that’s when his language-learning journey began… Discover how Jonny found out the hard way the importance speaking the language of his team mates.

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Prepare British children for life after Brexit – teach them another language

10 April 2017 (The Conversation)

The formal negotiations to untangle the UK from the intricacies of the European Union are now well underway. And it is clear that looking forward, Britain’s new relationship with the EU will necessitate conducting trade and political communications in a new dynamic – one which is unlikely to be done in the medium of English.

When the UK leaves the EU there will be no member state remaining where English is the lead official language. “Ah”, you say, “what about Ireland, they speak English there”. Yes they do, but in Ireland, Irish Gaelic is considered the first official language.

So to trade with the EU, the UK will need high-level negotiators fluent in German, French and Spanish, which it currently does not have.

Additionally, leaving the EU will result in a restriction of immigrants from across EU member states. The need for visas will drastically reduce the number of workers who can come to the UK to fill jobs British people are either unwilling or unable to do.

And recognising this gap, the Foreign and Common Wealth office and the Ministry of Defence have opened in-house training centres to provide lessons in up to 80 different languages for their staff.

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Why Britain's monolingualism could be costly for the nation

5 April 2017 (World Economic Forum)

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it has a huge number of considerations to ensure its economy prospers. One, which is perhaps overlooked, is Britain’s language policy and how important this is as an economic resource. A strategic language policy and the cultivation of language experts in post-Brexit Britain are essential if it wants to connect with fresh markets overseas.

This has long been a feature of international diplomacy – stretching back long before globalisation as we know it. All the big powers of the Old World depended on understanding other people’s languages to trade across cultures. A “modern” solution was found in Babylonia, an ancient commercial metropolitan hub in the Near East, where a polyglot community of traders came together from the Mediterranean, Persia and Turkey, and beyond.

There are accounts of King Hammurabi deftly exploiting his city’s growing cultural mix as a resource in the 1790s BC. He used bilingual foreign traders as cross-cultural brokers. With their language skills, they played a key role in facilitating long-range trade with distant markets.

One of the biggest challenges facing the UK economy now is a skills shortage. Although funding is promised to support technical skills training, UK business also requires professionals with language skills to achieve sales in fresh markets. These experts will need to speak the languages of trading partners and understand the cultures of new overseas contacts to negotiate and seal deals. Investment in this crucial soft skill is needed.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

31 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from Jane Robb, PhD student at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. Jane has studied several languages, including French, German and Spanish and says her Spanish language skills enable her to conduct fieldwork and live and work in Guatemala.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Lynn Sheppard, Masters Student and travel writer, former English teacher, diplomat and civil servant.

Lynn tells how languages have not only helped in all her diverse job roles, but in developing and maintaining personal and professional relationships around the globe. Language skills have given her a cultural insight into how others think and behave.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

10 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Kirsten Matthews, a Distillery Tour Guide and Public Service Interpreter. Kirsten tells us her language skills make it possible for her to perform a service and to help people in her roles.

You can see Kirsten's profile on our website.

Read more...

From busuu to Babble, language-learning startups adapt to thrive

7 March 2017 (The Guardian)

Language learning is big business. Each year, students coming to study English in the UK contribute £2bn to the economy. It’s also a market suited to the flexibility of mobile learning and, sure enough, language learning apps are seeking to fill the gaps – more than 350 are listed on the Apple App Store alone.

But language tech isn’t an easy space in which to succeed. Rapid changes in technology have meant that its startups have had to adapt to survive, as Bernhard Niesner, co-founder of busuu, can attest.

Originally from Austria, Niesner had always loved languages: he learned Spanish and travelled in Latin America before undertaking an MBA at the IE Business School in Madrid. There he met Adrian Hilti, originally from Switzerland. It was 2008, Facebook was expanding rapidly, and the two wondered if they could combine technology and learning a language with social media.

So busuu, named after a Cameroonian language, was born, teaching users with interactive courses coupled with a social network of native speakers.

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Dumbarton Academy get to grips with business and language

6 March 2017 (Dumbarton Reporter)

Pupils from Dumbarton Academy had the opportunity to learn the language of business at a recent school event.

Third year students heard from a range of local business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The event demonstrated the relevance of these skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Cara Brown, subject leader for Modern Languages at Dumbarton Academy, said: “The event was a success, emphasised by the positive feedback given by pupils. The presentations delivered by the range of speakers were well received by everyone involved and really engaged the learners who discovered the value of language skills for employment and for life beyond school.”

One of the pupils added: “I enjoyed hearing different peoples’ stories and learning about what they had been able to do through learning another language. I was surprised to find out how many ways languages can be useful.”

Read more...

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

Lazy monolinguals will hurt your business: The compelling case for bringing language learning into the workplace

27 February 2017 (CityA.M.)

The UK’S future relationship with Europe is far from certain. With many of Brexit’s economic consequences still panning out, it is a good time to reflect on how the UK can maintain a global trading edge after its exit from the EU.

In this respect, post-Brexit UK companies would do well to embrace foreign languages as a matter of urgency in order to cement the creation of effective cultural and business relationships with prospective EU and non-EU trading partners.

While English is undoubtedly one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and largely used as the lingua franca in corporate diplomacy, I believe that a lack of intercultural and language competence on the UK’s part could jeopardise the future global standing and prosperity of its businesses.

As former German Chancellor Willy Brandt put it over 40 years ago: “if I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen”. Indeed, multilingual businesses are proven to benefit from richer interactions between partners, employees, suppliers and customers as well as increased sales and return on investment. It also offers a significant edge on the competition by enabling a wider customer and client base.

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New student profile on SCILT's website

24 February 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Emma Therer, a student of German and Linguistics, whose aim is to become a translator and interpreter. She believes languages are key in getting to know people and to learn about other cultures.

Read her profile and others on our website now.

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Five funny times British football stars attempted to speak in foreign languages following a transfer abroad

22 February 2017 (The Mirror)

The Premier League receives a whole host of talent from many different countries every year.

Massive stars from France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Belgium, Uruguay, Portugal and South Korea have all, at one time or another, played in the English top tier.

But how many of England's biggest stars can we say have made the leap to play abroad? A handful or so?

Naturally one of the biggest obstacles for footballers moving abroad is the language barrier, something which Wayne Rooney may have to conquer should his potential move to China go through next week.

In the video, we've taken a look at the five funniest times English stars made the brave choice to ply their trade in another country... and speak the language.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Katie Targett-Adams, a professional singer and harpist currently based in Hong Kong. Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce

14 February 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from eleven schools across the north east of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on 9 February 2017. 116 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event gave learners the opportunity to engage with local employers and discover the relevance of language skills here, in their local area. Pupils were able to see that they might even need a language that is not taught at their school, but the skills they develop whilst learning any language are transferable and therefore valuable.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I learnt that no matter what career you pursue, it can be very useful to be able to speak a different language. It can broaden your horizons.”

Virginie Jégat from TOTAL E&P UK LIMITED and one of the workshop leaders stated: “Here at TOTAL E&P UK we see on a daily basis the benefit of languages in the workplace. The ability to speak another language adds huge value to the business experience, whilst increasing cultural understanding within the workforce and towards our clients.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Aberdeen City Council, University of Aberdeen, The Chester Hotel, China-Britain Business Council, VisitScotland, TOTAL E&P UK LIMITED and Scottish Dance Theatre. Schools represented were Banchory Academy, Banff Academy, Buckie High School, Dyce Academy, Harlaw Academy, Hazlehead Academy, Inverurie Academy, Meldrum Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Peterhead Academy and The Gordon Schools.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

Read more...

English rugby referees learning French - Wayne Barnes

7 February 2017 (BBC)

English rugby referees are taking French lessons in order to improve their communication skills during games, says top official Wayne Barnes.

There has been criticism by players of some Six Nations referees only being able to speak in English.

However, Barnes, 37, says RFU officials "want to be better communicators".

"We are not just training and reviewing, we are actually doing some French lessons as a group," he told the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

One of the world's leading referees, Barnes has been taking charge of international matches since 2006.

And while he argues that speaking a range of languages fluently is unfeasible for a referee, he feels steps can be taken to improve communication.

Read more...

Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Edinburgh

7 February 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from 14 schools across Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh on 30 January 2017. 140 learners from S3 to S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Pupils are much more engaged in language learning as a result of attending the event. They are now aware of the relevance of language skills in the wider world. The speakers really brought to life the things we emphasise in class and showed them how languages are important.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “I learnt that languages are important and can help your career in lots of different ways. It was inspiring to discover the range of careers involving languages and to hear real life experiences of languages in the workplace.”

Sonia Valcarcel from VisitScotland, one of the workshop leaders, stated: “Speaking another language made me free to travel around the world, meet amazing people and work in some great jobs within the tourism sector. I would encourage all the young people attending today to consider language skills seriously when planning for their future.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Asia Scotland Institute, VisitScotland, National Galleries Scotland, National Library of Scotland, GlobalScot and China-Britain Business Council. Schools represented were Armadale Academy, Dalbeattie High School, Dunfermline High School, Eastwood High School, Greenfaulds High School, Kelso High School, Larbert High School, Lornshill Academy, Newbattle Community High School, Preston Lodge High School, St Modan's High School, St Ninian's High School, Trinity Academy and Whitburn Academy.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

More information on SCILT’s 2017 Business Brunches.

Why multilingualism is good for economic growth

3 February 2017 (The Conversation)

'If your strategy is to trade only with people that speak English that’s going to be a poor strategy.'

Top US economist Larry Summers recently tweeted this in relation to America’s focus on its so-called special relationship with the UK. And he’s right. The economic impact on the US – or any other country – that closes off its trade barriers with countries that are different to it would be enormous.

Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses.

Read more...

Josh Martin, student of Psychology & German and part-time racing driver

3 February 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from student and part-time racing driver, Josh Martin, who appreciates how languages are key in helping him communicate with fans around the world and in negotiating sponsorship deals.

Read his profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Inverness

31 January 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from ten schools across the north of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness on 25 January 2017. 90 learners from S3 and S4 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event has highlighted to learners the variety of benefits of having another language. It also gave them a real insight into how other people, aside from teachers, use languages in their jobs.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “The quality of speakers was brilliant and the event made me understand how my language skills really are important. I know now that I should seriously consider carrying on with them next year.”

Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries at Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the keynote speaker, stated: “Our work is based on creating networks of people who can work together to achieve more. Making an effort to speak to partners in their own languages, even if it is limited, helps to create trust and a much more productive relationship. It’s a sign of willingness to make a real partnership.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included HIE Creative Industries, XpoNorth Music, Scottish Football Association, National Trust for Scotland (Culloden Battlefield), The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd, GlobalScot, and DIAGEO Glen Ord Distillery. Schools represented were Alness Academy, Dingwall Academy, Farr High School, Fortrose Academy, Keith Grammar School, Kingussie High School, Millburn Academy, Plockton High School, Thurso High School and Ullapool High School.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

More information on SCILT’s 2017 Business Brunches.

New Job Profile on SCILT's website

27 January 2017 (SCILT)

Inspire the future generation with relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace via the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from modern languages teacher, Olivia Ingleby, who tells how language skills helped her discover new places, cultures and the varied opportunities that brought prior to becoming a languages teacher.

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Dundee

24 January 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from eight schools across Tayside and Fife had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the University of Dundee on 18 January 2017. 70 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event has given my pupils real food for thought. Before, I think most of them would have said that you would only really use languages in teaching or translating. However, having heard from the different speakers, they have realised very quickly that languages are used for much more than that.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “The event today showed me that, even if you haven’t specialised in language study, for example getting a degree in a modern language, there is still a high chance you will end up using language skills in a small or large part of your job and that knowing a language can open up many more opportunities.”

Dawn Hartley from Scottish Dance Theatre, one of the workshop leaders, stated: “Our dancers come from all over the world, and our choreographers too. We travel to many different countries so we’re constantly grateful for all the various language skills our staff have – we always need them!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages as part of a series of cross-sector partnership activities with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Michelin, Valentine International Business Connections LLP, Scottish Dance Theatre, Tokheim Ltd, Outplay Entertainment Ltd and University of Dundee. Schools represented were Brechin High School, Bell Baxter High School, Harris Academy, Montrose Academy, Morrison’s Academy, Webster's High School, Craigie High School and Braeview Academy.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Marion Spöring, Chair of UCML Scotland added: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland. Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

More information on SCILT’s 2017 Business Brunches.

Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce - Business Brunch launch

23 January 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from thirteen schools across the west of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses in the first of a series of Business Brunch events, held at University of Strathclyde on 13 January 2017. 130 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The event demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event was a fantastic opportunity. It has given my pupils a deeper appreciation that language learning is not just about the words but that being able to speak a language can break down so many barriers in so many different ways, including our own perceptions of people and countries.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I learned that cultural awareness and language skills are an important aspect of day-to-day business and also important to bigger companies. Language and cultural awareness is important in helping understand foreign business partners and in earning their trust.”

Eric Balish, Director of Trade Finance Scotland and Ireland at Bank ABC and one of the workshop leaders told the learners: “Life is a competition. Most of your competitors speak at least two and perhaps multiple languages. Speaking English is simply not enough to thrive and prosper now, far less in the future. Our business is anchored in financing international trade. We have a particular focus on trade into the Middle East and North Africa and also Brazil. However, we operate throughout Europe. As a consequence it is vital that we can communicate in a broad range of languages.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, Radio Lingua, Keppie Design, Bank ABC and Russian Centre ‘Haven’. Schools represented were St Luke's High School, Caldervale High School, Marr College, Duncanrig Secondary School, Shawlands Academy, Holyrood RC Secondary School, Hyndland Secondary School, Largs Academy, Kirkintilloch High School, Trinity High School, St Margaret Mary’s Secondary, Williamwood High School and Clydebank High School.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is the first of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

Read more...

New STEM job profile on SCILT's website

20 January 2017 (SCILT)

If you're looking for relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace, read the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from John Barry, a former petroleum engineer and manager with Shell, who explains how his language skills helped him to develop his career with the company.

Read more...

Watch brilliant archive footage as Gary Lineker meets Mark Hughes to talk Stoke

13 January 2017 (The Sentinel)

BBC's new football programme The Premier League Show sent Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker to Stoke to catch up with his old teammate Mark Hughes.

The pair had played together under Terry Venables at Barcelona, with Hughes admitting he wished he had bought into the culture.

Read more...

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles provide relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace.

Teachers, use them in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read our new Job Profile from Dawn Hartley, Head of Creative Learning at Scottish Dance Theatre.

Read more...

How Mandarin can unlock our children's potential in an increasingly connected world

10 January 2017 (The Telegraph)

With over one billion speakers worldwide, the global significance of Mandarin Chinese cannot be denied. But with the continued growth of English as a lingua franca of business, travel and international relations, do we really need more young people in the UK to learn it?

The reality is that, at a time when the UK is repositioning itself on the world stage, young people across the UK need to have the knowledge and skills to unlock their potential in an increasingly connected world - and to my mind at least, there are few abilities more valuable than speaking Mandarin Chinese.

The good news is that parents across the UK seem to think so too. Research released last week as part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme highlighted that those with children aged under 18 see Mandarin Chinese as the ‘most beneficial’ non-European language for their children's future – followed by Arabic and Japanese. As well as 51 per cent of those surveyed believing that speaking Mandarin would boost their children's career prospects, 56 per cent saw it as a skill that would open their children's minds to an ‘exciting and dynamic culture’.

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In or out of the EU, UK businesses can’t afford to reject language learning

6 December 2016 (CEO)

Brexit has raised many questions over the future competitive trading position of Britain in Europe. While the economic impact of the political upheaval still plays out, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the fact that for a long time, UK companies have put themselves at a disadvantage in Europe; perhaps without even realising it. That disadvantage comes from a lack of language skills.

While it’s fair to say that English is the lingua franca of many corporations, it is also true that global companies can enjoy richer, more productive interactions with customers, suppliers, overseas colleagues and partners when they are able to operate within different cultures in different languages.

And while enhancing and improving business relationships is a universally useful endeavor, it would be a mistake to think that language skills in business are a matter of mere social niceties. In fact, they have significant material impact on the bottom line. Mark Herbert at the British Council summed it up nicely when he cited the estimated, “tens of billions in missed trade and business opportunities every year” resulting from the UK’s shortage of language skills.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

11 November 2016 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed to be used in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work. They provide really relevant careers advice on languages, direct from the workplace, and cover a range of sectors. See our latest addition:
  • Claire Murphy, Translator - a translator at the European Commission, Claire speaks Spanish, German and Italian and is currently learning French. She explains how cultural knowledge is as important as language skills in her role.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Lords debate on Brexit impact for HE funding and research

3 November 2016 (They Work For You)

The motion was raised in the House of Lords on 3 November 2016 that the House takes note of the potential impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on funding for universities and scientific research.

During the debate, Baroness Garden of Frognal raised the importance of increasing and improving the UK's ability to communicate with the world in languages other than English following withdrawal from the EU.

The full debate can be accessed online.

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Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #5

1 November 2016 (University of Cambridge)

In the fifth of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Dr John Gallagher, historian of early modern Europe, argues that Britain should look to its past to rediscover the importance of language learning.

The article also includes links to the previous entries in the series.

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Business Brunches 2017

28 October 2016 (SCILT)

For the third year in succession SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events across Scotland in January and February 2017. These will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, these events will demonstrate the relevance of language skills in a work context with the intention of encouraging pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education.

Registration is now open for the Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen events. (Edinburgh and Inverness will open soon).

To find out more and to register by 21 November, visit our Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

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Business partnership develops language and employability skills

28 October 2016 (SCILT)

Read about how a partnership between Queen Margaret Academy and Alex Begg enabled S1 pupils studying Chinese to develop their language and employability skills, as well as an understanding of the textile industry.

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Language Ambassadors Programme

6 October 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

Now in its 5th year, the Language Ambassadors Programme is offering visits to Secondary or Primary schools (and other formats too). As Language Ambassadors we will talk about our varied experiences as language learners and do our best to encourage your pupils to follow in our footsteps…

Motivation, experiences abroad, transition to First year at university, job prospects, university courses… This is what we can tell them about.

Boost your young learners’ motivation, invite us in!

For more information see the Language Ambassadors website and to organise a visit, simply contact: Cédric Moreau, c.moreau@strath.ac.uk.

Language Ambassadors at Strathclyde photo

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Generation UK – China

6 October 2016 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Scottish Government to support more students from Scottish universities to undertake internships in China through the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign. The partnership will be focused on supporting Scottish students from low-income backgrounds to gain international experience in the world’s second-largest economy.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish students to develop highly valuable knowledge and skills working in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies. The Scottish Government’s support for this programme underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce and further strengthening our growing engagement with China.”

The Generation UK – China campaign will assist the Scottish Government in delivering its International Framework and in further strengthening relations with China. It will also develop the academic achievement and employability of students and recent graduates of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

“My experience interning in Beijing was fast-paced, exciting and always engaging,” said Justine Porter, a graduate of the University of Dundee who completed a two-month internship at a law firm in Beijing through the Generation UK – China campaign last year.

Visit the British Council website for more information.

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The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

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Joe Hart ready to embrace Italian culture at Torino after loan move from Manchester City

16 September 2016 (Sky Sports)

Joe Hart says he is ready to embrace the Italian culture after moving to Torino on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

[..] Hart has emphasised the importance of getting to grips with a new culture, and even opened Friday's press conference by speaking in Italian.

"I don't speak very good Italian (yet). I think that's obvious but I am doing my best to learn and buy into the culture because this really is a beautiful part of the world," said Hart.

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New student profiles on the SCILT website

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

New additions to our job profile section this term come from students currently undertaking courses which also allow them to develop their language skills.

Our two latest profiles come from students in the Tourism sector:

  • Amy-Jo Fairbairn, who is studying for a HND in Travel and Tourism at the City of Glasgow college.
  • Gail Leslie who, after completing her HND course in Travel and Tourism, is now embarking on a degree in Business Studies at UWS..
Whilst choosing different languages to learn, both can see the value of language skills for their future careers and personal lives.

Read their profiles and others on our website.

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Ralph Fiennes on why he learnt Russian in two months for a role

15 September 2016 (Radio 4 in Four)

Listen to Ralph Fiennes talking about his most challenging role yet - learning Russian in two months to star alongside a Russian cast for the film Two Women.

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Six professionals on why UK teenagers should learn languages

6 September 2016 (British Council Voices)

For many young people in the UK, learning another language is not a priority – only nine per cent of teenagers progressed beyond a basic level in the language they were learning in 2013. But with so many people around the globe already speaking English, I wanted to know if learning another language is really worth it. Here's what I found out from some people who would know.

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Director of Martin Sheen Movie Filmed in Spanish and English Says Bilingual Actors Are "the Future of Filmmaking"

26 August 2016 (The Hollywood Reporter)

There are an estimated 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the U.S. — more than anywhere else except Mexico — and one American film director is tackling the demographic in a unique way: hiring only bilingual actors and shooting every scene twice, once in English and once in Spanish.

The result, says Julio Quintana, director of The Vessel, starring Martin Sheen, is a more authentic experience for Spanish-speaking audiences who may be used to seeing movies with English dialogue later dubbed into Spanish.

"This is potentially the future of filmmaking," says Quintana. "The days of actors speaking English with bad Spanish accents is over."

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New student profile on the SCILT website

26 August 2016 (SCILT)

A new addition to our job profile section this term comes from Euan Kerr, an aeronautical engineering student at the University of Strathclyde.

Euan aims to pursue a career in engineering and appreciates that language skills will help him broaden his options and secure work overseas.

With that in mind, when Euan spent his third year studying abroad in Prague he chose to take up learning Czech as part of his studies. Having learned French at school helped him pick up a new language and making the effort to speak Czech gained respect with the local community.

So if you have pupils considering STEM subjects when they leave school, they should perhaps take a leaf from Euan's book and consider language electives too.

Read Euan's full profile on our website.

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Business Language Champions at Broughton High School

15/08/2016 (SCILT)

Pupils at Broughton High School in Edinburgh had the opportunity to find out how languages are relevant to a career in hospitality when they visited The Balmoral Hotel.

S3 pupils attended a series of workshops to develop their understanding of the hospitality industry as well as their intercultural awareness and interview skills.

The Modern Languages Department at Broughton High School found this to be an invaluable experience for the pupils, particularly the impact of visiting a workplace.

A pupil who took part in the project said: “I learned a lot about cultural awareness and about how The Balmoral Hotel goes about things. I have learned to think more about my response to someone of a different culture.”

The visit to Harvey Nichols was part of the wider Business Language Champions project running in the school. Business Language Champions is run by SCILT and helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers.

After the initial visit, learners were tasked with developing an internal information leaflet which would support the hotel, sharing their knowledge of relevant Chinese language and culture with the hotel staff.

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Turbulent Times: Skills for a Global World

26 July 2016 (Think Global)

If recent events have proven anything, it’s that the world in which our young people are growing up is turbulent and unpredictable. Over the past 12 months, Think Global has been working together with OCR to look more closely at questions about the skills young people really need to live and work in such a world.

Focusing on the views and understandings of employers, who can play a crucial role in supporting young people to learn and practise skills for a global world, we surveyed 500 business leaders from across the country and across sectors to build an up-to-date picture of whether or to what extent our young people are prepared to thrive both today and in the future.

Notable in the global context which informs this research, was the finding that over a quarter (28%) of employers were affected by a lack of workers with foreign language skills; a figure rising to almost half (44%) in London.

The full report can be accessed on the Think Global website.

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Why Foreign Language is essential to the STEM Fields

3 July 2016 (LinkedIn Pulse)

Being a French teacher by day and an Experimental Vehicle Team moderator by night, or at least during the other hours when I am not ensconced in all things French, has given me some unique insights into the value foreign language and STEM proficiency.

Years ago when the US Department of Education began talking about the importance of STEM in the classroom it was due, in a large part, to a lack of students pursuing STEM degrees and careers after high school, as well as a serious lack of certified educators who could adequately teach them. There is still a significant shortage of American students going into the STEM fields today, despite its prevalence in everything from education journals to Pinterest. While some may see the focus on STEM as merely another educational fad, there is a real need for candidates to fill this fast growing and under employed job niche in today’s business world, especially if we want to stay competitive in the global economy.

For one week this summer I saw first-hand the importance of foreign languages in the STEM fields as I, along with my students and fellow moderator, Mark, spent our days in a paddock and race track in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London England.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

Highlight the value of languages in the world of work to your pupils. We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website in which people from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Rosemary Graham, Tour Guide - Rosemary's knowledge of the German language enabled her to live and work in Germany teaching and making jewellery. Now she uses her language skills to guide tourists around Scotland.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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How the British military became a champion for language learning

6 June 2016 (The Conversation)

When an army deploys in a foreign country, there are clear advantages if the soldiers are able to speak the local language or dialect. But what if your recruits are no good at other languages? In the UK, where language learning in schools and universities is facing a real crisis, the British army began to see this as a serious problem.

In a new report on the value of languages, my colleagues and I showcased how a new language policy instituted last year within the British Army, was triggered by a growing appreciation of the risks of language shortages for national security.

Following the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military sought to implement language skills training as a core competence. Speakers of other languages are encouraged to take examinations to register their language skills, whether they are language learners or speakers of heritage or community languages.

The UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Centre for Language and Culture also offers training to NATO standards across the four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Core languages taught are Arabic, Dari, Farsi, French, Russian, Spanish and English as a foreign language. Cultural training that provides regional knowledge and cross-cultural skills is still embryonic, but developing fast.

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SCILT publishes new Business Language Champions case study

02 June 2016 (SCILT)

Business Language Champions helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers. A partnership between Walkers Shortbread and Elgin Academy demonstrated to S3 pupils the importance of languages in the food and drink industry, and the importance of this industry to the Scottish economy. The project demonstrated how the learning of a language can enhance their career prospects as well as developing their skills for learning, life and work.

Pupils were tasked with creating cue cards for the Walkers Shortbread International Sales Team to use on future trips to China. The cue cards had to be in Chinese. They then worked with the Chinese teacher to create the content for these cue cards, carrying out research in their own time. To conclude the project, the young people delivered presentations to support the work they had done on their cue cards directly to the International Sales Team, an impressive achievement and one which was positively acknowledged by staff at Walkers Shortbread.

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Police Scotland mobilises first Polish officers

24 May 2016 (The Herald)

Two Polish police officers have joined Scotland's national force in a pioneering move to tackle criminality in the country's biggest migrant community.

The men have been seconded for six months as a pilot scheme that may be expanded in the future as EU law enforcement agencies tighten co-operation.

Senior officers at Police Scotland say the two officers have already helped on crucial inquiries involving Poles as perpetrators, victims or witnesses of crimes.

Chief Superintendent Paul Main said: "They are here to advise us and to help us on criminal and other inquiries. "They don't have the power to arrest anybody or question anybody so they are always with Scottish officers.

"But they can assist us with understanding cultural and linguistic issues and connecting with law enforcement in Poland to deal with everything from organised crime to domestic abuse."

[..] However, Poles would also like to see Scottish police raise their knowledge of migrant communities, including learning the language.

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SCILT publishes new Business Language Champions case study

20 May 2016 (SCILT)

Business Language Champions helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers. A partnership between Johnstons of Elgin and Elgin Academy demonstrated to S2 pupils the importance of languages in the textile industry as well as developing employability skills within an interdisciplinary context. Learners considered marketing strategies for promoting textile goods in China and delivered a presentation to a “Dragon’s Den” judging panel.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

12 May 2016 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website in which people from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Business Brunch 2016 events webpage now live!

6 May 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS), held a series of Business Brunch events (formerly Business Breakfast) across Scotland, during January and February this year where pupils from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

Find out more about the events on our new webpage.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

21 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Ross Noble, Conference Interpreter - his role as conference interpreter at the European Commission gives him the chance to use all of his languages every day and to learn about varied and interesting topics.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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SNP: cuts to language skills are 'fatally undermining' UK's defences

12 April 2016 (The Herald)

Cuts to language skills are "fatally undermining" Britain's defences , the SNP has claimed.

New figures have revealed that there are now fewer than 500 "military linguists" in UK armed forces and as few as 15 specialists in Russian and 23 in German.

The Ministry of Defence insists it has far more soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians with one level of language skill or another and could quickly train up more if needed.

But the SNP's Douglas Chapman said declining numbers of military linguists "pointed to a long-standing neglect of the MoD’s most basic tasks in assuring the Defence of the Realm".

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New job profile on the SCILT website

1 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest profile now:

  • Amanda Attfield, Exploration Geologist - Amanda speaks Finnish, German, Spanish and is now learning Russian to help in her current job role. She tells how her love of languages has made her more employable, taken her around the globe and helped forge connections with local people and their cultures.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Bale: “I’m very comfortable at Madrid”

1 April 2016 (El País)

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale met with the media ahead of Saturday’s clásico with Barcelona at the Camp Nou. The Welsh international, who joined Madrid in 2014, says he is adapting well to his side’s style of play and life in Spain.

“I feel a greater sense of involvement with the country, with the language, with Madrid. I feel very comfortable at Real Madrid, I have a contract until 2019 and hope to win as much silverware as possible,” the former Tottenham Hotspur player told reporters in an interview at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

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Born Global evidence published by the British Academy

31 March 2016 (British Academy)

Born Global is a resource for the languages community to use to help make the case for the importance and value of studying languages.

Born Global consists of quantitative and qualitative data on the complex relationship between language learning and employability. Each data set is accompanied by a booklet with background information and a summary of key findings. The data is open and free to use, it is available on the British Academy website.

The British Academy has used this evidence in a new publication Born Global: Implications for Higher Education. It offers reflections on the current state of play for languages at university, and can be downloaded from the British Academy website.

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Language learning for business

29 March 2016 (Scottish Government)

In a global, multi-cultural society, being able to communicate in more than one language is increasingly vital. It is important for the nation’s prosperity that young people are attracted to learning languages and that they become confident in speaking languages other than their own.

According to the CBI's Education and Skills survey 2015, over three quarters of businesses (77%) have a need for language skills among their employees, with over one in ten (11%) stating they would need language skills in the next few years.

The Scottish Government is committed to expanding and improving language learning so that our young people are equipped with the skills and competencies needed for the global economy. That is why we have made an ambitious languages commitment to introduce a norm for language learning based on the EU 1+2 model. This will ensure that all young people in Scotland have excellent language learning opportunities from a young age, as a normal and expected part of a broad, relevant school education.

Ken Lindsay tells us of his experiences of learning languages and how they have helped him in his role as an International Brand Ambassador for Chivas Brothers Ltd.

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Televerde Selects Glasgow, Scotland for European Headquarters and Contact Center Location

3 March 2016 (Virtual Strategy )

Televerde, the global sales and marketing solutions provider, announces today it has selected Glasgow, Scotland as the location for its European headquarters and contact center.

[..] Over the course of the next 12-24 months, Televerde will hire up to 170 employees, including approximately 130 multilingual contact center agents. The Glasgow contact center will include language capabilities in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian and Eastern European languages. Glasgow was specifically chosen as Televerde’s European launching pad based on its ability to serve the company’s customers with its multilingual talent, geographic proximity between the U.S. and continental Europe and through a high-performance partnership with Scottish Development International.

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A theory on how soccer players communicate in the age of highly multilingual clubs

1 March 2016 (Fusion)

During this season’s Champions League group stage, a photo circulated online of Italian club AS Roma’s “Player Languages” sheet. The list denoted the languages in which each player was comfortable giving an interview. And though most players are conversational in more languages than the ones they are comfortable using in media settings, I was surprised by both the polyglotism of some players, and the lack of overlap in many cases.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic, for example, was born in Bosnia, spent most of his childhood and teenage years in Luxembourg, and has played professionally in France and Italy. His listed languages were Bosnian, English, French, Italian, and German. He’s also fluent in Luxembourgish, though that could be arguably classified as a dialect of German. Salih Uçan, in contrast, only listed Turkish, a language none of his teammates listed.

This got me thinking. Big European clubs tend to hire players from all over the globe, and it is certainly a common occurrence that there is no lingua franca, no common language between everyone on the field, or on the bench. So how do they communicate? There must be some common way of understanding each other.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

19 February 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest profile features Adam Williams. a Spacecraft Operations Engineer working for the European Space Agency on the ExoMars mission, whose goal is to send a robotic vehicle to Mars to try and find evidence of past or present life on Mars. He explains how beneficial language skills are when working with a diverse range of international colleagues.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Aberdeen

15 February 2016 (SCILT)

Young people from 14 schools across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the Beach Ballroom on 10 February 2016. 140 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending said: “The event was very informative, provided usable information and generated excitement about language learning. We had the opportunity to ask questions directly of people in the industry.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “The Brunch has really helped me with my subject choices. The event was very enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who is still undecided about further language study. It really explained how important it is to learn a language.”

Meryl James and Janette Kelso, part of the team behind the event, said: “Languages improve your overall being. They help with formation of synapses in your brain and increase its overall capacity to function; it's a workout for your brain really. Research from Edinburgh University shows the risk of developing dementia is greatly reduced if you study a language. Memory capacity is increased – which is useful for anything in life – and you can develop many transferable skills through learning a language, including communication skills, analytical skills, as well as creative and flexible thinking. Don’t miss out!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) Scotland. Companies attending included Visit Scotland, Chester Hotel Aberdeen and TOTAL E&P UK LTD. Schools represented were Harlaw Academy, Bucksburn Academy, Hazlehead Academy, Northfield Academy, Cults Academy, Meldrum Academy, Mearns Academy, Westhill Academy, Peterhead Academy, Portlethen Academy, Mackie Academy, Fraserburgh Academy, Banff Academy and Turriff Academy.

Fhiona Fisher, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2016 which build on the successful series of Business Breakfasts in January 2015.

More information on SCILT’s 2016 Business Brunches.

 

New job profile on the SCILT website

12 February 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest profile features Susan Brown, a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in Scotland, who tells us how important language skills have been in her career at home and abroad.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Outplay speaks to students about the advantages of learning a second language

11 February 2016 (Outplay Entertainment)

As the largest independent games company in Scotland, Outplay Entertainment reaches an audience of millions of players worldwide through popular games such as Crafty Candy and Alien Creeps TD. Although the company works with international partners and serves gamers from all over the world, we recognise the importance of supporting our local communities.

Recently, we have been focusing on motivating students to consider learning a second language in order to help boost their future career prospects. It can be challenging to encourage pupils to pick up another language, but in an industry that is globally active, there is a strong advantage for those who can.

Aside from the obvious advantage of being able to speak in a different language, there are many more benefits that are not always apparent when you are confronted with your first French lesson in school.

This is where we come in. Unbeknownst to many, languages and regional awareness are essential to the success of a modern games company. We have a multinational staff working in a variety of roles – from French artists to Italian developers. Being able to produce fully localized games is a critical part of our business. Games and gamer culture form a massive part of most kids’ lives these days. As such, we have an immediate connection to the interest of young people and can reach out to them on that level.

Please note, if any schools are interested in a visit from the company, please contact SCILT.

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Eddie Izzard will make you laugh in four languages

8 February 2016 (PRI / The World in Words)

Eddie Izzard has often joked about language from the silliness of Latin to why English speakers are so stubbornly monolingual. However, in late ‘90’s, Eddie decided that it wasn’t enough to joke about language; he wanted to joke in other languages. So in 1997 he took the stage and did his first set in France in French. It wasn't funny, he admits, but it was the start of a career goal to do stand-up in as many languages as possible. Eventually he did feel funny (and fluent) in French. Now, nearly two decades after that first French show, he has toured in not only French but German and Spanish. He intends to learn Russian and Arabic next.

The World in Words sat down with Izzard to find out why he’s decided to take his humor around the globe and how he’s managed to learn all these languages. (Warning: Parts of this podcast are definitely NSFW.).

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Inverness

1 February 2016 (SCILT)

Young people from ten schools across Highland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at Kingsmills Hotel on 26 January 2016. 140 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending said: “This was an enjoyable and highly informative opportunity to speak to successful people who can partially or entirely attribute their success to use of language. The Business Brunch certainly makes it clear to learners that languages are important.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I found out how languages help you go further and can give you a head start. It was interesting to find out how many jobs you can get even if you only know a bit of the language.” UHI Student Language Ambassador, Susan Dearness, who was part of a team supporting the event stated: “I knew right from an early age that I wanted to do languages. When I started travelling and doing seasonal work in Europe I realised how important a language is. I’ve had fantastic jobs and opportunities because of languages. The emphasis on global citizenship these days and the growing awareness of how important a knowledge of languages can be means that students won't be faced with the fallacy that “Everyone speaks English”!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) Scotland. Companies attending included BBC, The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and Kanaird Shipping. Schools represented were Culloden Academy, Plockton High School, Inverness Royal Academy, Alness Academy, Ullapool High School, Charleston Academy, Farr High School, Lochaber High School, Inverness High School, Grantown Grammar and Fortrose Academy.

Fhiona Fisher, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2016 which build on the successful series of Business Breakfasts in January 2015.

More information on SCILT’s 2016 Business Brunches.

White Hot Employer Demand For MBAs Who Speak Multiple Languages

17 January 2016 (Business Because)

Ask anyone working at a business school what makes it unique and you’ll get a spiel about global diversity. Yet companies are desperate for graduates who have honed multiple languages and cultural norms.

“Languages are always good for us,” says Julia McDonald, head of talent acquisition for EMEA at Infosys. English is the company’s common language, “but our clients often want people that can speak their local language,” Julia says.

Mark Davies, employer relations manager at London’s Imperial College Business School, says there is growing demand for multilingual European language speakers at companies including BP, GE, Johnson & Johnson, and GSK, which have operations in emerging markets.

André Alcalde, an executive at Lojas Renner, Brazil’s largest fast-fashion retailer, speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

“In a business world that is more internationally-connected,” says the HULT MBA student, “it is mandatory when building an executive career to be able to deal with different cultures.”

Nearly two-thirds of businesses in the UK want to recruit staff with foreign language skills. A survey by the business lobby group the CBI and education company Pearson found European languages are the most sought after: French (50%); German (49%); and Spanish (44%).

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

14 January 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest profile features Andrew Muir, who lived and studied in Scotland but now works in London as a Character Animator on a children's TV series. He tells us why language learning is important and the opportunities this can offer him to expand his career overseas.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Arsenal’s Petr Cech proves his brilliance with defensive organisation in three different languages

31 December 2015 (Metro / Daily Mail)

Arsenal star Petr Cech has revealed the secret behind his successful marshaling of the Gunners back line.

The 33-year-old speaks to his defenders in three different languages to make sure that he can get his message across during matches.

Having only conceded 18 goals this season, the north London side have the fourth most miserly defence in the Premier League. This may part of the reason why.

‘I speak to the full-backs (Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal) in Spanish, to (Laurent) Koscielny in French and to Per (Mertesacker) in English because for him it is the same as me,’ said Cech according to the Daily Mail.

Read more...

Participate in the BBC Trust consultation on Radio and TV coverage in Scotland

21 December 2015 (BBC )

The public are invited to participate in the BBC Trust consultation on Radio and TV coverage in Scotland. This is an opportunity to have your say regarding the use of language (including dubbing of foreign language and use of subtitles) and the content of broadcast about the importance of language in growing the Scottish economy. The consultation closes on 17 January 2016.

Read more...

Gary Neville reveals his biggest frustration since becoming Valencia boss

14 December 2015 (Goal)

Gary Neville claims his biggest challenge at Valencia is to learn Spanish and admits he is frustrated by his words getting lost in translation during team talks.

The former Manchester United defender has taken over the Spanish club until the end of the season but suffered a 2-0 defeat to Lyon in his first match in charge before following it up with a 1-1 draw at Eibar on Sunday.

Neville admits his inability to speak fluent Spanish is a problem and has revealed that he is speaking to players in small groups, rather than as a full squad.

"It's obvious that I need to learn the language as quickly as possible - that is the biggest challenge,” Neville told Sky Sports.

Read more...

British astronaut Tim Peake is tested on his Russian skills (video)

13 December 2015 (BBC)

British astronaut Tim Peake has spent six years training for his mission to the International Space Station which blasts off on Tuesday 15 December.

He's said that the hardest bit was learning Russian - the language is needed to operate the Soyuz rocket and the Russian parts of the ISS.

We tested Tim's vocabulary and pronunciation with the help of two BBC Russian staff, Famil Ismailov and Anya Dorodeyko.

Read more...

Interview with Marc Joss: football translator and interpreter (part 1)

7 December 2015 (The Language of Football)

Marc Joss is a London-based football translator and interpreter. He speaks Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English.

Marc has been involved in a host of high-profile translation projects including Guillem Balagué’s Messi, Barça: The Official Illustrated History of FC Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography, as well as translating for the English version of Marca.com. He also works with Premier League clubs as an interpreter.

In the first of a two part interview, we talk to Marc about his translation work.

Read more...

BB is back!

4 December 2015 (SCILT)

Due to popular demand, SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events (formerly Business Breakfast) across Scotland next year! Last chance to register for all events 4 December (except Edinburgh - 10 December)!

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, each event will provide learners with the opportunity to hear from a wide range of dynamic business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth of the success of their organisations and why they compete successfully in a globalised market.
Most importantly, it will give young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the variety of careers and employment opportunities that are open to people who can demonstrate language skills on their CV.

In addition, we will highlight the benefits of offering the SVQ unit 'Building your own Employability Skills' from the Languages for Life and Work Award, because it can be an effective stepping stone for the employability context in National 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

To find out more and register interest for these events, visit our Business Brunches 2016 webpage.

Read more...

Are you ready for a global future?

3 December 2015 (Cambridge University Press)

There are many reasons why everyone should learn a language, even if you happen to have the distinct advantage of speaking a world language as your first. Yet in England too many people believe that English is enough. European survey data[1] show that 61% of English people speak no other language apart from English. This compares with an EU average of 56% who speak at least one other language in addition to their first language. The case for increasing language capability can be made on a number of grounds: for reasons of trade, international diplomacy and national security[2], as well as for extending our global influence as individuals and as a country through science, humanities and the arts. So why do so many young people seem unaware of the value of language learning? What should our young people be studying to equip them for the future? How should schools and universities prepare the next generations for professional life 2020 – 2030 and beyond

Bernardette Holmes is Principal Researcher for the Born Global Policy Research Project funded by the British Academy, Campaign Director for Speak to the Future and a Bye-Fellow of Downing College, University of Cambridge

Read more...

Gary Neville unveiled as Valencia head coach and says: Time has come for me to stand up

3 December2015 (The Telegraph)

An absolutely epic session finally comes to an end, with a clearly nervous Gary Neville acquitting himself well for more than an hour's worth of questioning.

The new manager was very respectful and deferential towards his new employees and insists he's not using the move as a springboard to one day taking the England or United job.

He also reveals he'll be learning Spanish straight away, but is struggling to find a tutor who'll get up at 6am to work with him.

Read more...

Gary Keown: The sad truth of David Moyes' wasted opportunity in San Sebastian

12 November 2015 (The Herald)

David Moyes' failure to speak Spanish remains a sore point as Real Sociedad fans dissect his year in charge of their team.

Read more...

All talk ... five ways to use language skills to boost your career

9 November 2015 (The Guardian)

Resigned to a short sentence shoved at the bottom of CVs, downplaying language skills is a common mistake.

Whether you are completely fluent or stuttering over the subjunctive, you should be shouting about it to employers, says Lizzie Fane, founder of ThirdYearAbroad.com. “It shows an eagerness to learn to your employer and may even lead to you being able to travel abroad or work with clients who speak that language.”

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

6 November 2015 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

The latest profile is from Catherine McNicol, a PhD researcher at the University of Exeter, working in the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall.

SCILT has worked to make all of the job profiles more useful for teachers and learners by organising them by workplace sector.

See Catherine's profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

What languages mean to me

22 October 2015 (EuroTalk blog)

Interview with Alexandra Turner – translator, writer, editor.

Read more...

'More of us need to say 'nǐ hǎo' to Mandarin Chinese'

5 October 2015 (The Telegraph)

Languages are crucial for work and life in the global race, and Mandarin Chinese is one of the front-runners, says Vicky Gough.

At the end of last month, George Osborne vowed to invest £10 million in UK schools so that more pupils can learn Mandarin Chinese, just like his daughter, Liberty.

But should we really be encouraging more of our young people to say ‘nǐ hǎo’ (‘hello’) to Chinese? ‘Shì de’ (yes), we should!

The reality is that languages, in general, are crucial for work and life in the global race, and Mandarin Chinese is one of the frontrunners. Not only is it already spoken by more than a billion people worldwide, but China is recognised as the world’s second biggest economy with many expecting it to wrest the top spot from the US by 2050.

Read more...

Why Mandarin is Not the Future Language of Business

1 October 2015 (The Examiner)

For decades, Mandarin has been touted as the future language of business. China has the largest population in the world and has enjoyed unprecedented economic growth to become one of the global industry powerhouses. Around 955 million people are speakers of Mandarin which is more than 14.4% of the world’s population. These statistics support the claim that it will be the language of the future, but it’s not that simple. There are many factors that suggest that Spanish, not Mandarin, will become the ultimate business language.

Read more...

9 translators on what they love about translation

30 September 2015 (Oxford Dictionaries blog)

To celebrate the International Translation Day, we called on several translators and asked them what their favorite thing about translating is.

Read more...

Don't rely on Google – invest in languages to grow your business

29 September 2015 (The Guardian)

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the prospect of selling in another language. According to research from the British Council, around three-quarters of British people don’t speak another language well enough to have a basic conversation, let alone sell a product or negotiate a deal. But it’s well worth getting over that language barrier. A recent report from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) found that the UK is losing out on an incredible £48bn a year in lost exports as a direct result of its lack of language skills.

Read more...

Call for contributions to an e-book 'Employability for Languages: A Handbook'

25 September 2015 (LLAS)

We are planning the publication of a selection of case studies showcasing the excellent and inspiring work of language teachers, academics and practitioners in the area of employability for language graduates. This collection will form a snapshot of good practice and show the outcomes of recent projects and debates in the area of employability. Case studies will accompany articles from invited contributors describing a variety of personal experiences in the area.

This open access e-book will be freely available for download and will be aimed at practitioners in secondary and tertiary education. The focus of the book will be around practical experience ‘in the field’ and reflective practice, rather than research.

Expressions of interest in contributing to the book are invited.  Deadline 5 October 2015.  More information can be found on the LLAS website.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

24 September 2015 (SCILT)

The Rugby World Cup 2015 is underway and the latest job profile added to our website is from someone very much involved in the sport:

  • Sylvain Diez, Rugby Development Officer in Ayr

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

SCILT has worked to make all of the job profiles more useful for teachers and learners by organising them by workplace sector.

See Sylvain's profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

The 10 second languages UK employers most want their staff to speak

15 September 2015 (i100/The Independent)

French is the most useful language British employers look for on CVs, according to a recent study.

Adequate foreign language skills were one of the most highly rated concerns for employees looking to hire, the Confederation of British Industry study found.

Read more...

The Language of Modern Football

15 September 2015 (Sanako UK)

"In essence, being a football coach of a multi-national team of individuals requires as much ability to communicate as it requires actual coaching knowledge and experience. There is no point in
knowing what you want to say if you can’t get your point across."

Ian Burchnall, 32, is assistant manager at Viking FK and has been the same at Sarpsborg 08 in
the Norwegian top division. He has worked for Leeds United and Bradford City's academies
and, before moving to Norway, was head coach at Leeds University

Read this article in Sanako's autumn newsletter giving his views on how language skills provide a distinct advantage in the world of football.

Read more...

Language study beyond school

11 September 2015 (SCILT)

Do you have students looking to further or develop their language learning on leaving school? Make sure they know about the Beyond School section of the SCILT website. With useful information on different language courses and options available here in Scotland, there are also links to UCAS and language courses UK-wide to help their selection process and the transition from school.

The section includes advice and information on:

  • The benefits of language learning for you and your career 
  • Undergraduate language courses at Scottish and UK universities 
  • Options for combining languages with other degree subjects 
  • Beginner and refresher language courses and modules at Scotland’s colleges 
  • The gap year – opportunities to study, work or volunteer abroad 
  • The student voice – blogs, advice, hints and tips from those who’ve been there

The site also outlines the support Scottish universities can provide to teachers and schools in their language teaching and staff professional development.

So please make your language teaching professionals, pupils and guidance staff aware of the ‘Beyond School’ website. It’s got their language needs covered!

Read more...

New job profiles on the SCILT website

4 September 2015 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

NEW to the job profiles section:

  • Ken Lindsay, Brand Ambassador, Chivas Brothers highlights the importance of language skills when representing the company overseas
  • Dylan Kelly, Marketing Manager, Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa stresses that not only language skills but cultural awareness is important in the tourism and leisure industry
  • Sharz Din, Creative Director, Vidal Sassoon says even a little language can go a long way in his role

SCILT has worked to make all of the job profiles more useful for teachers and learners by organising them by workplace sector.

See these and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Watch Real Madrid star Gareth Bale conduct his first ever interview in Spanish

28 August 2015 (Wales Online)

The Welsh superstar has been at Real Madrid since 2013 and has almost mastered the native language, as he proves in his first ever Spanish interview.

Read more...

Gemma Arterton on her French cinema debut in Madame Bovary update

20 August 2015 (BBC)

The daydream of many affluent Londoners is to trade the treadmill of city life for an idyllic existence in rural France.

It's a scenario that's brought to life in Gemma Bovery, a re-imagining of Gustave Flaubert's 19th Century classic Madame Bovary.

Gemma Arterton, who was born in Kent and who, until this production, did not speak a word of French, takes the title role of naive young Londoner Gemma who, with her older husband Charles, moves to Normandy, just a few miles from where Flaubert's book is set.

Read more...

Substantial rise in skills for life and work

5 August 2015 (Scottish Government)

43,911 qualifications specifically recognising skills for life and work have been gained this year – a rise of 18.3 per cent compared to last year. [..] With more relevant work-related learning for all young people at the heart of Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, key increases in attainment include:

  • Modern Languages for Life and Work SQA Award, has almost doubled at SCQF level 3 and 4 since 2014 with increases from 383 to 720 and 750 to 1,444 respectively

Read more...

Double Dutch? Kevin Bridges gets laughs in translation as he switches languages at Amsterdam gig

5 August 2015 (Daily Record)

Funnyman Kevin Bridges has set his sights on becoming a bilingual stand-up after performing the first part of his recent Amsterdam gig in Dutch.

Read more...

Ebola: a crisis of language

16 June 2015 (Humanitarian Exchange Magazine)

In the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak, the humanitarian community is taking a hard look at international response mechanisms, evaluating what went well and what can be improved.
[..] Language was one of the main difficulties faced by humanitarian workers responding to the Ebola crisis. Information and messages about Ebola are primarily available in English or French, but only a minority of people (approximately 20%) in the three most affected countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, speak either language.

Read more...

SCILT Business Breakfasts webpage now live

8 May 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT was delighted to host three motivational Business Breakfast events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen at the beginning of this year. Our main aim was to support S3-S6 pupils in the uptake of language learning in the senior phase by providing schools with an opportunity to hear from various dynamic speakers who view language skills as a key part to the success of their businesses.

We have uploaded presentations and photographs from the event onto our website. You might find the presentations useful to use with your pupils to promote the benefits of languages.

Visit our Business Breakfasts 2015 webpage for more information.

Read more...

Career options for foreign language experts (video)

9 April 2015 (NDTV)

Thanks to increased international interest in India, and investments flowing in, the demand for foreign language experts in the country has gone up.

In this episode of ‘Heads Up’ we see how people in India have embraced language learning to enhance their career opportunities at home and overseas within a number of different job sectors.

Read more...

Tongue Tied

7 April 2015 (RT London)

Watch British Council's Vicky Gough and lead researcher Bernadette Holmes from Born Global in this RT news piece on native English speakers being the worst language learners in Europe.

More information about the Born Global project can be found on the British Academy website via the related link below.

Read more...

Related Links

Born Global: Rethinking Language Policy for 21at Century Britain (British Academy, 2014) A new policy research project into the extent and nature of language needs in the labour market and the implications for language education from school to higher education.

IoLET unveils new languages for business qualification

31 March 2015 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

IoLET, the awarding body of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, exhibited at the Association for Language Learning’s annual gathering of teachers, Language World, now in its 25th year.

At the event held in Newcastle on 20-21 March, IoLET presented its newest qualification, the Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB), attracting keen interest from MFL teachers from around the UK. This practical, work-oriented qualification is initially offered in French, German and Spanish, and is already running across a number of secondary schools and universities.

Read more...

Nine ways to use language skills to get a job and boost your career

31 March 2015 (The Guardian)

Unsure of where your language learning may lead? From choosing the right degree to making your CV stand out, experts at our recent live chat share advice.

Read more...

Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

16 March 2015 (British Council)

Want to start your international career with us? Applications are now open for our 2015 future leaders scheme.  You must be fluent in English and be capable and willing to learn one of the following languages: Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.

To find out more about the scheme and full eligibility criteria visit the British Council website.

Application deadline is 30 April 2015.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

13 March 2015 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.
NEW to the job profiles section:

  • Stuart Broomfield - Manager, Macdonald Holyrood Hotel stresses the value of being able to communicate with guests in their own language.

SCILT has worked to make all of the job profiles more useful for teachers and learners by organising them by workplace sector. 

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

The UK’s Influence on Persuasion and Power in the Modern World

10 March 2015 (They Work For You)

Baroness Coussins discusses soft power and language skills in the House of Lords following publication of the Report of the Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence on Persuasion and Power in the Modern World (Session 2013–14, HL Paper 150).

Read more...

Secrets of learning a language — quickly

3 March 2015 (BBC Capital)

Picture this: You want to apply for a dream assignment abroad. There’s just one problem. You need foreign language skills that you don't have — and time is not on your side.

It might sound like an impossible task, but according to language experts, you can learn basic communication skills in weeks and master the basics of a foreign language in several months. While you might not quickly reach the fluency that allows you to understand great foreign literature classics, you can, though, quickly hone in on phrases and technical language specific to your needs whether you are working with the diplomatic service or a blue chip multinational.

Read more...

Diplomats’ language skills can stop wars – we must not let them slide

2 March 2015 (The Guardian)

Two reports say Britain is failing to invest in foreign language skills in the diplomatic services. I know first-hand why international crises demand such expertise.

Read more...

BBC Radio 4 Today programme - Foreign Office cuts

27 February 2015 (BBC Radio 4)

The next government must protect the Foreign Office from spending cuts or risk Britain's global influence, according to a committee of MPs. Their report also recommends increasing the pay of diplomats, which they say has fallen behind other civil servants. It also highlights the lack of trained Russian and Arabic speakers, and says the loss of expertise is affecting crucial analysis and information gathering. Listen from 54 minutes.  Replay available until 28 March 2015.

Read more...

New Study: Language Training is Critical to Development of Global-Ready Workforce and Millennial Business Leaders

12 February 2015 (Market Watch)

(Thomson Reuters ONE via COMTEX) - New Study: Language Training is Critical to Development of Global-Ready Workforce and Millennial Business Leaders.
Majority of workers say company-provided language training makes them more effective, loyal employees

Arlington, VA (February 12, 2014)--Rosetta Stone Inc. RST, +2.84% the world's leader in technology-based learning solutions, today announced the release of a new study showing the definitive impact business leaders can have on employees and the overall success of their business by providing language training and the skills needed to be competitive in today's global economy.

Rosetta Stone's 2015 Business Language Impact Study, which surveyed nearly 1,900 employees from more than 300 companies across six continents, shows that employers who offer language-training tools to employees are seizing an opportunity to develop a business fueled by highly productive, high-performing workers who have the tools and confidence to thrive in a global marketplace.

Read more...

Want a job that's out of this world? Seven steps to becoming an astronaut

10 February 2015 (The Guardian)

Learn a language, be prepared to move across the world and play to your strengths to get a career in space.

Read more...

New job profiles on the SCILT website

6 February 2015 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

We have 3 new additions to the section:

  • Peter Cawston - a GP who describes how languages have helped enrich his career and broaden his perspectives
  • Dr Sophie Williams - a lecturer in conservation science, currently based in China, who shares her experience of learning Chinese
  • Caroline McManus - former cabin crew, now teaching English in Barcelona, tells how her ability to speak Spanish has proved beneficial

See these and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Learning the language of intelligence

27 January 2015 (GCHQ)

The decline in young people studying languages at university could have serious implications for GCHQ, and its ability to protect the UK from international threats. The organisation’s language analysts are striving to combat this by inspiring school pupils to learn some of the most needed languages.

Read more...

How to use your language skills to get a job - live Q&A

15 January 2015 (The Guardian)

How does speaking a second or third language improve your career options?  Join the Guardian debate on 16 January 2015, 11am - 1pm BST, to discuss.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

16 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from Verena Gräfin von Roedern, Head of the German Consulate General in Edinburgh, who talks about the many reasons why we should learn German.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

11 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from the Reverend Alan Miller, who describes his language learning experiences and passion for Chinese.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

5 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from Heloise Allan, Head of Education for Project Trust, an educational charity specialising in overseas volunteering in 34 countries for school-leavers aged 17-19.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Dearth of foreign language skills hurting business

4 December 2014 (The Herald, letters)

Jeremy Peat wants Scottish companies to work closely with our universities to achieve greater export success (HE sector is key to expanding our global horizons, The Herald, December 1). I agree that our export performance is dismal and I agree that the ability of our HE sector to attract foreign students is very impressive and yes, those foreign students should become friends of Scotland.

But I fear there is a parallel between the time when our manufacturers could export to our colonies and now when there is a craving among young foreigners to study in an English-speaking university. Circumstances permit these two things to happen.

Selling a Scottish built robot to Germany or China or Brazil is a battle against European and American competition. The natural place for our customers to shop for machinery is Germany, not Scotland. What exactly does Jeremy Peat want a small manufacturing exporter in East Kilbride to do with the higher education (HE) sector?

What we would like from the HE sector is a stream of engineers who speak a foreign language and who understand how to communicate within a range of cultures. But the HE sector will not produce such graduates until the business sector shouts for them.

Read more...

Related Links

HE sector is key to expanding our global horizons (the Herald, 1 December 2014)

Pupils put language skills to the test

3 December 2014 (Brechin Advertiser)

Brechin High School pupils, along with other Angus secondary school pupils, took part in an ‘on the job’ workshop to test their language skills.

The event saw pupils having to provide a solution to two real-life humanitarian crisis scenarios, and it required them to work on a solution and present the solution in French.

The first of the two scenarios involved the pupils assisting an engineer or medic from the Royal Navy to make them understood when they are operating within the challenging situation of a humanitarian crisis.

The solution had to be weather proof, easy to use, durable and effective. The pupils were also shown examples of what may or may not work and be asked to identify useful phrases that need to be included.

In the second scenario, pupils were asked to use their language skills to explore the properties needed for a building to withstand a Tsunami. Each group was given a budget and had to design a village within these constraints.

Read more...

Foreign languages in higher demand at city estate agents

27 November 2014 (City AM)

A London estate agent is having to place foreign languages near the top of its skills requirements as the capital continues to attract talent from the struggling Eurozone.

Estate agent Greene & Co said today that one quarter of its residential clients now came from overseas. To meet demand, they need staff to speak a host of different languages – 13 per cent of the firm’s staff are fluent in a foreign language.

In Kentish Town, Greene & Co have boosted the number of agents fluent in French as buyers from across the channel flock to the area because of two French schools.

Read more...

Chinese students to boost 'brand Britain'

25 November 2014 (THE)

Chinese-speaking students are to be placed with British companies to help them break into the Chinese market.

A pilot scheme will see students from the University of Sheffield offered internships in a bid to offer companies access to Chinese language, cultural and business knowledge.

If it proves successful, the UK Trade & Investment initiative could be rolled out to other universities and trialled with other major non-European Union student groups, such as learners from India or Malaysia.

Read more...

Languages for life

24 November 2014 (Angus Council)

School pupils in Angus recently took part in an ‘on the job’ workshop which used their language skills in real-life humanitarian crisis scenarios.

At the workshop, pupils had to provide a solution to two real-life crisis scenarios which required them to work on a solution and present the solution in French.

The top eight winning teams were selected from each project by the school staff and they will now compete in a Dragon’s Den Panel consisting of Naval, Angus and SCILT staff on 17 December.

Read more...

New job profiles on SCILT’s website

21 November 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.
NEW to the job profiles section: 

  • Chris Cusack explains how languages have helped him in his music career
  • Martin Peterson of Shell shares his view of languages in the world of business

See these and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Scottish Parliament debate on Food and Drink recognises the importance of language learning skills in global market place

20 November 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):
We also need to ensure that future generations gain the relevant skills to be successful in the global marketplace. Although business programmes remain popular, Scotland is still pretty behind on language skills. Our approach to languages in education is still centred on the traditional languages. We must ask how we can reflect the modern workplace and the business world. If we are talking about Scottish products moving into bigger export markets, we need that flexibility in languages. At recent food and drink events, I have seen a growth in translation services provided by companies that are setting up to help others with that expansion.

Read more...

New BLC Case Study live on SCILT website

6 November 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT’s Business Language Champions programme helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships that equip young people with the international communication and employability skills they need for their future careers.

This case study shows how a partnership between Kilwinning Academy and the Scottish Football Association demonstrated to pupils that languages are necessary in all walks of life. S3 learners visited the Scottish Football Museum and took part in a range of activities which highlighted the relevance of learning French.

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Civil Servants: Languages

3 November 2014 (They Work For You)

Question put to the House of Lords by Baroness Coussins: ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many diplomatic staff and civil servants from each department or government agency have received or are receiving language training at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Language School.’ See response from Baroness Anelay of St Johns.

Read more...

Languages for their future: support your students as they consider studying languages beyond school

31 October 2014 (SCILT)

Do you have students who are thinking about continuing with languages when they leave school? As the UCAS application process gets underway, the Beyond School section of our website contains useful information to help them decide on the different language courses and options available:

There’s lots of information on…

  • Languages – the benefits for you and your career
  • Undergraduate language courses at Scottish and UK universities – what’s available where
  • Enhance your degree – options for combining languages with other subjects
  • The gap year – opportunities to study, work or volunteer abroad
  • Student experiences – advice from those who’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt!

Please make your pupils, guidance and careers staff aware of the ‘Beyond School’ website. It covers all their language needs - www.scilt.org.uk/BeyondSchool.aspx

Read more...

'The next generation of tech talent needs to be educated in history, classics and languages'

29 October 2014 (The Telegraph)

A traditional academic curriculum is the best way to prepare pupils for the new technology-driven economy, says Adam D'Souza.

Read more...

Young people get advice on pursing a career using their Gaelic skills

29 October 2014 (Skills Development Scotland)

Siuthad! Invites S2 and S3 students to hear about Gaelic careers.

Up to 300 Highland pupils are expected to attend an event designed to inform young people about career options they could pursue using their Gaelic skills.

Siuthad! will bring together a wide range of organisations including the BBC, MG Alba, Feisean nan Gaidheal and Sabhal Mor Ostaig.

Representatives from several industry sectors such as education, television, arts, music, childcare, film, radio, translation and drama will be offering interactive and fun activities for the young people to get involved in.

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages will also be there to address the S2 and S3 pupils.

Read more...

Mark Zuckerberg speaking Mandarin sounds like a '7-year-old with a mouth full of marbles'

23 October 2014 (Independent)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wowed an audience at Beijing’s Tsinghua University by calmly chatting his way through a 30-minute interview in Mandarin, but the internet has been a bit harsher comparing him to “an articulate 7-year-old with a mouth full of marbles.”

Read more...

Why Learning A Language Could Save Your Career

23 October 2014 (Forbes)

In today’s Millennial-saturated job market, it can be hard for even the most talented and experienced boomers to preserve their competitive advantage. However, there is a rare skill that makes hiring managers sit up and take notice: fluency in a high-demand, low-supply language.
Whether your goal is to remain relevant in your current position, switch jobs or launch an encore career, acquiring a second language could set you apart from the sea of qualified (and younger) job applicants.

Read more...

BLC Case Study live on SCILT website

21 October 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT’s Business Language Champions programme helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships that equip young people with the international communication and employability skills they need for their future careers.

This case study shows how a partnership between Priorsford Primary and Holland & Sherry, a world renown cloth merchant based in Peebles, provided a local context to show young people the opportunities that arise from learning a modern language. The whole school was involved in this BLC project which raised learners’ awareness of what Holland & Sherry does in their local town while building learners’ language skills.

Read more...

Motivating the demotivated: SCILT job profiles

21 October 2014 (SCILT)

Show your pupils that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

NEW to the job profiles section:

  • Susan Young shows us her unusual office, and tells us how she turned her passion in life into her job.
  • Amy Baxter shares her story with us in a new video interview just added to her job profile.

Read more...

Paddy Ashdown: ‘Learning six languages has changed my life’

14 October 2014 (Guardian)

From speaking Malay as a young marine, to offending his Chinese teacher with unfortunate translations, Paddy shares the twists and turns of his language adventures.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

7 October 2014 (SCILT)

Communicating in another language doesn't necessarily mean you have to speak it.  Confused?  All will be revealed by interpreter, Paul Belmonte, in the latest job profile added to our website.

Read more...

Languages for a career in Chemistry - new job profile on SCILT website

30 September 2014 (SCILT)

Find out how languages helped Professor Phillip Hogan in his career in Chemistry and Surface Physics by reading SCILT's new job profile, available from our website.

Our job profiles aim to showcase why a range of successful people in the business and sporting worlds consider that learning a language is really important. This is a useful resource to inspire pupils to study languages and highlight how doing so may benefit their future career.

Read more...

Beyond the big three: French, German and Spanish aren’t the only languages that matter

19 September 2014 (The Conversation)

The shortage of foreign language skills in the UK is now a permanent preoccupation, with some sources placing the estimated cost of the deficit as high as £48 billion a year. Britons are now seen as a “nation of monoglots” and ridiculed when attempting to communicate in international contexts.
But part of the problem is that although teenagers recognise the need to learn languages, few are doing so – and even fewer are studying non-traditional languages such as Mandarin, Arabic, Russian and Turkish, which are only available in a handful of schools.

Read more...

Britain hamstrung by poor language skills

18 September 2014 (The Telegraph)

The roots of the trade deficit crisis lie not in the board room but in the classroom, says headmaster Richard Cairns; too few of us speak another language.

Read more...

Learn foreign language or miss out on promotion, Army officers told

2 September 2014 (The Telegraph)

Army officers will have to learn a foreign language for promotion under new plans designed to make the Army more culturally aware.

From 2018, officers will not be promoted above the rank of Captain unless they have basic foreign language skills, according to the Army’s internal magazine.

Read more...

ThirdYearAbroad.com launches Q&A site and jobs board

27 August 2014 (The Pie News)

The UK’s largest network for students who study or work abroad,ThirdYearAbroad.com has partnered with the the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Routes in Languages to launch TYA Answers– a Q&A site where students can get responses and information from fellow students, experts and university international officers.

The company also aims to connect UK graduates with language skills to employment opportunities through its site GlobalGraduates.co.uk set to launch this September.

Read more...

Congratulations, you've got the job – as long as you can master a new language

13 August 2014 (The Guardian)

Is it realistic to learn a language for a job? Louise Tickle, who attempted Welsh, looks at what it takes to master a new tongue.

Read more...

My languages guilt: am I making the most of my degree?

31 July 2014 (The Guardian)

The government complains about a modern languages skills gap, but graduates often find they have to retrain to get a job.

When I chose to study French and Spanish at university, I thought I was taking one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a spy for MI6. I had visions of taking down drug cartels in Mexico and combating bribery and corruption in the French-speaking parts of Africa.

If that didn't materialise (it hasn't ... yet), I thought I would waltz into a multinational corporation and command an excellent job with a great benefits package, based purely on the fact that I had a languages degree.

The reality was to prove quite different...

...But, do I regret my choice of degree? Not for a second. I get a thrill every time I get a chance to practise my languages, and being able to converse in something other than English never fails to impress.

Read more...

Foreign languages 'shortfall' for business, CBI says

22 June 2014 (BBC News)

The UK's education system is failing to produce enough people with foreign-language skills to meet a growing need from business, the CBI has said. Nearly two-thirds of about 300 UK firms surveyed by the business lobby group said they preferred staff with these skills.

French, German and Spanish were highly prized but Arabic and Mandarin were growing in importance, it said.

The government said its policies meant more children were learning languages.

The report refers to British Council research citing an "alarming shortage" of speakers of certain major languages.

The CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey suggested languages were likely to continue to grow in importance "as ambitious firms look to break into new, fast-growing markets".

Read more...

Related Links

Foreign languages are thriving in schools (The Guardian, letter from Elizabeth Truss, MP, 23 June 2014)

Are employers really worried about Britain's language skills? (The Guardian, 24 June 2014)

CBI education and skills survey 2014

More firms demanding language skills to break into new markets (CBI Press release, 23 June 2014)

How to use existing language skills to solve a challenge

18 June 2014 (Engage for Education)

Third year pupils at Inverclyde Academy recent took part in a Languages in Work event which saw them putting their problem-solving skills to the test.

The session, delivered in partnership with local employers, Strathclyde University and Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT), provided the pupils with the opportunity to use their existing language skills to solve a challenge in languages which they hadn’t previously studied. These languages included Dutch and Italian.

They took part in interactive activities which highlighted skills employers look for, skills which can be gained through the study of modern foreign languages and activities to raise their awareness of the variety of opportunities which are available to them through language skills.

Read more...

BLC Case Study live on our website

17 June 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT’s Business Language Champions programme helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships that equip young people with the international communication and employability skills they need for their future careers. This case study shows how a partnership between Montrose Academy and Loch Duart, a salmon company that specialises in sustainable, high quality produce with offices in Scotland and France, gave the young people in S3 a real and engaging context for their learning of French. The project raised the bar for the pupils who benefited from seeing first-hand how languages and business work together.

Read more...

Want to Boost Your Salary? Try Learning German

4 June 2014 (Time)

Fluency in foreign tongues may increase your job options — and your pay. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations.

The rewards of learning other tongues are many: more potential friends, easier travel, and even, some studies suggest, better decision-making. But what about greater earnings potential?

Research from Wharton and LECG Europe found that studying a second language is correlated with about 2% more in annual income.

Read more...

How to get a job when you graduate

31 May 2014 (Guardian)

Recruiters share the ten key skills students really need when they graduate. Includes a 'global mindset' and a language.

Read more...

How I became a UN interpreter

15 May 2014 (The Guardian)

From an early interest in French sparked at an after-school club to a chance to learn Russian, Helen Reynolds-Brown talks about her career as a UN interpreter.

Read more...

We need to promote UK language graduates to employers!

9 May 2014 (Lizzie Fane blog - founder of ThirdYearAbroad)

The number of students studying languages in the UK is at a record low, but thankfully, while the outlook is not bright, there has always been a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether or not you believe the excuses bandied about, ranging from English being the global language and exams being too difficult, to advancements in technology rendering bilingualism more a novelty than a required skill, the business case for language learning is undeniable.

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UK Youth Employment to Worsen on Lack of Language Skills

22 April 2014 (International Business Times)

Britain's dire youth unemployment situation could worsen as Ucas figures show that there has been a 5% drop in modern language applications, says a leading translation and interpretation group. According to All Languages, the latest set of Ucas figures, which show a 5% drop in modern language applications despite the overall number of students applying for university places rising, will only exacerbate tougher competition for graduate positions due to the lack of language skills.

The Antarctic tour guide: my career in languages

17 April 2014 (The Guardian)

Multilinguist Nikki Rickett leads groups around Antarctica, a job she wouldn't be able to do without her background in languages.

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Language centre is fit for a prince

9 April 2014 (Swindon Advertiser)

Shrivenham was royally impressed yesterday when Prince Michael of Kent visited the Defence Academy to open a new centre.

The Defence Centre For Languages And Culture which teaches 40 different languages, moved to the main Defence Academy campus from its former site in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

The Queen’s cousin, who studied Russian at the former Defence School Of Languages, spent the morning touring the new centre and speaking with students.

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Soaring success of cabin crew course

4 April 2014 (TESS)

With its opportunities for international travel, plus obligatory high heels and lipstick, the job of the “trolley dolly” or air hostess has long been regarded as a glamorous career choice.
The threat of international terrorism and advent of no-frills travel have served to make the lives of modern cabin crew far less glitzy. But at City of Glasgow College, which has received 353 applications for up to 23 places on its unique airline cabin crew training course, it seems that working at 35,000ft is as attractive as ever.

Languages, essential on international flights, are part of the course, with students required to study German, Spanish and French.

Read more...

Pupils Make Language Skills Work

18 March 2014 (Inverclyde Now)

Third Year pupils at Inverclyde Academy put their problem-solving skills to the test during a Languages in Work event.

Working with representatives from local employers BPI Visqueen, IBM, and Concentrix, as well as student language ambassadors from Strathclyde University, pupil teams drew on the skills they have gained during their studies of modern foreign languages to solve a challenge in languages they hadn't studied before, including Dutch and Italian, as well as French and Spanish which they have already had lessons in.

Read more...

Job profiles

18 March 2014 (SCILT)

More profiles of people who have found languages useful in their work have been uploaded onto the SCILT website. Read about successful people in the business and sporting worlds and see why they consider that learning a language is really important.

Recent additions include: 

  • Melville Petrie, Director of PAI Ltd, on the challenges of learning and working with Mandarin and Arabic 
  • Euan Johnston, Marketing Manager at Bellcom Worldwide, on his love of German and how this has helped his career
  • Ian Fyfe, Human Resources Director and SFA Referee on languages as an important skill for SFA coaches

This is a useful resource to inspire pupils to study languages and highlight how doing so may benefit their future career.

Visit our Job Profiles and Careers webpage for more information.

Read more...

Finding a voice in another language

16 March 2014 (Herald)

It's a style that's ingrained in a certain type of Scottish indie: California in the late 1960s via Bellshill in the early 1990s. But those words… what are those words? The song is called Fir Chlis, the album is called Dalma and, yes, that really is Gaelic we're hearing.

Read more...

Johnson: What is a foreign language worth?

11 March 2014 (The Economist)

There are pros and cons to language-learning. The pros are that working in a foreign language can make people make better decisions (research Johnson covered here) and that bilingualism helps with executive function in children and dementia in older people (covered here). The cons: one study finds that the earnings bonus for an American who learns a foreign language is just 2%. If you make $30,000 a year, sniffs Mr Dubner, that’s just $600.

Read more...

Inspiring the Future Languages Focus Week unveiled 22-26 September 2014

3 March 2014 (Education and Employers)

(Applies to England) A national campaign is being launched to encourage young people to learn languages at school and understand how language skills impact on their job prospects. Inspiring the Future Languages Focus Week is taking place 22-26 September 2014 and seeks to get 100s of schools and employers involved across England.

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Computer coding more in demand than languages, survey shows

3 March 2014 (Guardian)

The teaching of computer coding should be prioritised over modern languages, according to a survey of British adults. Twice as many thought teaching computer coding in school should be a priority than the number who saw Mandarin Chinese as more important. Coding was the top choice for 52%, against 38% who favoured French lessons, 32% Spanish, 25% German and 24% Mandarin.

Read more...

The cost of a lack of language skills

27 February 2014 (ECML)

According to the Guardian, the lack of language skills costs the UK £48bn per year. For companies willing to trade internationally, “English only” is not enough and the difficulty to find skilled staff results in a loss of contracts, in recruiting locally seconded expats and more generally in difficulties to operate globally.

In all business areas, whether marketing, export, sales, but also in legal matters, language skills do play a crucial role. The cost of communication barriers has been well documented in the ELAN study - Effects on the European Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise which sought to estimate the cost to EU business of not having foreign language skills. The survey that has been carried out among almost 2000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) showed that languages on top of the wish lists of European SMEs, apart from English, were German, French, Russian and Spanish. English is clearly an extremely important language for international exchange but will not be enough to face future challenges.

Read more...

New Resources for Language Students: Creating the Global Graduate - Sell your language skills on your CV

18 February 2014 (Routes into Languages Cymru)

This new set of resources, authored by the Careers Department at Cardiff University and in partnership with Routes into Languages Cymru, includes a Sample Languages CV Format and a Cronological CV which will show how those studying languages or those who have language skills can present their skills and experiences in the most effective way possible. With a greater call for ‘global graduates’ the resources also include Tips for the Year Abroad for Language Students which will give ideas on how to make the best of time spent abroad and to continue to build on the CV whilst studying.

Read more...

Internationalizing STEM

18 February 2014 (Inside Higher Ed)

WASHINGTON – The theme of this year’s Association of International Education Administrators conference is “Universalizing Global Learning in the 21st Century Academy,” and a session on Monday focused on broadening, if not universalizing, global learning experiences for students who have historically been underrepresented in study abroad: those in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

The barriers to study abroad for these students -- among them strict and demanding sequential course requirements and a lack of time or interest in foreign language study -- are by now legion. However, presenters described two ambitious programs, both modeled on the University of Rhode Island’s longstanding International Engineering program, in which students double-major in a STEM field and a foreign language and spend an entire year abroad. 

Read more...

Less people in NZ studying languages

16 February 2014 (3 News)

New Zealand students are dropping foreign languages at university level at a rate so high some languages are disappearing completely from the education system. Experts are warning that a country that only learns its own language could face big problems down the track.

Read more...

Lack of foreign languages skills ‘hurts firms,’ warns Oxfordshire businessman

14 February 2014 (Oxford Mail)

An Oxfordshire businessman has told the Government that schools must teach more foreign languages for British businesses to thrive.

Gary Muddyman, chief executive of translation agency Conversis, based in Chesterton near Bicester, spoke in the House of Lords to highlight the issue. He warned that the deepening language skills shortage is affecting UK competitiveness abroad.

Read more...

Multimedia publication demonstrates vital role humanities and social sciences play in tackling the challenges of our time

12 February 2014 (British Academy)

The British Academy has launched Prospering Wisely, a multimedia publication and series of events that aim to kick-start a national conversation about the place of humanities and social science research in our society.

Prospering Wisely argues that we need to think about the nature of 'prosperity' in much broader terms than its usual purely financial definition, and it explores the many ways in which 'prosperity' is dependent on the ways the humanities and social sciences enhance our lives, as individuals and as a society.

This publication discusses the value of foreign language skills in opening up overseas markets as well as opening up cross-national and cross-cultural discourse, and the need for more people who can supplement their specialist knowledge in a particular professional, scientific or other disciplinary area with an understanding of other languages.

Read more...

Related Links

The ten skills students really need when they graduate

4 February 2014 (Guardian)

The number of jobs available for graduates is predicted to rise by 10.2%, according to a survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. Good news for students – but when you come to apply for your first job after university, are you sure you'll have the relevant skills for the post?

[...] "If you speak another language then make sure it's clearly displayed on your CV," says Curtis. "We really like bilingual candidates as they usually interview really well. But quite often their CV doesn't do them justice. 'Business fluent French' looks much better than just 'French A-level at grade A' as it offers a company more." Be careful though. "If you haven't had much practice with your languages make sure you scrub up before sending out a CV that implies you can hold your own."

Read more...

Record year for exports to China

31 January 2014 (Scottish Government)

Exports from Scotland to China were at their highest ever level in 2013, totalling almost £560 million.

Latest figures from the Global Connections Survey have shown a rise in food and drink exports and in sectors such as chemicals and engineering, contributing to a total increase of 30 per cent from the previous year.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the new figures in his Chinese new year message heralding the arrival of the year of the horse, noting that ‘the strength of the ties’ between Scotland and China will allow the solid economic link between the two countries to continue to flourish for decades to come.

Employers struggle to fill vacancies because of lack of languages

30 January 2014 (The Guardian)

A dearth of foreign language skills accounts for nearly a fifth of hard-to-fill vacancies in the UK, a survey has found.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills' (UKCES) report on the UK's employer skills found that of reasons employers gave for struggling to fill vacancies, 17% attributed a languages skills shortage.

The survey asked employers which skills they found to be lacking among applicants for its vacancies. Language skills came in at 17%, second to last after IT skills. The highest portion of skills employers found lacking in applicants were technical, job-specific skills, which accounted for 63%.

Genna Kik, senior research manager on the report, said that while the language skills may be low overall compared to the categories, for the businesses experiencing these shortfalls, the impact is significant.

Read more...

Northamptonshire Police officers to learn Polish as part of multicultural training

27 January 2014 (Northampton Chronicle & Echo)

Police officers in Northamptonshire will be learning Polish and other Eastern European languages as part of a new cultural awareness training programme.

Northamptonshire Police has joined forces with The Association of Northamptonshire Supplementary Schools (ANSS) to provide frontline officers with access to short language courses to give officers some basic phrases in different languages.

The training also covers a variety of subjects such as how to engage with people from different cultures, facts about the major faiths, festivals and local places of worship and face-to-face sessions with people from a range of communities.

Read more...

Speaking good Spanish isn't enough, you also have to listen

25 January 2014 (Guardian)

A bus ride through Colombia taught Michael Evans that despite knowing a language well, it's still important to pay close attention when locals are trying to tell you something.

Read more...

Translation agency Lingo24 reports strong rise in sales

20 January 2014 (BBC News)

Translation agency Lingo24 is planning further expansion after reporting strong sales growth last year. The Edinburgh-based company said it hoped to make an announcement on a fundraising exercise before the end of March but did not elaborate. It follows a year of solid growth, with revenue climbing 12% to £7.5m.

Languages are in vogue in the fashion industry

17 January 2014 (The Guardian)

Aldo Liguori couldn't do his job without languages. Liguori is global head of PR at Fast Retailing, the Japanese company behind international clothing giants Uniqlo and French label Comptoir des Cotonniers. He is fluent in five languages, including Japanese, which he says gives him "a complete advantage" when liaising with the media and his senior colleagues around the world.

Read more...

Language skills deficit costs the UK £48bn a year

10 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Deficient language skills and the assumption that "everyone speaks English" are costing the UK economy around £48bn a year, or 3.5% of GDP, according to research by Professor James Foreman-Peck for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Poor language skills act like a "tax on growth", hampering small to medium-size exporters, who are unable to employ the language specialists brought in by global companies, says Foreman-Peck, professor of economics at Cardiff Business School. It also deters non-exporters from trading internationally, he adds.

Read more...

Beyond School - new section of the SCILT website

6 December 2013 (SCILT)

Our new ‘Beyond School’ section on the SCILT website offers help and advice to young people about the many ways they can continue to develop their language skills, whether by making the transition from school to a course at university or by studying, working or volunteering overseas. As well as general help and advice on making the move to university and courses available, there are links to potential career paths and opportunities and what support is available to schools to help promote languages as a subject choice at university.

Read more...

Encouraging UK students to study abroad: a new strategy for outward mobility

6 December 2013 (Universities UK blog)

In the context of a challenging jobs market, now more than ever, it is vital that universities help to prepare students for the world of work. At the same time, and in the context of rising tuition fees, higher education institutions are also rightly looking at ways in which to enhance the student experience.

One of the ways in which the higher education sector is seeking to answer these complex challenges is through the provision of international work and study abroad opportunities for students.

Today sees the launch of the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility by David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science. Supported by governments across the UK, the Strategy forms a key part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill’s International Education Strategy, published earlier this year.

Read more...

If you talk to the locals in their language, you understand their needs

6 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Languages can make a career in development not only more effective, but also more rewarding.
Ajaz Khan, 45, is the microfinance advisor for CARE International and talks to Louise Tickle about his experience.

I was born in the UK, but my dad came here from Pakistan in 1955, so we spoke Punjabi at home. Growing up bilingual definitely gives you a headstart. When I was younger, I'd go to a Sunday school for Muslim children, where I learned Urdu, and I also had to learn Arabic script at the mosque which I attended five days a week after school.

As a child living in two languages, moving between them is a given: it's not confusing. I've noticed it with my own kids, they just switch depending on whom they're talking to. At secondary school, I studied French, German and Latin, but oddly, looking back, I grew up thinking I wasn't very good at languages. That's probably a result of how we were taught. It was all about conjugating verbs – but of course, when you went abroad no one ever asked you to conjugate a verb!

Read more...

Languages, diplomacy and national security: five key issues

5 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Safeguarding Britain's interests abroad requires diplomats who can speak languages. In a recent live chat on the Guardian, a panel of experts debated the importance of languages for diplomacy and national security. Five key themes emerged from that conversation.

  • Diplomacy and national security
  • The scale of the threats
  • Fluency vs functionality
  • The cost of language training
  • The American perspective

Read more...

Languages and STEM skills - opening doors!

5 December 2013 (Education Scotland )

SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is working with businesses and schools in Scotland to promote languages as a key skill for employment.

Operating effectively in a global economy relies on many skills and includes the right language skills. People who can communicate, at least conversationally, can make all the difference in the conduct of business, consolidating relationships with existing suppliers and customers and opening the way to new overseas contacts. When combined with STEM skills, the career opportunities in a vast array of sectors widens.

Read more...

How important are languages for diplomacy and national security? – Live chat

26 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Join us on November 28 between 10am-12pm GMT for an online discussion about the importance of languages in diplomacy.

You can take part in the conversation by posting any questions you have in the comments section of the article. You can also follow the debate live on Twitter using the hashtag #languagesdebate.

Read more...

A language skills deficit is damaging diplomacy, warns British Academy

26 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Britain's language skills deficit is threatening its diplomatic influence and national security, a report by the British Academy has found.

The British Academy, the national body for the humanities and social sciences, calls for government to address the lack of language skills across all its departments and to prioritise the development of these skills among current staff and future generations. The report warns that if more is not done to bridge the languages gap that exists within government, Britain's diplomatic influence will be damaged.

"Languages are a critical tool through which UK diplomats and government staff can deepen their knowledge and build the trust that is necessary to promote and protect British values and interests internationally," Robin Niblett, chair of the British Academy inquiry steering group, said.
"If steps are not taken to reverse the current declining trend in language skills, Britain may indeed be in danger of becoming 'lost for words'."

Read more...

Languages are vital for Britain's business & cultural development

25 November 2013 (The Information Daily)

Learning different languages is vital, not just for the growth of trade and business, but for Britain's political, cultural and education development. In many European countries, it's the norm for people to speak a second or even a third language - so why is Britain so stubbornly monolingual?

The recent European Survey on Language Competences found that just one in ten British teenagers progress past the most fundamental level in a second language, compared with an average of 42 per cent across all countries surveyed.

Clearly, this is a problem - although part of the problem may be how easy it is for Brits not to learn a second language.

Read more...

Livia Ottisova: my career in languages

14 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Livia Ottisova is head of adult programmes at the charity Body and Soul, which works with children, young people and adults affected by HIV.

In this interview she talks about her language learning experiences and how her language skills have helped in her career.

Read more...

What's French for 'lying'? School leavers need real language skills

17 October 2013 (The Guardian)

After a linguistic faux pas during an internship, Molly Pierce will never tell a tall tale on her CV again. But school leavers need real language skills if their applications are to stand out.

Read more...

Matt Worman: my career in languages

10 October 2013 (The Guardian)

Captain Matt Worman, 30, was commissioned four years ago as an education officer in the army. After learning some Pashtu on an introductory course, he then opted to do another 15 months intensive training in the language. Following a deployment as a military linguist in Afghanistan, he is back in the UK and soon to take up a position as second-in-command of the foreign languages wing at the Defence Centre for Languages and Culture.

Read more...

Educating Yorkshire's Mr Mitchell talks MFL

3 October 2013 (Teachit Languages)

Unless you’ve been living on the moon recently, you surely can’t have escaped the media furore around Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire. The students and staff of Dewsbury’s Thornhill Academy are keeping us entertained every Thursday…in the journalistic scoop of the century, Teachit Languages editor Heike Bruton managed to secure an interview with Thornhill Academy’s headteacher, Jonny Mitchell!

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Languages for All?

1 October 2013 (Inside Higher Ed)

The organizers of Monday's daylong "Languages For All?" conference at the University of Maryland said more than once that the event, in the words of the university's Director of Language Policy Initiatives Richard Brecht, "is not about advocacy, this is about inquiry." But it was clear that the 150 or so professors, researchers, policy makers and government employees in attendance vehemently promote at least one stance: that languages are critical, and that Americans' unwillingness and/or disinterest in learning them is holding the country back.

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Foreign Office beefs up diplomats' language training

30 September 2013 (The Guardian)

Language centre provides a permanent location where staff undergo intensive training to prepare for overseas postings.

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Gary Lineker: Schools don't take foreign languages seriously enough

26 September 2013 (TES)

He is better known for his views on football, but former England striker and TV personality Gary Lineker has claimed foreign languages are not taken seriously enough on the national curriculum.

The host of Match of the Day was speaking to TES about the importance of learning languages for young people today, adding that it was more relevant to their every day lives than other subjects such as the sciences.

Himself a fluent Spanish speaker after a successful three-year career playing for Barcelona, Mr Lineker believes students should learn a foreign tongue because it will always be useful in later life.

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Related Links

Gary Lineker kickstarts language learning in schools (The Guardian, 26 September 2013)

Launch of Born Global: Rethinking language policy for 21st Century Britain

23 September 2013 (British Academy)

Today the British Academy launched a new policy research project, ‘Born Global’, investigating the nature and extent of language needs in the labour market and the implications for languages education from school to higher education.

As a key project in the British Academy’s language programme, the research aims to develop a deeper understanding of how language is used in the workplace for different purposes, by employees of different levels of skill and accountability. It will explore employers’ expectations of language competence and investigate the reasons for their dissatisfaction with the current language capabilities of school and college leavers and university graduates.

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Why are so few of us learning another language? Call for action by Richard Howitt MEP after decline

23 September 2013 (Cambridge News)

A call for action to reverse the “severe decline” in young people learning foreign languages has been made by Cambridgeshire’s representative in Brussels.

Richard Howitt MEP said knowledge of at least one other European language is important given that so much of the UK’s trade is done with the rest of Europe, despite English being recognised as the world language.

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Foreign Secretary boosts language learning for diplomats

19 September 2013 (UK Government)

Foreign Secretary William Hague today opened a new language centre in the Foreign Office in London. Reversing a previous decline in language classes, this will see a renewed focus on language as a traditional diplomatic skill, helping British diplomats compete better globally.

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Caroline Wyatt: my career in languages

12 September 2013 (The Guardian)

The BBC defence correspondent's language skills have taken her around the world on assignment.

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Bale speaks Spanish at Real Madrid unveiling

2 September 2013 (ESPN)

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale showed how he had spent his summer months by speaking in Spanish during the Bernabeu unveiling to mark his world record £86 million transfer.

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Related Links

Gareth Bale must put heart and soul into Real move - Gary Lineker (BBC Sport, 1 September 2013) Lineker, who played for Barca between 1986-1989, feels that learning the language and immersing himself in the culture will be key to Bale's chances of succeeding in La Liga.

Calling all multilingual IT whizzes: skills shortage hits firms

31 August 2013 (Irish Independent)

Every year, the Government's Expert Group on Future Skills Needs publishes a snapshot of the supply and demand of skills in Ireland.

Multilingual skills are a key aspect of some of the skill shortages.

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Ellen MacArthur: my career in languages

29 August 2013 (The Guardian)

Speaking French has been central to the success of former round-the-world sailor Ellen MacArthur.

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Is only speaking English enough to compete in the jobs market?

19 July 2013 (The Guardian)

English may be a world language, but is it really enough to compete in the global job race?

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Exporters: Foreign Language Skills

18 June 2013 (TheyWorkForYou)

Question put to the House of Lords by Baroness Coussins “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider introducing financial incentives for non-exporting businesses that train existing staff to export, in line with the recommendations of the British Chambers of Commerce report Exporting is good for Britain but knowledge gaps and language skills hold back exporters, published on 10 June.”

Visit the website to view the Government's response.

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BCC: Knowledge gaps and language skills hold back exporters

10 June 2013 (British Chambers of Commerce)

A survey of more than 4,500 businesses released today (Monday) by the British Chambers of Commerce shows that the share of Chamber members which export continues to increase. However, the findings also suggest that gaps surrounding the general know-how of how to take a product or service overseas are holding back firms from taking the initial step towards exporting. In addition to this, there is a major shortfall in foreign language skills within the business community. Rebalancing the economy towards net exports is vital for the success of the UK economy, so the British Chambers of Commerce is calling for more support for firms looking to trade overseas, while encouraging the take-up of foreign languages – both in school and in the workplace.

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Related Links

Addressing knowledge gaps and the deficit in foreign language skills will boost exports (BCC, 10 June 2013)  The results of the BCC's 2013 international trade survey show that companies continue to be held back from exporting by lack of knowledge and poor foreign language skills.

Poor language skills are deal-breaker for economy, says BCC (The Times, 10 June 2013)

 

British ambassadors struggle with Arabic

31 May 2013 (The Telegraph)

Only six of the 16 British Ambassadors in the Arab world speak enough Arabic to be able to conduct official business in the language, the Foreign Office has disclosed.

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Inside Track: Why culinary French is no second-rate language

6 May 2013 (The Herald)

That the sous-chef currently being sought by Buckingham Palace should have a "good understanding of kitchen French" might prompt some cynics to wonder why the royal request should sound quite so disparaging. It's as though "kitchen French" is somehow less posh than classic, quite suitable for the lowly position of household cook, and therefore the only form that would be acceptable in the Queen's cuisine. The reality could not be more different.

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Pupils see language at work

2 May 2013 (Inverclyde Now)

Around 180 Third Year pupils at Inverclyde Academy took part in a Languages in Work Event.

The morning was organised to highlight the importance that local employers place on the skills pupils develop through their language learning at school and also to enable pupils to meet people from local firms who use languages in their job.

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Why are modern languages failing to grip the younger generation?

30 April 2013 (BBC Radio Scotland)

Listen to today's episode of 'Call Kaye' where callers are invited to discuss the declining numbers of Scottish pupils taking language learning to Standard Grade and Higher levels.  Callers are asked what should be done to address the situation, or whether language learning is actually necessary in today's society.

The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer until Monday 6 May 2013.  Listen to this item from 38.38 minutes into the broadcast.

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Comedy without borders: Eddie Izzard and the language of standup

24 April 2013 (The Guardian)

British comedian aims to deliver his show in French, German, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.

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Job profiles

19 April 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have uploaded profiles of people who have found languages useful in their work. Read about successful people in the business and sporting worlds and see why they consider that learning a language is really important. This is a useful resource to inspire pupils to study languages and highlight how doing so may benefit their future career.

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Related Links

The Only Way is Languages!” is a new DVD from Routes into Languages which also aims to inspire young people to study languages at school, college and university and to get them thinking of the different kind of careers they could go into with their language skills.

Promote more linguistic experts or risk credibility, Foreign Office told

19 April 2013 (BBC News)

The UK risks losing credibility if more senior diplomats are not fluent in a range of languages, MPs are warning.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said linguistic abilities should be given more weight in promotion criteria, including to top jobs, as this would "command respect" abroad.

The Foreign Office is reopening its language school, which closed in 2007 and has increased funding for courses.

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The Only Way is Languages – New Careers DVD

11 April 2013 (Routes into Languages)

Routes into Languages West Midlands in conjunction with Stone’s Throw Media have produced a new DVD entitled “The Only Way is Languages!” The aim of this DVD is to inspire young people to study languages at school, college and university and to get them thinking of the different kind of careers they could go into with their language skills. They may think that teaching and interpreting are the only options but we can show them many different careers! We have six case studies of real life examples of people using their language skills in the workplace.

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The multilingual dividend

13 March 2013 (Financial Times)

A few years ago, when Antonella Sorace visited the European Central Bank in Frankfurt to talk about her research into bilingualism, she was astonished to find the bank’s multinational staff worrying about what should have been one of their families’ principal assets. “They had all kinds of doubts about the benefits of multilingualism for their children; they worried that their children weren’t learning to read or write properly – in any language,” she says. “I found it very instructive.”

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Question to the House of Lords on ‘Languages: The State of the Nation’ report

12 March 2013 (Hansard)

Baroness Coussins put the following question to the House of Lords: To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the conclusion of the British Academy's report Languages: The State of the Nation, published in February, that the United Kingdom will be unable to meet its aspirations for growth and global influence unless action is taken by them, businesses and in education to remedy the deficit in foreign language skills.  See the full debate transcript on the website.

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Related Links

Languages: The State of the Nation (British Academy, February 2013)

Cracking the English code

12 March 2013 (British Influence)

(Relates to England) There was much embarrassment recently for Michael Gove when the cabinet's golden boy announced that he would not, after all, be replacing GCSEs with a new English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBC). Part of the reasoning for Gove's EBC had been to increase the take-up of modern European (as well as other) languages – where research shows that there are clear advantages in terms of cognitive skills and understanding.

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Learning languages a way out of crisis, says Vassiliou

6 March 2013 (EurActiv)

Learning foreign languages can become a way for Europeans to exit the economic doldrums and find employment opportunities across borders, says language and culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. As well as producing more mobile and language-savvy citizens, European institutions and businesses should learn to better cope with a multilingual society, Vassiliou told a conference of policymakers and academics at the European Economic and Social Committee on Tuesday (5 March), an EU consultative body. “If we want more mobile students and workers, and businesses that can operate on a European and world scale, we need better language competences – and these must be better targeted to the current and future needs of the labour market,” she said.

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Related Links

EU called to support immigrant languages (New Europe, 5 March 2013)  The Language Rich Europe (LRE) consortium has called the European Union (EU) and its member states to improve language policies, ensure economic competitiveness and build more inclusive societies. In particular, the group said that European institutions and member state governments should initiate new policies to support immigrant language teaching.

Summary of findings

More information on Language Rich Europe.

What to do with your language skills?

4 March 2013 (Lexiophiles)

After spending countless hours on trying to understand grammar structures, memorizing long vocabulary lists, learning idioms and struggling with pronunciation, you have finally reached your goal: fluency! It’s been a long way and you’ve worked hard to get here. The question is, now that you've mastered a new language, what are you going to do with it?

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No comprende: are the benefits of languages getting lost in translation?

20 February 2013 (The Guardian)

We need to find new ways to express the importance of learning languages, writes Professor Nigel Vincent. At the British Academy last week we released a report called Languages: State of the Nation. It analyses the worrying state of the current demand and supply of language skills in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and is the latest in a series of reports and position papers we have dedicated in recent years to the declining status of languages in our schools and universities. The aim of all our work is to drive home the message that languages are vital for the health and wellbeing of the education and research base, for UK business competitiveness and political standing, and for individuals and society at large.

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Research says dire foreign language skills are contributing to UK market failure

14 February 2013 (British Academy)

The UK's continuing market failure in language learning is highlighted today in a comprehensive British Academy review, Languages: the State of the Nation. Drawing on new research – including a survey of UK employers and labour market intelligence to identify the language skills demanded by employers – it concludes that while there is a plentiful supply of multilingual skills within UK society, more needs to be done to tap this supply, and to ensure our education system is equipped to support the UK's aspirations for growth and global influence.

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Career ammunition for language graduates

13 February 2013 (Third Year Abroad)

As a business which works with year abroad students, we are constantly hearing stories about how important the year abroad and foreign language skills are for your graduate career prospects. It's when employers start talking about "the lack of linguistic graduates in the UK" that it gets really interesting. You are a linguistic graduate! You are a valuable commodity! You need to understand that with a grasp of a foreign language or an inside knowledge of another culture, you are in a position to approach employers speculatively and offer your services to help them develop new business in those geographical areas.

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Speaking a foreign language is crucial for UK graduates, says Telefonica Digital

12 February 2013 (HR Magazine)

Having the ability to speak a foreign language is crucial for UK graduates if they want to work for a digital employer, according to communications provider Telefonica Digital. Research published today shows 70% of UK graduates cannot speak any languages other than English well or fluently.

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The Job Profile is Decisive – Foreign Languages in the Workplace

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

In today's professional world, knowledge of foreign languages is an indispensable skill and a must-have on any resume. Still, studies show that while good foreign language skills play an increasingly important role in the workplace, every situation is different.

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Why aren't languages a more popular choice at university?

15 January 2013 (The Independent)

It seems as if languages are not a popular choice of course at university nowadays. Once upon a time, learning a language and studying its literature was considered a solid choice of degree, but now there's a perception that they might be a bit of a waste of time.

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Education in the News, Issue 72

7 January 2013 (Eurydice)

Eurydice’s current awareness bulletin of recent education news from across Europe and beyond, is now available. Highlights in this issue include the European Commission's recently launched new strategy, 'Rethinking Education', to encourage member states to take action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market. This includes the introduction of a new benchmark for foreign language learning.

It can be downloaded from the Eurydice at NFER website.

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Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit. The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football. But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

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Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit.

The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football.

But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

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Recent reports stress the importance of language skills for business

17 December 2012 (European Commission)

Communication and languages are crucial to business in a globalised economy. New evidence found in two reports published in the UK and in Ireland.

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'Speak a foreign language and secure a job here'

7 December 2012 (TESS)

The ability to speak foreign languages is not only important in finding work abroad - it is becoming ever more crucial for getting a job in Scotland.  That was one of the most compelling messages from businesswoman Rebecca Trengove, guest speaker at a languages conference in Stirling.

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Foreign languages: the 10 easiest to learn

5 December 2012 (The Telegraph)

We English speakers have a bad reputation in the world of language. According to a European Commission survey in 2012, 61 per cent of British respondents could not speak a second language. However, with growing foreign economies and more global communication than ever before, languages are becoming a crucial skill for professionals.

The related article below outlines the languages rated most useful to business by UK firm managers.  Ironically, whilst not listed as one of the easiest to learn, German language skills are the most highly sought after by UK businesses.

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Related Links

Graduate jobs: Best languages to study (The Telegraph, 2012)

Foreign languages - the 10 easiest to learn (in pictures) (The Telegraph, 5 December 2012)

Spanish trip adds spice to course

30 November 2012 (TESS)

An 'international mobility experience' served cookery and hospitality students well.

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'The Challenge Fund - World of Work' new funding programme for schools

23 November 2012 (UK-German Connection)

To celebrate Global Enterpise Week, UK-German Connection are delighted to announce a new grant available for UK-German school partnerships with a work experience and enterprise focus.

The Challenge Fund - World of Work is a funding programme specifically supporting partnerships undertaking work experience or enterprise-related activities as part of their partnership visits. By combining real-life work experience and collaborative joint project work on a related theme of their choice, schools can receive funding to help connect joint classroom projects to the wider (international) world of work! To find out more information about this new grant, and how to apply, please visit the website.

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Languages and Entrepreneurship. A Guide for Students

21 November 2012 (Higher Education Academy)

The time spent studying, working or volunteering abroad during a degree programme is an excellent opportunity to identify and start up a new business. However, too few students are aware of entrepreneurship before or during their international placement.

This report shows that students who speak foreign languages, travel and understand other cultures have a unique entrepreneurial opportunity. It encourages students to look at placements abroad in a more critical and innovative way, to be aware of business opportunities and to make use of the start-up support, networks and services available when starting a business.

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GCU and OU partnership provides free language lessons for staff

20 November 2012 (Open University)

In a unique partnership arrangement with the Open University (OU), Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have provided their postgraduate students and their staff with the opportunity to study an OU language module in French, German, Spanish or Chinese. 82 GCU students and staff began beginners’ language modules in October, and more will sign up for higher level language modules starting in February. The face-to-face element of the OU tuition programme is being delivered on GCU’s Glasgow campus at times that fit with GCU’s timetable.

Glasgow Caledonian University places importance on the fact that language competence enhances employability and international mobility and values the Open University’s proven track record in language teaching.

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Foreign Languages took pride of place at the Institute of Welsh Affairs / Western Mail Business Awards

16 November 2012 (CILT Cymru)

On Friday the 9th of November, the profile of Modern Foreign Languages was raised at the Institute of Welsh Affairs / Western Mail Business Awards.

The newly created Award, The Best Use of Foreign Languages in Business Award recognised those Welsh companies who actively use foreign languages to develop strong markets abroad.

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European personalities urge EU leaders to back Erasmus

9 November 2012 (European Commission)

More than 100 European personalities from the worlds of education, art, literature, economics, philosophy and sport have signed an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened Erasmus student exchange programme. The signatories come from every Member State of the EU and include the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, the president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell, Nobel Prize winner Professor Christopher Pissarides and several Olympic champions.

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Related Links

Record Number of UK Students Study or Work Abroad in Europe with Erasmus (British Council, 16 November 2012)

A foreign language is the best way to stand out in tough job market

7 November 2012 (Business Insider)

Looking for another way to stand out in a tough job market, plus increase your competitiveness and versatility down the road in your career? If you can commit to adding one or more languages to your resume, you’ll instantly stand out from the crowd.

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Why global awareness matters to schools

5 November 2012 (Guardian)

Schools are increasingly finding ways to help students develop as global citizens. But can we do more to incorporate global issues into the curriculum?

... The vast majority of businesses believe schools should help young people to think more globally and four out of every five believe schools should be doing more. Significantly, twice as many business leaders rate knowledge and awareness of the wider world as an important skill as ability to speak a foreign language. While they still regard language skills as important it is the 'soft' skills of cultural awareness and understanding global issues that are particularly valued.

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Strathclyde Language Ambassadors – Year 2

31 October 2012 (University of Strathclyde)

After last year's successful pilot, the School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde are once again offering you the opportunity to have a team of Language Ambassadors visit your school. The aim of a visit by a team of Language Ambassadors is to raise awareness amongst young people of the opportunities on offer in Higher Education and in the world of work in general if you study languages. Through presenting their experiences of studying languages and living abroad we hope that our young ambassadors' enthusiasm will rub off on your pupils and influence their choices when thinking about their pathways.

The recruitment for the Ambassadors scheme has been very successful this year with a pool of nearly 80 students interested in taking part. A webpage for the Language Ambassadors scheme will be launched in the coming days and teams will be ready to travel from early November. In the meantime, if you are interested in setting up a visit to your school or want more information about what we offer, do not hesitate to contact Cédric Moreau.

Gillard: Australia must embrace 'Asian Century'

30 October 2012 (CNN)

Every Australian child should learn Mandarin, Hindi or other regional language as the nation's future is tied to the rise of the "Asian Century," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a policy speech on Sunday.

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New promotional video The Smart Choice: German

12th October 2012 (Goethe Institut)

The video showcases the importance of learning German as a foreign language for the career prospects of young people. Prominent figures from the UK support the case. The video is ideal for parents’ evenings, language days and all occasions promoting career opportunities. For more information and to order the six minute video as a free DVD visit the Goethe Institut website.

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A Point Of View: Making sense of China

12th October 2012 (BBC News)

China's growing importance on the world stage means that the West needs to start speaking its language, says economist Martin Jacques.

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