British Academy Briefing: On Languages

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Language skills can no longer be regarded as an optional extra to a well-equipped society. Rather, they are a key indicator of how willing and prepared we are to operate in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural world. Yet evidence points to a long-standing deficit in UK education and research. This applies not solely to the UK – evidence from America and Australia point to a wider ‘Anglophone problem’. 

The Academy has repeatedly shown that languages are essential for employability, trade, business and the economy, security, diplomacy and soft power, research, social understanding and cohesion. Furthermore, learning languages has been shown to have broader cognitive benefits.

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