Speak to the Future: The Campaign for Languages – Let’s boost Language Learning in the UK (including Mandarin Chinese)!

What is the Campaign?   Speak to the Future is a new campaign with the support of over 30 organisations to address the UK’s flagging achievement in language learning. The campaign calls for urgent action on policy to safeguard and revitalise language learning across all phases of education in order to boost educational and career opportunities for young people and the UK’s ability to compete in the global economy. Campaigners have united to send a powerful public message highlighting the vital national importance of foreign language capacity in today’s global world.  The Speak to the future campaign is supported by the British Academy, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and a range of other organisations.

How will it work?  The campaign will target policy-makers in government and leaders in education and business. It will focus on the importance of languages for the UK’s international influence, economic success and rich cultural life and will make the case for long-term positive action to transform the UK’s capacity in languages and to achieve a step change in language learning.

England is currently joint bottom of a table of 39 countries in the developed world for the amount of time spent on languages by 12-14 year olds in schools.

The objectives:  The campaign has five clear and ambitious objectives that set out the value of learning and using other languages in all sectors of education and at all stages of life.  They are as follows:

1. Every language valued as an asset:  This will encourage policy makers and citizens to recognise that the many languages used in the homes of UK citizens are a valuable resource for social cohesion and economic success.

2. A coherent experience of languages for all children in primary school:  This will introduce the learning of other languages and cultures as well as develop a better understanding of how the child’s own languages work.  

3. A basic working knowledge of at least two languages including English for every child leaving secondary school:  This will equip every school leaver to live and work in a global society where confidence in learning and using other languages is a major advantage.

4. Every graduate qualified in a second language:  This will prepare future leaders in business, the professions, voluntary organisations, education and research to thrive and communicate confidently in complex global societies.

5. An increase in the number of highly qualified linguists:  This will fulfil the growing need for language professionals, especially English speaking interpreters and translators, and for teachers and researchers specialising in languages and cultures.

To view briefings about the 5 objectives visit www.speaktothefuture.org

How can I help?  Become an ambassador. Simply make your pledge to the campaign for languages

online and we’ll keep in touch with you. There are lots of ways you can help – here are

some ideas.

Write about the importance of languages. Blog or tweet, start a hashtag, tell your

friends on Facebook, write to your local newspaper or MP.

Follow us on Twitter @speak2future or on our LinkedIn group (search for 'speak to

the future'). You can find out the latest from the campaign and join the debate.

Link to the campaign from a personal website or blog. This helps to tell people about

what we’re doing and to get us up the search rankings.

Recruit champions. High profile individuals can make government and the media pay

attention. Do you know any celebrities or influential people who could champion the cause?

Make a donation or recruit sponsors. We need funds to promote the cause – so if you

can make a small donation or know a business or organisation that could sponsor the

campaign, get in touch.

Volunteer your time and expertise. From PR, marketing and web development skills to

speaking at events, there are lots of ways you could help.

If you are a business why not:

·         Sponsor the campaign.

·         Become a member – lots of perks.

·         Tell your network about Speak to the future.

·         Tell us why languages are important to you.

·         Offer your premises – for regional events

·         Speak out for the campaign. We need convincing speakers for conferences and other

·         events.


For more details about Speak to the Future and to keep yourself updated on the campaign visit www.speaktothefuture.org or email info [at] speaktothefuture [dot] org