"Having competence in more than just English gives citizens windows onto other worlds; it broadens their mental horizons; it does so in a visceral way, by teaching them to produce unfamiliar sounds; and it makes them more likely to be curious and respectful when encountering other cultures and communities, as almost everyone does on a daily basis in the UK, where hundreds of languages are spoken."
“At University, a deepening knowledge of different cultures and the opportunity to spend a year abroad can be strong motivations for choosing a language. Reading factual or literary texts in different languages is an important way of gaining understanding about people from different backgrounds and healing divisions.” - MEITS (2020), Languages change lives
“Your language determines the way you see things and influences your thought, so naturally learning other languages frees up your imagination” - Julia Donaldson, author, songwriter and playwright - MEITS (2020), Languages change lives
"Languages are right there in the DNA. You just need to unlock it. But whatever you end up doing, being able to speak other languages means you’ll do it quicker and better. That I guarantee" - Paul Hughes, Entrepreneur - Read his story in AHRC/UKRI (2019), The Power of Languages
"For firms that need employees with languages other than English, major European languages continue to be those most in demand, led by German (37%), Spanish (35%) and French (32%)."
"Languages for the Future, a report released by the British Council in 2017 has identified the priority languages for the UK’s future prosperity, security and influence in the world …: Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic and German. They appear some way ahead of the next five, which are: Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Russian."
British Council (2017) Languages for the Future
"Language skills and intercultural understanding are both vital. The cultural agility that comes with high-level language skills is essential for an in-depth understanding of international markets. ..."
"Fluency in a home or community language is a major asset to business. Employers are not always aware of the language skills of their employees; fluency in a home language is often a huge asset for an organisation, both for domestic and international markets, with speakers offering a skill-set that is distinctive from those acquired through formal education, as well as a broader range of languages."
"Different levels of fluency are required for different purposes. For example, while one organisation might need very basic language skills in one or more languages (e.g. the ability to answer the phone and forward calls in one or two languages), other organisations such as CBBC ... will need high levels of fluency and cultural understanding for in-country work over sustained periods or for particular jobs such as negotiating complex deals, building multilingual websites, etc."
W. Ayres-Bennett & J. Carruthers, Policy Briefing on Languages, Business, Trade and Innovation, June 2020