The Inspiring Languages campaign aims to help young people understand that that languages can open doors to exciting professional opportunities later in life.
Across the country, language teachers face challenges in engaging young people in language learning and in studying for foreign language qualifications. Primary schools in England are grappling with the new requirement to teach languages at Key Stage 2. At the same time, whilst the number of young people studying foreign languages at GCSE has stabilised in recent years, language A-Level entries continue to decline.
For pupils who do not grow up in bilingual households, school is the key site for intervention on languages. The Inspiring Languages campaign is part of Inspiring the Future, a free initiative run by the Education and Employers Taskforce to ensure that all young people have the chance to meet people from the world of work. By connecting teachers with more than 1,800 Inspiring the Future volunteers who use languages in a very wide range of occupations, the Inspiring Languages campaign aims to help inspire young people to study languages.
Inspiring the Future languages volunteers include civil servants, lawyers, bankers, consultants, pilots, prison officers, engineers, chefs, TV producers and psychologists, working for organisations that range from the law firm Allen and Overy to the advertising and PR business WPP, via the BBC, Facebook, McAfee and Save the Children, among many others. By talking to young people about their career and how they use languages in their job, they can bring classroom language learning to life and help young people understand that languages are a passport to a very wide and interesting range of careers and opportunities.
Read our user-friendly practical guide to Inspiring Languages at state primary & secondary schools and colleges.
If you want to find out more about the Inspiring Languages campaign and how to get involved please email Charlotte Lightman, Schools Liaison Manager.