Reframing Language Education for a Global Future

Friday 21 September 2018

In its report, just published, the Transnationalizing Modern Languages Research Project calls for the reframing of the study of modern languages in Higher Education in the UK and, more broadly, of approaches to the study of languages and cultures. The report identifies three issues within the context of declining recruitment that urgently need addressing:

  • The association between language and nation disregards the fact that large sections of the UK population have a wide range of language abilities and so undervalues the agility with which people move between and translate languages and cultures.
  • The perception that everyone speaks English promotes a view of the world in which linguistic and cultural differences are erased and everyone speaks the same language and shares the same culture.
  • Language learning needs to be seen as an intrinsic part of the development of cultural literacy rather than a skill which can be acquired with little reference to the culture of which it is part.

Initiated in 2014, the project brought together an international team of researchers and practitioners to address key issues in language and culture education. Taking the forms of mobility that have defined the development of modern Italian cultures across the globe, the research has engaged with cultural associations, schools, policy makers and individuals in an exploration of heritage, cultural memory, and educational practices, carrying out work in the UK, Italy, South America, Australia, Ethiopia, the USA, and Namibia.

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Read the Report