Want to help make a difference? We’ve brought together a number of information sources and tools which can help you to become a languages activist and get the message through! If you come across any other resources that you’d like to share here, do let us know. Don’t forget to look at our Inspiring Projects and ambassadors too, as well as our flyer on getting involved.
Tell me why
We’ve compiled a range of persuasive facts and figures which explain why languages are important. But there are lots of great resources which can also help you make the case.
The Why study languages? website includes classroom resources, PowerPoint presentations and videoclips aimed at promoting languages to students considering languages at various stages. There is also a dedicated area to help teachers promote language learning to parents. You can order a ‘Why study languages?’ calendar which introduces young people to a wide range of languages and includes questions designed to generate discussion.
The Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies hosts an online database of no less than 700 reasons for learning languages – meaning you’ll never be short of ammunition.
Spreading the love
The aim of the ‘I love languages … do you?’ activity pack, created by Routes into Languages is to provide teachers with materials that will introduce pupils to a wide range of languages including some with which they may not be familiar. The packs contains resources in 22 languages.
Just the job
In tough times, it’s good to know that languages make you more employable. Languages Work gives you everything you need to know about how languages can be used in a wide range of careers. A range of persuasive factsheets and presentations are available for download.
Thirdyearabroad.com in 2012 gathered reports from over 600 graduates (many of then linguists) on the importance that the year abroad had for them. The results are fascinating, detailing the incredible range of jobs they progressed into.
Speak to the future has recruited a number of ambassadors who are speaking out for languages in their different fields, helping to convince the wider public. But they are not the only role models out there.
Routes into Languages recruits and trains undergraduate students as ambassadors to help in promoting language learning. The ambassadors pass on their enthusiasm for the study of languages, making them excellent role models for school students who are unsure about continuing with their study. Find your local Routes consortium.
Discovering that a famous actor they admire is bilingual, or that a successful young person has used language skills in their career, can really make a difference to a student’s motivation. You can find a list of of celebrity linguists on the Languages Work website. Early Advantage also lists a number of bilingual stars on its website.
Through the national programme Inspiring the future, schools and colleges can identify employee volunteers to deliver careers talks on languages. Its sister programme, Speakers for Schools, enables institutions to link up with celebrity speakers.
Lobbying for languages
The Wall of Language has helped numerous languages activisits in getting their point across to politicians. It includes a range of sample letters to get you started, and records letters sent and responses from a number of MPs. You can get in touch with MPs directly through the Theyworkforyou website, and increasingly on Twitter.
Twitter in itself can be a powerful tool for activists. We’re encouraging supporters to use the hashtags #lovelanguages (celebrating languages) and #whylanguages (making the case for languages) to share information and get languages trending. Why not click on the Twitter button on the right and tell your followers why you love languages right now?
Make a day of it
The European Day of Languages, taking place annually on 26 September, aims to celebrate the many languages spoken around the world by showing people across Europe how important languages are, and what fun can be had learning them. You can get inspiration for events and activities on Routes website, CILT’s website and the Council of Europe website.
What ever you choose to do, don’t forget to make a pledge and share it with us!