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25 May 2012

Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding


I am a regular reader of an excellent website entitled, Language Rich Europe http://languagerichblog.eu/about/ it is an undertaking by the British Council and its motto is "Multilingualism for stable and prosperous societies". 
On 15th May, the Language Rich Europe blog featured an article entitled, "Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding".   The article really resonated with me for various reasons and I immediately got in touch with the British Council to ask whether it would be possible for me to reproduce the entire article here, on my blog with their kind permission. 


I speak four languages with varying degrees of fluency and I currently have an international readership on my blog, brightly coloured sunflowers from 167 countries around the world. I felt that the subject matter would also be of interest to the people who are regular readers of my blog.  

The British Council were prompt in their response and have granted me permission to copy and paste their above mentioned post onto my blog page.  I should add, that I sought their permission first, not only as a matter of common courtesy but also because I did not wish to get embroiled in breaching copyright laws.  The unauthorised reproduction of work is known as plagiarism.  I sincerely hope that if people use text and content from my blog, brightly coloured sunflowers that they too have the courtesy to contact me beforehand and seek my permission or failing that they should clearly mention that it is not their original piece of work and is from my website http://brightlycolouredsunflowers.blogspot.com/ i.e. they should link back to my blog post.


So, here is the British Council article entitled, "Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding"
In case you have missed it, there’s an interesting new OECD publication which “examines the links between globalisation and the way we teach and learn languages”. You can preview the whole book online for free. Please see the abstract of the book below for more information.

“The rise of globalisation makes language competencies more valuable, both at individual and societal levels. This book examines the links between globalisation and the way we teach and learn languages. It begins by asking why some individuals are more successful than others at learning non-native languages, and why some education systems, or countries, are more successful than others at teaching languages.

The book comprises chapters by different authors on the subject of language learning. There are chapters on the role of motivation; the way that languages, cultures and identities are interconnected; the insights that neuroscience provides; migrants, their education and opportunities to learn languages; language learning and teaching in North America; and new approaches to language learning.”
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