The Future of Languages

by John Worne, CIOL CEO

With thanks to nationally acknowledged languages policy expert and CIOLQ Educational Trust Board Chair Bernardette Holmes MBE – at The Language Show Live in November, CIOL co-hosted panellists from Government, the armed forces, business, universities and civil society on the central importance of languages in intelligence, defence, diplomacy, democracy, justice, commerce, the Civil Service.

The panellists speak of the enhanced cultural awareness, mental flexibility and transversal skills which characterise linguists, and the value of languages for everyone and in all of our lives.

The full session is now available on YouTube here.

Hear from:

  • Sir Jeremy Fleming, Director GCHQ, on the central importance of languages to GCHQ and the UK’s intelligence and national security.
  • Lt Col Matt Sharp MOD and Major Dean Wilson about the central importance of languages and cultural skills to building positive international relations.
  • Debora Kayembe, leading Human Rights Lawyer and Rector of Edinburgh University on the value of languages to identity, social justice and global democracy.
  • Adam Marshall, writer, thinker and former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce on why languages and cultural understanding are crucial to UK plc.
  • Dr Bill Rivers leading academic and languages advocate from the USA, on how languages and cultural skills affect economic development, national security and national wellbeing.
  • Professor Antonella Sorace FBA on how multilingualism contributes to transversal skills.
  • Matt Brown and Hugo Griffin Co-founders of the Civil Service Languages Network about its rapid growth and success.