Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Threlford Cup

Special award for fostering the study of languages

The Threlford Cup is CIOL’s prestigious award for inspiring the learning of languages, presented annually for an activity that has inspired others with an original language-learning or teaching initiative.

The winner of the award is selected from nominations received from the wider languages community. Everyone is welcome to nominate.

If you would like to make a nomination, please complete the online nomination form. The criteria are listed on the right-hand side of this page. 

If you have any queries, please contact us.

History of the Threlford Cup

First presented in 1935 by Sir Lacon Threlford, Founder of the Institute of Linguists, the cup was described as the world's greatest trophy for fostering the study of languages and of marvellous beauty.

Past winners

2021-22 winner: Civil Service Languages Network

Matt Brown, Rosalind Lane, Sorrel Evans and Hugo Griffin from the Civil Services Languages Network pictured here with HRH Prince Michael of Kent

Awarded for setting up a cross-government space for 4,500 linguists in 30 different languages to practice their language skills and develop their cross-cultural understanding. The Network has organised over 50 guest lectures with speakers from journalists to ambassadors and also puts on weekly conversation sessions.

A Special Commendation (runner up to the Threlford Cup) was awarded to the Hackney Spanish Initiative for a new approach to language teaching in Hackney’s schools eight years ago to increase the take-up of languages and improve students’ results.

2020 winner: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK
Volunteers from the project pictured here with HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Royal Patron

Awarded for innovative resources developed for teaching Gujarati and ensuring that the language and culture are kept alive among young members of the Gujarati community. Rahul Bhagvat took part in a video interview about the project – you can view the video here.

A Special Commendation was awarded to the School of Slavonic & East European Studies (UCL). You can view the video with co-ordinator Ramona Gonczol here.



More Threlford Cup award winners

Special Award for fostering the study of languages 

First presented in 1935 by Sir Lacon Threlford, Founder of the Institute of Linguists. In the archives of the time the cup was described as "the world's greatest trophy for fostering the study of languages" and "of marvellous beauty".

Sir Lacon was, amongst other things, the Governor of Fiji, a Mason of outstanding rank, sponsor at the induction of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and has a window dedicated to him at the Church of St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London.

Current holder and past winners

2022-23: Joint winners:
Stephen Spender Trust / Lingo Flamingo
2021-22: Civil Service Languages Network
2020: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
2019: uTalk Junior Challenge
2018: Young Interpreter Scheme
2017: MFL Student Mentoring Project
2016: Sally Fagan, Business Language Champions
2015: European Masters in Translation Programme/Angeliki Petrits (programme leader)
2014: GCHQ Language Outreach Programme
2013: Lizzie Fane, Founder,
2012: Arsenal Double Club Languages
2011: Italian in Italy, Association of Italian Schools
2010: Luisa Ribeiro