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.

We are pleased to invite nominations for the next winner.

Please complete the online nomination form. The criteria are listed on the right-hand side of this page. 

The winner will be announced at the CIOL Conference in March 2022.

Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 31 October 2021. 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

2020 winner: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK
Accepted by Rahul Bhagvat

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.

2019 winner: uTalk Junior Language Challenge
Accepted by Richard Howsen, founder of uTalk, pictured here with HRH Prince Michael of Kent, CIOL's Royal Patron

A language competition for schoolchildren launched 14 years ago, since when 25,000 children and 500 schools across the UK have taken part.

Read more here.

2018 winner: Young Interpreter Scheme
Accepted by Astrid Dinneen, project lead

This initiative helps children from other cultures settle into school by ‘buddying’ with another pupil who speaks their language.

Since 2008, 900 schools have subscribed to the scheme nationally and are using the materials to train around 20 pupils in each school every year. Read more 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

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