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Languages in Education

Education in languages is essential to the future of our professions and, as a UK-based entity, ITI is deeply concerned about the state of language learning in the UK and is actively involved in lobbying for better education in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) from primary school right through to post-graduate education.

ITI and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages

ITI actively supports the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages and a representative attends all of the meetings. This group holds meetings within the Houses of Parliament and has direct access to parliamentarians.

“The APPG on Modern Languages meets six times a year to discuss a wide range of issues relating to languages and their place in the policy discussions of the day. It also acts to gather evidence and write to ministers and other key figures, when the need arises, to draw attention to key issues.”



Manifesto for Languages

The APPG launched its Manifesto for Languages on 14 July 2014.  Among the policies being sought are:

  • A commitment to transform the reputation of UK citizens as poor linguists
  • High-quality language learning for all children throughout the UK from age 7
  • A goal for every child to have a high-quality language qualification by the end of secondary education
  • Active encouragement for business and employers to get involved in tackling the crisis through a tax break for companies investing in language training
  • A commitment to maintaining and developing UK expertise in modern languages and cultures in university language departments

Learn more about the Manifesto for Languages.

The latest lobbying efforts by the APPG have been supported by ITI, the ATC and the CIOL, with two of the four also relating to language education: http://www.all-languages.org.uk/news/appg-on-modern-languages-launches-brexit-languages-a-checklist-for-government-negotiators-and-officials/


Brexit & Languages: A Checklist for Government Negotiators and Officials

  1. Guaranteeing residency status for EU nationals already living in the UK and safeguarding future recruitment of EU citizens to address the shortage of language skills
  2. Continuing full UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme (noting the examples of Norway and Switzerland)
  3. Committing to legislate to replicate the rights enshrined in the 2010 European Directive on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings
  4. A post-Brexit plan in education (from primary school to post-graduate research, including apprenticeships), business and the civil service, with specific actions to ensure the UK produces sufficient linguists to meet its future requirements as a leader in global free trade and on the international stage.


ITI and Outreach into Schools, Colleges and Universities

ITI actively encourages members to become involved in spreading the word on languages in the education system and many members already give sessions in their local primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. We are currently working on plans for an ‘ambassadors’ scheme of our own, but in the meantime we encourage members to sign up to other programmes such as:




For ideas on how to shape your sessions the following suggestions may be useful:

Websites promoting the translation of children’s books:

You can also search foreign language online bookstores for appropriate picture books.


General resources on translation:

Routes into Languages



National Network for Translation



For programmes developed specifically for bringing translation into schools, see:

Translators in schools

Translators in Schools was launched in 2013 as a professional development programme to widen the pool of translators and teachers with the skills to run creative translation workshops in schools.



Translation Nation

Translation Nation was a four-year project with Eastside Educational Trust that ran from 2010 to 2014 and saw 10 and 11 year-old children in inner-city primary schools making translations of folk tales from other cultures.



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