Acquisition des langues

Lack of languages stifles Brits and Americans

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2014

The Guardian 8 July 2014

Why learn a second language if everyone speaks English? To better understand a culture, or boost your employability in the global economy, finds a Guardian roundtable.

Club football managers talk to players in it, scientific researchers email each other in it, global businesses negotiate in it. When even the European Central Bank chooses English as its main language, despite the UK being outside the euro, why should British or American school kids bother learning anything else?

That was the question put to a recent roundtable discussion hosted by the Guardian and British Academy in association with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The discussion brought together leading policymakers, academics and industry representatives from both sides of the Atlantic to address the language-learning deficit in English-speaking countries and try to work out what to do about it.

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