The British Council is the key international organisation in the UK that promotes cultural relations and international educational opportunities. It connects millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in languages, education, the arts, and society, and it oversees the language assistant scheme that is so vital to Modern Foreign Languages in schools, and that provides an invaluable opportunity for young linguists to work abroad.
Collaboration with the British Council enables Creative Multilingualism to participate in UK policy-making on the most pressing issues facing the subject across the educational system, in the communities, and in business and diplomacy. The British Council gives continuity to languages policy in the UK, notably in providing administrative direction for the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages. Its long tradition of working with multilingual communities across the world provides an invaluable resource for our research on linguistic diversity in community contexts, and its schools online platform is ideally suited for disseminating teaching materials to its our worldwide network of schools.
Involvement of the British Council includes participation in the programme’s annual conferences, and workshops with language assistants will enhance the educational and career development value of the placements. A jointly organised workshop on the status of lesser taught languages, especially Arabic and Chinese, will seek to establish strategies for enhancing the visibility of such languages in the community and strengthening take-up by focusing on the productive interplay between factors including cultural identity, personal career development, and benefits on a national scale.
The partnership with the British Council is helping Creative Multilingualism to give an impetus to Modern Languages across the educational sectors, thereby strengthening the health of the subject and building a sustainable basis for language-led research. Together we are investigating and showcasing the involvement of creativity in language use and language learning at all levels, and demonstrating that activities involving creativity can serve as a powerfully motivating force that has transformative potential from schools through to universities and society at large.