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How Britain’s monolingualism will hold back its economy after Brexit


11 April 2017

A strategic language policy and the cultivation of language experts in post-Brexit Britain are essential if the UK wants to connect with fresh markets overseas, argues Dr Gabrielle Hogan-Brun from the Graduate School of Education in The Conversation.

Regretting the consistently low level educational approaches to foreign language learning in the UK, she says: 'Brexit is a wake-up call for support with language training across all levels of society. Required at the policy level is commitment to, and long-term strategic investment in, languages education at school, in further and higher education. Here is a golden opportunity for Government to support cross-sector language initiatives to ready the UK’s functioning in a new set of aspired trade constellations across the globe'.

The article also relates to Dr Gabrielle Hogan-Brun’s recently published book "Linguanomics: What is the Market Potential of Multilingualism?" which looks at the effects that multilingualism can have on a country’s economy – from the considerable loss that the UK makes (3.5%) for being quite determinedly monolingual, to the significant gain that countries like Switzerland make (10%) for being on the other end of the language scale.

You can order 'Linguanomics: What is the Market Potential of Multilingualism?' (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) here

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