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“Our society still operates on a monolingual ideal”: Expert comment from Professor Jo Angouri

As the number of students studying German and French drops by half in UK secondary schools, expert in multilingualism from the Centre for Applied Linguistics, Professor Jo Angouri, explains this decline in foreign language learning.

“The myth of ‘monolingualism as the norm’ is related to the declining in language learning. We are currently experiencing a deep paradox, on the one hand multilingualism is associated with mobility, productivity and knowledge creation (see for instance, the EU’s objective for all citizens to speak two languages in addition to their first one). On the other hand, our society still operates on a monolingual ideal which does not reflect the multilingual landscape of our cities, work environments and our world. We need a different framework to promote the importance of language for economic growth, global competitiveness, social cohesion, mobility, wellbeing and our creative potential and re/energise language learning.”


Kim Ingram, Assistant Press Officer


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