Report from: Internationalism Alliance webinar hosted by the British Council and The Prince’s Trust Monday 20th July 2020
The mission of the Alliance is to ensure that internationalism is interwoven in every young person’s education, life and experiences through diverse connections, the skills they develop in their local communities and also internationally to aid them in building a better future for themselves and the UK.
Promoting language learning and valuing different language communities
A young crafter Nadine shared her experiences of the role of her heritage language, Bulgarian, in the role of her design degree show and its impact on her crafting skills. This was inspirational and it is hoped that a case study of her work and of other young people will be developed and shared in time.
Four priorities had been identified which were deemed most actionable and which formed the themes for discussion groups for a significant part of the meeting. They were:
- Building a powerful central evidence base to understand and share best practice and the benefits to young people and linking together campaigns promoting international experience
- Strengthening connections with employers and business to enhance employment opportunities
- Advocating for policies and funding
- Promoting language learning and valuing different language communities
In the last group the following questions were asked, and some discussion took place:
What will the teaching of languages look like from September onwards?
What are the challenges for the languages classroom?
What can be done to support languages teachers more in coming months?
What can the British Council and partners do to keep internationalism at the fore of people’s minds moving forward?
There was significant discussion about what the classroom may look like and the challenges that teachers will face :
- Wellbeing of students and their teachers as they return to school in September and beyond
- The Ofqual Consultation findings and implications, including the withdrawal of speaking from GCSE Assessment for 2021
- The upskilling of MFL teachers in light of Covid-19 , eg with ICT skills
- The need to have a blended approach to language learning from 2020 and beyond and how this can be effectively achieved without focusing purely on technology but interleaving technology through schemes of learning/work to effectively support synchronous and asynchronous language learning
- The expectations of Ofsted in the new classroom constraints, and the implications for languages teachers if speaking is restricted.
- The importance of eTwinning and the Connecting Classrooms programmes in the role of promoting internationalism and diversity and marketing these free programmes to language teachers in the UK and beyond.
- The potential risks of not developing speaking and oracy skills on MFL (Every child has the right to have their voice heard, be it in their native language or an international one)
- The importance of subject associations and their timely guidance
Concerns were raised about the acceptance that global English was the only language required, recently highlighted in the Languages Trends 2020 report and that this Alliance would seek to combat this.
ALL will continue to support the work of this group.
The ‘fledgling’ webpage was referred to as was the pledge for partners and those who wish to join the International Alliance. https://england.britishcouncil.org/skills-leadership/internationalism-alliance
The pledge (with over 50 organisations already signed up) can be found here:
Alliance partners involve the Prince’s Trust, can be found here: