The British Council is joining British companies at UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) British Business Pavilion at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, to promote the importance of the English language to international decision makers from a wide range of high-growth markets.
The British Council – which teaches English in more than 80 countries worldwide – will be helping to promote the success story of the UK’s education sector and the vital role the English language plays in this success.
The British Council’s English Language Director, Anna Searle, will take part in a panel discussion at the Pavilion on Thursday 31 October, discussing current and trends and developments in English Language Teaching, and debating the role that English can play in helping to drive economic development.
Anna Searle said: “The UK does not own the English language - it is a global language with many varieties. But, in the UK, we are a leader in English language skills provision and are very good at exporting this. The UK English Language Teaching sector as well as UK Higher and Further education providers work in English across the world. You can see from the sheer numbers of people who want to come to the UK for an English language summer school, a pre-sessional course or to study at a UK university just how much of an asset the English language is to the UK economy.”
The British Council will also use the event to relaunch its report, The English Effect, which examines the status of English as a global language and the extent to which it changes lives around the world and gives the UK a competitive edge. Key findings from the report include:
- English belongs to the world, with speakers of English as a second or other language far outnumbering first-language speakers
- English gives the UK a competitive edge in areas ranging from culture and media to commerce and soft power
- English boosts stability, employability and prosperity in developing and emerging economies
- The UK needs to do more to respond to the global demand for English – including attracting our brightest and best young people into English teaching
Recent research for the British Council showed the value of English language skills in the Middle East and North Africa – and found that English speakers can earn up to three times as much as non-English speakers.