Championing English at World Islamic Economic Forum

Wednesday 30 October 2013

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.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year teaching English, sharing the Arts and in education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than a quarter of our turnover which last year was £781m.  The rest we earn from English teaching, UK exams and services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with other institutions, brands and companies.  All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and creates prosperity and security for the UK and the countries we work in all around the world.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org