• HLE Network

The Importance of Languages: An International Call to Action

December 1, 2020



For the first time in their histories, five international academies have joined together to sign a document in support of increased investment in language education, an unprecedented collaboration at a time of global uncertainty.


The Importance of Languages in Global Context: An International Call to Action is a collaboration of five institutions from nations in which English is a primary language. The joint statement recommends that the nations represented should invest educational resources to support the diversity of languages spoken within their borders, including indigenous languages, and provide greater access to education in a range of languages, even as they strive to improve literacy in English.



From the joint statement:


Languages are vital resources to be cherished and nurtured, including the languages of minority and indigenous populations who should be supported in their efforts to transmit their languages across generations, safeguard their traditional knowledge systems, and be protected from discrimination on the basis of language. This support should include the preservation and further development of cultural materials as well as continuing access to education across a range of languages. Such efforts are critical to creating truly multilingual societies as well as necessary to meaningful cross cultural communication

The participating academies see this effort as an important declaration of principle and hope it inspires more discussion, as well as a greater emphasis on language instruction and revitalization.