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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Professor Mike Kelly promotes language learning on the BBC

Published: 16 October 2013

Head of Modern Languages, Professor Mike Kelly was invited to take part in a TV discussion on the importance of language learning on BBC South. It was prompted by a report from the Confederation of British Industry claiming that exports are being held back by a lack of language skills among British business people.

 Interviewed by regional business editor Peter Henley, Mike said many students want to learn languages but they can be put off by the need to specialise in them early on in colleges and sixth forms. However, he said he was encouraged by the rise of numbers of university students taking up languages alongside their main subjects and the increasing popularity of evening classes which are offered at the University of Southampton in several languages and levels.

Also on the Sunday Politics South programme were Salisbury Conservative MP John Glenn and Southampton Test Labour MP Alan Whitehead. Although John admitted he had GCSE qualifications in French and German, he said he hardly ever used them because most Europeans he met spoke English.

Modern Languages at Southampton offers a wide range of options at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, which can be combined with other subjects. There are also opportunities to work or study abroad to help students gain a real understanding of different languages and cultures.

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