british council

A special interview with Sir Martin Davidson, KCMG, CEO British Council

The bookshops are stocking up, the hotels undergoing spring-cleans and the pubs preparing to welcome guests keen to follow in the footsteps of Wales's most famous poet and hellraiser. Admirers of Dylan Thomas are expected to descend in droves on South Wales this year not just from across the UK but from the US, Europe and the far east to join a year-long celebration marking the centenary of his birth.

On the sad occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death, it’s worth recalling his words on languages: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” I read that quote on a poster on the wall at the Beijing Language and Cultural University on a smoggy morning this September – BLCU is one of the British Council’s longest standing and biggest partners in China.

On the sad occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death, it’s worth recalling his words on languages: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

Last Friday, the United Nations Foundation and the Digital Diplomacy Coalition hosted “Digital Diplomacy +Social Good,” a half-day conference focused on the transformative power of technology in the evolving conversations about Public Diplomacy in the 21st-century. Dynamic speakers from embassies in Washington, D.C. and international organizations like the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, and the British Council talked about the challenges and opportunities for the tradecrafts of diplomacy and communications in our digital world.

September 7, 2013

As the new term starts across England, schools are chewing over this summer’s results in the 16-plus exams. One trend is clear—the coalition’s emphasis on pupils achieving five core academic subjects, including a language, in its new EBACC (English Baccalaureate) qualification has raised the number of candidates taking language exams.

Have you ever tried teaching classic literature to language learners? Teacher trainer Chris Lima explains how 19th century language and culture are less of a hindrance in relating literature – and Jane Austen specifically – to language students than one might assume. I suppose most teachers’ first reaction towards working with Jane Austen in the English language classroom is not very different from the reactions we have when people mention Shakespeare or Dickens, or literature in general.

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