Sunday, 21 September 2014

British Council stresses importance of learning Turkish as new academic year for UK Turkish schools start

Students & teachers at Hülya Turkish School in Surrey

This weekend, Turkish schools across Britain begin their new academic year. Pupils can take Turkish language and cultural classes at 38 Turkish and 39 British schools, with language teachers supplied from both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. The increase in the number of available classes reflects the growing demand to learn Turkish, not just among the British Turkish Diaspora, but also the wider British population.

Last November, the British Council released a report titled Languages for the Future  including Turkish in its top 10 list of foreign languages to be learnt.  The other languages were: Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and Japanese. These languages are deemed the most vital to the UK over the next 20 years when considering a range of economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors, and: “the needs of UK businesses, the UK’s overseas trade targets, diplomatic and security priorities, and prevalence on the internet”.

Noting the British Council report, Abdurrahman Bilgiç (pictured), Turkey’s new ambassador to London, said: “I congratulate our teachers, volunteer educators, head teachers and civil society groups for ensuring the Turkish language is passed on from generation to generation in Britain, and is now regarded as one of the most important [foreign] languages in the UK.”

Ambassador Bilgiç added that, “As important as it is to pass on these valuable teachings to our younger generations, so too is their upbringing to ensure they contribute positively to their social circles and wider community, by increasing their self-confidence and ability to draw on their personal talents, their respect for universal values and as individuals their ability to maximise the opportunities arising from their era.”

For more information on UK Turkish schools and language classes:

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