Sheffield Languages Strategy 2012

Sheffield is a multicultural and multilingual city with an international strategy in place to enable it to participate fully in a globalised economy. To do that, and to reflect and celebrate the city’s diversity, it needs a coherent languages strategy. As far as is known, Sheffield is the first city in the country to have a strategy for languages. It is certainly the first city in Europe to have its languages policies profiled by the Council of Europe*.

Languages are essential to Sheffield for the following reasons;

  • They are essential to the education and skills base of our young people.
  •  About 120 languages are spoken as ‘home languages’ by the city’s children and their families. Some of these home languages are spoken by thousands of Sheffielders, in substantial communities.
  • A knowledge of a language other than English is a great boost to employability.
  •  Languages are essential to success in business in the highly competitive world of international business. This is so both for exports and in attracting inward investment.
  • Sheffield has a great number of international links, established and in development. Competence in the languages spoken in these places is essential to the flourishing of these links. 

The Sheffield Languages Strategy is the result of wide consultation across the sectors of city life. These include education, from early years to higher education, and representatives of communities, business, the health service and the police. The Strategy fits with other major city strategies, in particular the Community Cohesion, International and Raising Attainment Strategies. The Strategy and its Action Plan set out what is being done and what needs to be done sector by sector in order for languages to play their part in a successful and inclusive city. Languages here include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Your comments or queries on the Strategy and its Action Plan are welcome. Please send them using the Contact Us page. * The Sheffield Language Education Profile was delivered in 2009. You can download it from the link below (click on ‘Language Education Policy Profiles’. Sheffield’s profile appears in the table that will appear). onscreen.