The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just published a book (free to download) titled Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding.
It looks interesting and useful. Here’s an excerpt from an OECD blog post describing it:
The scope of the book is breathtaking: it explores language learning all across the globe, in countries ranging from Canada to Tanzania and from France to Kazakhstan. It goes well beyond (applied) linguistics to deal with history, sociology, ethnology, psychology, neuroscience, music, philosophy and ethics. For those who think that OECD publications are dull, think again. This book is witty, irreverent – and thought provoking.
Why do we learn other languages? In our globalised world, learning languages is more crucial than ever. In fact it’s vital. For a job-seeker, mastering only one language could be a drawback. Writing in The Guardian, Will Hutton points out that “In the UK, the unemployment rate for language graduates is extremely low. The labour market values them. The economy needs more people who can speak foreign languages. This is a valuable skill, whether you’re part of the global scientific community or the world trade system.”
At the country level, mastering languages can also become a competitive advantage. Look at Canada for example. Its multicultural and bilingual policies seem to give the country a competitive edge.
I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual.