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Languages Work

The national information resource on careers with languages


The first round of judging involved regional heats across the UK in spring 2010 run by Routes into Languages, CILT Cymru, Scottish CILT and Northern Ireland CILT. Regional judges chose a shortlist of clips from their region which were passed on to our celebrity judging panel who then chose their favourite clips. A big thank you to all our judges!

Check out our celebrity line up of judges!

Guillem Balagué

Guilleme'The fact is that if you want an international career you have to be able to communicate with people across the world. Speaking another language helps you cross frontiers you didn’t even know existed, taking your career to the next level.'I’m proud to support the LAFTAs; they’re fun, they’re creative and they get more young people to see the opportunities languages provide.'

Guillem Balagué is a commentator for Sky Sports. He is an expert in Spanish football and commentates in Spanish and English. A respected international journalist, Guillem also writes football commentary for The Observer, The Times and prestigious Spanish papers. You can read his column on the Sky Sports website.

John Bateman, UK Youth

John Bateman“The ability to communicate is one of the greatest skills that we possess, but if we can only do so via one language we are depriving ourselves of so many important experiences. Whether travelling abroad, socialising in diverse community groups or enjoying the breadth and diversity of different cultures the ability to communicate in different languages is a skill that will deliver a lifetime of benefit”.

John Bateman OBE is Chief Executive of UK Youth, an organisation which promotes non-formal education programmes for young people - working with them to develop their potential.

The UK Youth network supports more than 750,000 young people, 7000 youth groups, clubs and projects and more than 40,000 volunteer and part-time youth workers throughout the UK. It works to make a lasting impact by encouraging young people to take responsibility and become involved citizens. It gives a voice to people who are too rarely heard and builds skills that will remain useful throughout their lives.

Kathryn Board, CILT, the National Centre for Languages

Kathryn Board'I’m a huge fan of the LAFTAs. We all know how important foreign languages can be on both a professional and a personal level. They open up a wealth of opportunities and experiences that one language alone just couldn’t provide. What’s special about the LAFTAs, though, is that they show just how much fun can be had with language learning. I’m delighted to be involved in a competition that will inspire so many people to want to understand new cultures, and I can’t wait to see the ideas come rolling in.'

Kathryn Board is Chief Executive of CILT, the National Centre for Languages. She is a trained linguist, speaking Spanish and German as well as a number of other languages. She is a passionate advocate of languages and their potential role in society.

Lord CoeSebastian Coe, London 2012 Organising Committee

Sebastian Coe is Chair of London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). He is also a double Olympic Champion and 12-time world record holder in Athletics.He won gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m at both the Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 Games.

He retired from competitive athletics in 1990 and became a Conservative MP and Private Secretary to William Hague. In 2002 he was made a Peer – Lord Coe of Ranmore. He received a knighthood in the 2006 New Year's Honours List.

Henriette Harnisch, Language Networks for Excellence

Harriet Harnisch'Having some linguistic and intercultural competence can sometimes make all the difference. If I had a penny for every time an employer told me that they would always look at a linguist candidate more preferably I’d be rich now! Linguists bring communication skills, listening skills, are culturally and interculturally aware and have often travelled to places that have given them broader horizons and confidence.

What I think is so genius about the LAFTAs is that they encourage young people to think about languages creatively and, crucially, through another medium. It’s a delight and a great pleasure to be associated with the LAFTAs.'

Henriette Harnisch is Director of Language Networks for Excellence, which provides language and communications solutions for a wide range of customers. Driven by a passion for opening up the world through learning languages, Henriette also works as an author, teacher, researcher and speaker on all things languages. 

Freddie Highmore

Freddie Highmore‘It makes perfect sense. One World - One Language: it’s English. Thank you and good night… bonne nuit…buenas noches… lala kahle…!  But hang on, isn’t it our differences that make me me and you you? They say that travel broadens the mind but if you don’t speak the language it sure narrows the view! I’m very happy and honoured to have been asked to be involved with LAFTAs. I’ve been lucky to travel a lot and have discovered that often the most rewarding places are the hardest to get to, whether by foot, 4x4 or foreign language film.’

Freddie Highmore has played leading roles in many films including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Finding Neverland” both opposite Johnny Depp, “A Good Year” opposite Russell Crowe and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” opposite himself as twins. He’s worked in France for Luc Besson and Jean-Jacques Annaud. This year Freddie has been in South Africa shooting the title role in “Master Harold …and the Boys”. He is currently studying for his A levels including French & Spanish and recently won top male UK student in the Spanish government’s Ruta Quetzal competition.

Professor Mike Kelly

‘We are working together to bring language learning to young people and inspire them to engage with today’s globalised world. These are exciting times to be learning languages and we believe there will be great benefits for the career options of our young people.'

Professor Kelly is a specialist in modern French culture and society, head of the School of Humanities at Southampton University, and Director of the UK Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. He is also Director of a major new programme, Routes into Languages, which aims to increase the take up of modern languages in secondary and higher education.

Dr Lid King

Lid King‘English is not enough in this ever-smaller world. Languages are for all and for life.’

Lid King is the National Director for Languages and Director of The Languages Company, which was set up in 2008 to develop the National Languages Strategy. Before becoming the National Director for Languages, Dr King was Director of CILT, the National Centre of Languages, where he spent eleven years developing the work of the organisation and spearheading a wide range of language initiatives.

Karl Pfeiffer, Goethe Institute

Karl Pfeiffer'Languages have made my life exciting from very very early on. Being able to say thank you in many languages and receiving a smile in return has made such a difference on numerous occasions.'

Karl Pfeiffer studied English and German to become a language teacher. He has worked in London since 1986 first at Goldsmiths' College and for the last twenty years at the Goethe-Institut. As Director of Education Links he has been strongly promoting Foreign Languages and not least of all German.

Mark Reid, British Film Institute

Mark Reid‘Film offers us windows into whole language cultures - ways of being, seeing and thinking - which is why at the BFI we recommend film as support for learning other languages.’

Mark Reid is Head of Education at the BFI, where he has worked since 1998.  Before that he taught English, Media, and Film in south London for 7 years.  The BFI runs education programmes and publishes resources that promote film across the whole curriculum, but has a special interest in non-English language film and languages teaching.

Mick Webb

'I've found that being able to communicate in other languages is not just a great addition to the CV but improves your holidays, leads to all kinds of friendships and above all provides no end of entertainment.'

Mick Webb runs the BBC Languages website. After studying Spanish and French at Southampton University he had a brief spell as an teacher of English in Venezuela and a briefer spell as a French teacher in Birmingham. He then joined the BBC where he has been for many years as a producer of factual programmes and language learning resources.

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