Languages & Intercultural Working
Learning to build bridges
We live in a multilingual, multicultural world. Due to this, our engagement with non-English-speaking persons in business will remain a challenge unless we develop our capacity in other languages. We believe that with increased ability in languages, the UK will:
- be more successful in the global economy
- build better relationships at home and abroad
- enable young Britons to compete with their international peers
The UK government states that Britain's focus is on boosting economic growth, keeping people in employment and creating new jobs. This means working with European partners and preparing the workforce to compete globally in the 21st century. However, only 6% of the world's population speak English as a first language. Furthermore, 75% of the world's population doesn't speak any English at all1. We aim to increase language proficiency throughout the UK and develop intercultural working skills to successfully compete in the global economy.
We oversee five NOS suites in languages and intercultural skills for business.
These standards cover the skills and knowledge needed to use a language in a work setting. They can be applied to any language and in any work context. This allows learners to choose specific standards at a level that is most suitable for them.
- Four skills: understand, speak/sign, read, and write
- Seven levels: from basic to complex to specialist
These standards cover the skills and knowledge needed to work with people (both in the UK and internationally) from different countries or diverse cultures in ways that promote respectful interaction, better understanding and improved performance.
These standards cover what individuals need to do, and the knowledge and skills they require, in order to be competent professional translators. They describe core aspects of translation performance at both professional and advanced levels, as well as relevant support activities such as project management and mentoring colleagues.
These standards cover what individuals need to do, and the knowledge they need to acquire, in order to become competent, professional interpreters. They also include standards that cover the requirements of trainee interpreters.
These standards are for people who are working as professional lipspeakers or who wish to achieve accreditation as a professional lipspeaker to work with deaf, deafened and/or deafblind people.
Speech to Text Reporter
The suite was developed in partnership with The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People. The NOS are for people who have language skills equivalent (but not necessarily accredited) to level 5 of the UK Occupational Language Standards and Speech to Text Reporting skills and who would like to develop or gain accreditation for the skills needed to work as a professional Speech to Text Reporter.
A range of vocational and academic language qualifications are available within the UK and internationally in many languages and at all skill levels. NVQs are available in several languages at four levels.
QCF units have been developed by the National Centre for Languages to cover the skills of understanding, speaking, reading and writing a language. Qualifications are also available in many languages, including sign language. We have not developed any language qualifications but further information of available qualifications in England, NI and Wales can be found at the Register of Regulated Qualifications. For qualifications in Scotland please visit the SQA.