Alistair McConville

How to save MFL? Paint a brighter global future…

As students flee modern foreign languages in droves, Alistair McConville says that we should stop talking about the earning potential of subjects and instead appeal to pupils’ youthful sense of social empathy – especially at a time of political upheaval around the world

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There are two strikingly different stories in the Bible about multilingualism.

The story of the Tower of Babel tells how God objected to the cooperation of different peoples, as they built a tower to reach towards heaven. To prevent them getting too close, he cast them into confusion and caused them to speak different languages. The building project failed: multilingualism was their punishment for hubris.

About 500 years later, at Pentecost, so the story goes, the coming of the Holy Spirit brought the faithful the supernaturally inspired ability to speak and understand one another’s language ...

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