British Council

Kids, Eat Your Verts - Languages Are Good For You

John Worne | Posted 03.09.2014 | UK
John Worne

When it comes to language learning, I start this new school term like all those other parents sending their kids to a new school: a little anxious, a little excited, and hopeful for a brighter linguistic future.

Culture Is a Contact Sport

John Worne | Posted 06.08.2014 | UK Sport
John Worne

Sport is one of the universal languages which connect people and cultures... Sport is primal, basic, essential and everywhere... Sport and great sporting events are a massive draw. But the best of all is when sport is shared alongside culture. And here Glasgow excelled.

Whatever the Weather, Culture's Our Biggest Draw

John Worne | Posted 27.09.2014 | UK
John Worne

There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to UK culture and our national image. And that's important as it attracts people from around the world to visit, study here and do business with us. The world may (wrongly this week) think that our weather's terrible - but the sun never sets on UK culture, and it shines all around the world.

To Many People, Entrepreneurship and Culture Seem Strange Bedfellows...

Caroline Meaby | Posted 20.09.2014 | UK
Caroline Meaby

We live in a hugely connected world but our points of reference can still be quite limited to the English-speaking world. Through programmes like YCE, the British Council can identify what's going on outside the confines of the usual places we look to. We connect our global entrepreneurs with the UK and with each other, and sow the seeds for international knowledge sharing and collaborations.

Shakespeare: A Hit, A Very Palpable Hit

John Worne | Posted 25.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
John Worne

There's the one thing that underpins all of this - as Hamlet said, 'the play's the thing'. The reason Shakespeare's words are our words, and his works are our children's school work, is the substance. Content is king.

The Many Future Cities

Ben Barker | Posted 02.06.2014 | UK Tech
Ben Barker

The future has a lot in store for cities. Before the end of the century planners and architects will have seen some weird briefs land on their desks as we make settlements on the moon, in digital space and roaming settlements that graze the landscape for resources.

Creative Tech Entrepreneurs Should Look Beyond Shoreditch and Palo Alto for Inspiration

Beatrice Pembroke | Posted 18.05.2014 | UK Tech
Beatrice Pembroke

Beyond established hotspots such as the US and UK, there's a whole movement of other digital and creative hubs, from Nairobi to Recife and Jakarta to Cairo. Less obvious pools of ideas and talent: growing markets of youth consumers and the originators of new creative ideas, social innovation and cultural leadership.

How Much Do You Know About WW1?

Huffington Post UK/PA | Posted 11.02.2014 | UK

How much do you know about the First World War? Trenches, the Western Front, the Somme, poison gas and young men being mowed down with industri...

WWI - Remember the World as Well as the War

John Worne | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK
John Worne

Just like the courtesy of learning a few words of the language, for someone from the UK travelling to countries with different memories of WWI than ours, learning a little more about the scale and legacy of this truly global conflict can be invaluable in effectively navigating and building relationships of trust.

Traveling the Backwaters of Kerala

Ben Dalton | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Ben Dalton

The backwaters of Kerala maintain their lurid greenness despite the overhanging grey, Soviet sky of monsoon season. They are deathly still, like a bath that has been run and then forgotten. Our boat - a sort of floating Family Robinson tree house - leaves little trace behind it as it ambles down river.

A Language Assistant's Life in La Réunion

Ben Dalton | Posted 03.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Ben Dalton

Climbing down the plane steps, Reunion has clearly pulled out all the stops. It's like one of those ridiculous Hollywood tropical islands, like Spooky Island from Scooby Doo, when you arrive to postcard palm trees, people flinging flower necklaces around your neck (this of course didn't actually happen) and with 'Pass the Duchee on the Left hand Side' playing as the soundtrack.

The Languages for the UK's Future

John Worne | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
John Worne

It's a toughie. Famously tongue-tied in foreign languages, and notwithstanding the 200+ languages widely spoken in London and Manchester alone, the fact is the UK needs more people speaking more languages.

Jewels of Afghan Culture

Graham Sheffield | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Entertainment
Graham Sheffield

We will continue our cultural relations work well beyond the planned withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan next year; because we firmly believe that, along with the promotion of governance, security and development, the promotion of culture is a critical fourth foundation of Afghanistan's future.

Good News: Tokyo Just Got Closer

John Worne | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
John Worne

Which two cities are more connected than you'd think? London and Paris or New York? Nope, the surprise winner when you look at Loughborough University's impressively-named Information-rich Visualisation of Dense Geographical Networks figure 1c is... London and Tokyo.

Jiàoyù , Jiàoyù, Jiàoyù

John Worne | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
John Worne

We have a booming export industry which is taking China by storm and returning billions to the UK economy. Fashion? Cars? Films? TV? All growing nicely, yes, but not the winner.. .In fact it's Education, Education, Education, as Chinese-speaking readers will have already deciphered in the title.

London, Paris, New York: Some Things You Just Can't Bottle

John Worne | Posted 05.11.2013 | UK
John Worne

This week I was a panellist at the launch event for the inaugural Ipsos MORI Top Cities survey - a worldwide poll that crowned London as the most popular city in Europe, but forced us to tip our bowler hats to New York as the global winner. But in amongst the data were a few fascinating phenomena...

Joy, Passion and Talent in Abundance

Cathy Graham | Posted 19.10.2013 | UK Entertainment
Cathy Graham

There is still a huge challenge in delivering musical education to children in the Palestinian Territories. Limitations on financial resources mean that teachers' salaries are low, instruments are often of poor quality, and teaching resources can be basic - and it's also difficult for foreign teachers to get visas to work there.

Please 'Elp Me, I Am Briteesh...

John Worne | Posted 13.10.2013 | UK
John Worne

The UK's lack of foreign language skills has become almost a cliché. But that doesn't make it a laughing matter. If we don't have the skills to get by for a few days in the sun, what hope do we have when it comes to the serious business of international trade?

London 2012 - One Year On...

John Worne | Posted 20.09.2013 | UK
John Worne

It's a bit 'last year' in 2013 to talk up 2012 but, as we approach the first anniversary of the London Olympics, there's good evidence that 2012 has changed what the world thinks about us.

Awarding Musical Visionaries

Cathy Graham | Posted 28.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Cathy Graham

It was enormously rewarding to be able to bring the British Council to work in partnership with the Society to bring the honoured Awardees to London to share their experiences with the UK and receive their awards. The British Council's mission is to build trust and understanding between the UK and the rest of the world through the sharing of knowledge, creativity and art.

The English Language Assistant: An Outdated Relic

Ben Dalton | Posted 27.08.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Ben Dalton

It must be accepted that role of the English language assistant - alongside that of the door-to-door onion salesman, the lamp lighter and the shoeshine - need to be laid to rest. Maybe, if one was feeling kind, it might be honoured in a museum somewhere.

Why Soft Power Is Hard for Governments

John Worne | Posted 18.08.2013 | UK Politics
John Worne

Sharing culture is hard when you can't entertain another point of view, tough when you have to stick to your line, and impossible when what you say can immediately be turned into a headline and used as a stick to beat you. This is the lot of modern governments.

UK Culture Means Business

John Worne | Posted 20.07.2013 | UK
John Worne

But in these austere times she also asked for better evidence of the value of culture. In short, her point was that if we want UK Government to continue investing in culture - as public spending gets the squeeze - we in the cultural industries need to demonstrate a return on that investment

Long Journey Ahead for Afghanistan

John Glen | Posted 16.06.2013 | UK Politics
John Glen

Recognising the deep, long-term nature of development work is critical to reasoning why we cannot duck out of our obligation when we feel the financial strain at home, and plan to return to it at a later date. Debate on how to achieve our objectives in development needs to be open and informed.

Can Britain Claim Greater 'Soft Power' Thanks to Iron Maiden?

Mark Hillary | Posted 14.06.2013 | UK Politics
Mark Hillary

British music, art, and culture in general has reached every corner of the world and this does create a favourable impression of the nation - useful for business and politics in addition to just feeling a bit more welcomed when visiting a new place as a tourist.