British Council South Africa 


Language and the Sustainable Development Goals

Language is a defining feature of all human beings. But when it comes to international and local development discourse, language is all too often left on the sidelines. We know that language is inextricably linked to all aspects of human development, and development is about sharing experiences and ideas to find better ways of working together. Today, more than ever before, we realize that how language is used within education, trade, creative expression, justice and peacebuilding, are crucial to sustainable development. In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Two years on, this 12th Language and Development Conference provides a timely opportunity for the role of language to be explored in achieving these new, ambitious and universal goals.

The conference will bring together global policy makers, development professionals, the NGO sector, private sector, arts and creative sector representatives, researchers and all those with a perspective on the role of language in society. It will provide a forum for real-life successes and challenges to be shared; frank and open reflections to be facilitated; and pragmatic, evidence-based proposals to be put forward. All of this in an effort to inform the global development community as it continues its journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 12th Language and Development Conference 2017 will explore the role of language in supporting, not hindering, sustainable development initiatives through inclusive education, economic growth and societies that are also more just and peaceful.  

We will explore three of the Sustainable Development Goals through the following sub-themes:

  •          Multilingualism for Quality, Equitable and Inclusive Education
  •          Language, Skills and Sustainable Economic Growth
  •          Communication, Peace and Justice

Read the full description of the 12th Language and Development Conference 2017 themes.

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