Heathrow is pioneering a unique language development initiative which aims to inspire children to learn new languages.
The ‘Little Linguists’ scheme, devised by the airport together with Professor of Developmental Linguistics at Edinburgh University and Director of Bilingualism Matters, Antonella Sorace, will see a number of Heathrow’s Passenger Ambassadors helping kids learn a new language with the aid of specially created flashcards teaching French, German and Mandarin Chinese. The Ambassadors – who speak 39 languages between them – will be ready and willing to help get children practicing their skills. The flashcards will be available for families to download online or pick up for free at information desks across all terminals airside over the Easter holidays.
In partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research and Opinium, Heathrow has studied the role languages currently play in children’s lives as well as identifying the languages children should learn to set them up for maximum opportunities in adulthood. The findings revealed French, German and Mandarin Chinese as the three languages that should be learnt to best set kids up for life in ten years’ time, with language skills expected to add up to £500 billion to the economy by 2027.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, said: “Easter at Heathrow brings huge numbers of families together to discover exciting languages, cultures and experiences. We hope this gives them a fun and educational start to their holiday, and inspires our future generation of little global explorers.”