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Published: 17 November 2016

Royal recognition for linguistics graduate

Linguist Sally Fagan has been recognised for her work in promoting the study of language and cultural understanding amongst schoolchildren with an award presented by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

Sally, who graduated in 1980 in Linguistics and International Studies, received the Threlford Memorial Cup, the highest award of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. Through her social enterprise venture Business Language Champions, Sally runs events in the East Midlands for secondary school pupils, showing how languages can open up exciting career opportunities.

The CEO of the Institute, Ann Carlisle, described Sally as “a hugely inspiring individual and important role model for school students”.

In her acceptance speech, Sally said: “We are delighted to have been given this award which will add credibility to our organisation and our message, especially this year as we seek to expand into new geographical areas. With Brexit and uncertainties in world politics and economies, competency in other languages has never been more important.”

Business Language Champions was established in 2011 and has since reached around 10,000 school students. It brings in a number of other organisations to show how languages do not work in isolation, including GCHQ, the National Space Academy and the RAF.

The Threlford Memorial Cup was established in 1935, named after the founder of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Sir Lacon Threlford. It is awarded annually for fostering the study of languages. HRH Prince Michael of Kent is the royal patron of the Institute and is himself a fluent Russian speaker.