On Friday 21st July, BETA members London Nest and English UK London are attempting to to break a world record for the most nationalities in a language lesson. Students studying from all over the capital have been invited to the annual garden party at the Calthorpe Project, where the language lesson will take place that afternoon.
Trying to break a world record sounds like so much fun. I grew up in the era of Roy Castle’s Record Breakers and have happy memories of sitting in front of the TV with my penny chews, marveling at the McWhirter twins with their stop-watches and encyclopedic knowledge of records broken, mesmerized by dominoes falling in formations and singing along to “dedication is all you need”. If you didn’t grow up in 1980s Britain, take my word for it…it was a great time to be a child.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the dedicated lot at English UK London and London Nest are going for a less domino-focused record: The Most Nationalities in a Language Lesson. We’ve been told that the current record stands at 56, which seems pretty easy to beat, given that the attempt is being done in London, Europe’s most international city where, according to the BBC, over 300 languages are spoken.
The diversity of the capital and the nation is a topical subject since the Brexit referendum and this world record attempt will echo the ethos of the broad-minded, internationally focused industry we work in. We are very proud to welcome an internationally diverse student body to an ethnically diverse city. In a recent Visit Britain article, CEO Sally Balcombe emphasizes that we all need to “drive home the message of welcome and value” to the 38.1 million visitors forecast to travel to the UK this year. This record attempt is exactly how we want to welcome our international guests to London: with fun, hospitality, warmth, respect and a touch of great British eccentricity.