LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

School tables to include science [and modern languages]

England's secondary schools are going to be rated on the proportion of pupils getting two science GCSEs at grade C or above, in this year's league tables.


The intention to include a modern language in future was a recommendation of the Dearing review into the sharp decline that came after language study was made optional beyond the age of 14.

The intention is that the indicator will feature in the 2008 tables.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007
BBC website

Friday, 22 June 2007

Schoolgirl wins fight for French

A teenager who took her campaign to study GCSE French to the prime minister has won her battle.

Thursday 21st June 2007
BBC website

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Linking Teaching and Research conference

Places still available!
10th July 2007
University of Southampton

Debates about the links between teaching and research in UK higher education have intensified in recent years, as both teaching and research have come under increased pressure for performance, accountability and assessment. Increasingly, institutions and individual staff are being defined as led by either teaching or research. And the link between research and teaching is by turns derided - and hotly defended.

Keynote speakers: Clare Mar-Molinero, University of Southampton.
Alan Jenkins, Oxford Brooks University

Full programme


Proposals are invited from English HEIs to lead a regional consortium in each of the following regions:
East of England
East Midlands
Greater London
South West
Yorkshire and the Humber
Regions as defined by Government Offices : http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/gor.asp

The Routes into Languages Programme is an England-wide HEFCE and DfES initiative, to increase and widen participation in language study in higher education funded by HEFCE as part of its programme of work to support strategically important and vulnerable subjects.

Further funding has now been made available by the DfES in response to the recommendations of the Dearing review of languages. The Programme has a particular focus on the continuation of language studies post-14. It also aims to support the national role of HE languages as a motor of economic and civic regeneration. The Programme is funded to July 2010. Routes into Languages was developed by the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML), the HE Academy Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) and CILT, the National Centre for Languages. See http://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk

Full text of the Call for Bids, the Frequently Asked Questions, and sample successful bid papers are available on the website.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

At a speed they understand

Primary school pupils complain that languages are taught too quickly for them to learn properly, but whiteboard technology could be an answer, as shown by some of the software reviewed in this article.

Tuesday, 19th June 2007
The Guardian

Are GCSE listening exams easy to hear?

'Have your say' discussion concerning quality of recordings used for GCSE language exams.

Tuesday 19th june 2007
BBC website

Monday, 18 June 2007

Pupils lead the way with blogging

Children in the pilot group at Woodhill Primary School in Bishopbriggs are using blogs to communicate with schools across the UK and Europe and making podcasts on a range of subjects, including French language.

Monday 18th June 2007
BBC website

Further protests at Thomas Cook

The Welsh Language Society has again protested outside Thomas Cook offices after the travel company said business discussions should be in English.

Friday 15th June 2007
BBC website

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Report calls on employers to meet cost of migrant English lessons

Ministers were today urged to reconsider their plans to restrict access to free English language classes for migrants in a government-commissioned report on integration. The report urged the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to review the way it plans to allocate funds for English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol) over the coming academic year to ensure there was adequate provision.

Thursday, 14th June 2007
The Guardian

Language firm offers new terms

A private sector firm which has taken over language centres at several universities has suggested that staff could remain on their current conditions of service.

Friday, 15th June 2007
Times Higher Education Supplement, p. 5 (subscription required for online access).

Memorial fund launches languages scholarship scheme

Students struggling to afford to study English language courses could get funding help following the launch of an annual scholarship scheme.

Wednesday 13th June 2007
The Guardian

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Private school pupils learn Chinese from age of nine

CHILDREN as young as nine are to be given the chance to learn Chinese at one of Edinburgh's top private schools.

Tuesday 12th June 2007
Edinburgh Evening News

Business leaders speak out for better language lessons

BUSINESS leaders are pressing for more youngsters to learn languages in schools to help them compete in the global marketplace.

Tuesday, 12th june 2007
Edinburgh Evening News

Polish prompts for town's police

Police in a County Durham town are to be issued with prompt cards to help them communicate with the area's growing Polish community.

Tuesday, 12th June 2007
BBC website

Monday, 11 June 2007

Translation help 'should be cut'

The amount of official material being translated by bodies such as councils should be cut to encourage immigrants to learn English, Ruth Kelly has said.

Sunday, 10th June 2007
BBC website

Thomas Cook Welsh rule 'unlawful'

A ban by Thomas Cook on its staff speaking Welsh to discuss work "quite probably" breaks the law, according to he Commission for Racial Equality.

Monday, 11th June 2007
BBc website

Baptism of ‘absolute freak-out’

The fact that English is a global language presents challenges, as well as acting to Britain’s advantage, said Joanna McPake, Director of the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research, at a conference last week.

Friday, 8th June 2007
Times Education Supplement

Time for multilingual net domains

Internet law professor Michael Geist argues that delays to multilingual domain names are holding back internet diversity.

Thursday, 7th June 2007
BBC website

Survey shows diversity and change in adult language learning

The number of adults learning languages in local authority and FE college classes is continuing to decline according to initial findings from CILT's survey of adult language learning, carried out in conjunction with NIACE and the Association for Language Learning earlier this year.

CILT, the National Centre for languages

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

IRELAND: Boom in pupils choosing non-curricular languages

ALTHOUGH she arrived in Ireland from Moldova two years ago with no English apart from "hello", an ambitious student in north Co Dublin is leading the way in the Leaving Cert's linguistic revolution.

The number of students taking non-curricular languages for the Leaving Cert has boomed over the past 12 months and is now almost double the figure a year ago.

Tuesday 5th June 2007
Irish Independent

AUSTRALIA: Lost in translation: language crisis targeted

STUDENTS from primary school to year 10 would be required to study a second language as part of a national push by university chiefs to stem the language "crisis" in schools.

Under the plan, all year 12 graduates would also get a 10 per cent bonus on their university entry scores if they successfully complete a language other than English in their final year at school.

Saturday, 2nd June 2007
The Age (Australia)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Major push for Irish language law

As many as 4,000 responses to a proposed new Irish language law have been sent to the government, as a consultation period comes to an end.

Tuesday, 5th June
BBC website

Monday, 4 June 2007

Polish subtitles on Welsh TV show

Welsh language channel S4C is to broadcast a current affairs programme with Polish subtitles.

O Flaen Dy Lygaid (Before Your Eyes), which is produced by the BBC, is thought to be the first TV show in the UK to use subtitles in Polish.

Sunday 3rd June 2007
BBC website

Attention, s'il vous plaît

Lecturers are responding creatively to the challenge posed by language students who are more diverse than ever, says Michael Kelly (Director of the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies).

Friday 1 June 2007
Learning skills in HE Published in The Times Higher (subscription required to view online)

Hoodies and wags break into English dictionary

LONDON (AFP) - Hoodies, wags, carbon footprints and muffin tops have entered the English language, according to the ninth edition of the Collins English Dictionary launched Monday.

The new arrivals provided a snapshot of the way the English language has thrown up new words to describe the modern world.

Monday, June 4 2007
Yahoo UK and Ireland news

Ciao now, brown cow

Want to learn and speak a foreign language properly? Go and study abroad, says Francesca Nelson

21 April 2007
Daily Telegraph

Friday, 1 June 2007

Dialect researchers given a 'canny load of chink' to sort 'pikeys' from 'chavs' in regional accents

Researchers at Leeds University are sifting through a vast collection of examples of regional slang words and phrases turned up by a project run by the BBC, in which they invited the public to send in examples of English still spoken throughout the country.

Andy McSmith
Friday 1 June 2007
The Independent