LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Epic poem wins Tefl scholarship

The author of a 1,400-word poem about teaching English in Spain was this week named the winner of the inaugural Suzanne Furstner Foundation scholarship.
Anna Prime's entry was picked from a shortlist of five at an open evening at the Guardian's Newsroom on Wednesday, organised by language training and advice company Cactus Tefl, which launched the scholarship in memory of a colleague killed in 2006.

Prime, currently spending a year in Russia, wins a four-week Cambridge Celta course and a two-week language course in Spain.

Friday 23 November, 2007

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Academy concern over decline in language study

The British Academy wants to lend its weight to the ongoing fight to save languages in schools and universities in the UK.
Fewer people are studying modern foreign languages since the government made them non-compulsory at GCSE level in 2004.

The academy is the latest body to be concerned over the growing apartheid in language study, where the bulk of teaching is in specialist and independent schools and state school pupils miss out.

Wednesday November 21, 2007

Friday, 16 November 2007

Bilingualism research centre opens

A £5m research centre on bilingualism will be officially opened in Wales today.

The centre at Bangor University has already begun its work into all aspects of bilingualism from studying conversations between bilinguals in Caernarfon and Miami to the first words of infants.

Friday, 16th November 2007
Western Mail

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The LAFTAs (Languages and Film Talent Awards)

Languages Work, the motivational Project from ClLT– the National Centre for Languages, has announced the launch of its competition for 13 -21 year-olds.
Make a 2 minute video clip on why 'languages work'

Prizes include trips the Spain and Germany and a £ 1500 video camera!

Examples to inspire can be found at www.youtube.com/routesintolanguages

Full competition details from www.languageswork.org.uk

Schools reluctant to set targets to increase language take up

Schools reluctant to set targets to increase language take up

Only 17% of secondary schools have so far acted on the Government’s requirement to set a benchmark for participation in language learning after fourteen. Over half of secondary schools now have fewer than 50% of pupils continuing with a language in Key Stage 4, and those with the lowest take-up are the most reluctant to set targets to improve. Findings from CILT's annual survey of secondary schools, Language Trends 2007, carried out in conjunction with the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Independent Schools' Modern Language Association, show there is a gulf in practice between schools where languages are well supported and others where languages have been allowed to decline to extremely low levels.

This year's report analyses in particular
participation rates in Key Stage 4
trends in take-up of specific languages
response to the Government's benchmark for KS4 take-up of language courses
developments with accreditations

CILT Press Release: http://www.cilt.org.uk/news/pressoffice/pressrelease/2007/pr0732lt071211n.pdf

Final report: http://www.cilt.org.uk/research/languagetrends/2007/trends2007_final_report.pdf

Full statistical report: http://www.cilt.org.uk/research/languagetrends/2007/trends2007_statistical_report.pdf

Monday, 12 November 2007

Tongue-tied Britain is losing its voice

Fewer pupils studying foreign languages fuels the UK's slide into self-defeating Euroscepticism
Will Hutton
Sunday, 11 November 2007
The Observer

UK pupils 'least globally aware'

UK children aged 11 to 16 have the lowest international awareness among their age group in 10 countries, a British Council survey says.

Monday, 12 November 2007
BBC website

Friday, 9 November 2007

LLAS: November e-Bulletin

This month's ebulletin is now available on the subject centre website at:


We would be grateful if you would forward this bulletin to colleagues and relevant mailing lists. Please do not hesitate to contact the Subject Centre if you have any queries regarding this bulletin.

CETL Survey in partnership with LLAS: Multimedia Language Learning in UK Higher Education

This report offers a baseline for future investigation in recent developments in the use of technology to enhance language learning. It also intends to establish extent of use and best practice within the Higher Education sector of the UK.

University of Ulster
Friday, 9th November 2007

Thursday, 8 November 2007

'Not a propaganda tool'

China's Confucius Institutes are proliferating at UK universities, but are they cultural or political bodies? Jessica Shepherd reports

Tuesday, 6 November 2007
The Guardian

BBC accused of Scots language snub

An MSP has lodged a Parliamentary Motion condemning the BBC for failing to mention Scots in its Public Purposes charter. Dr Bill Wilson, MSP for the West of Scotland, argued that the BBC Trust failed to acknowledge a language he describes as "the UK's indigenous minority language with the most speakers". The BBC Public Purposes is made up of six particular purposes, one of which pledges to represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities. It states: "In its output, the BBC should support the UK's indigenous languages such as Gaelic, Welsh, Irish and Ulster Scots'.

Midlothian Advertiser
Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Which languages will the Europeans speak in 2025?

Europe's linguistic evolution in the next twenty years is determined by two fundamental historical constraints and five strategic factors.

Monday, 5th November 2007

Newropeans Magazine

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Fire officers learn sign language

Fire safety officers are learning sign language to help them install life-saving smoke alarms for the deaf.
The officers in Norfolk are studying deaf etiquette and methods of communication with people who have hearing difficulties.

The 10-week course has been specially written for the fire safety officers by Great Yarmouth College.

Monday, 5th Novemember
BBC website

USA: Foreign-Language Departments Bring Everyday Texts to Teaching

In a second-semester German class at Georgetown University, students each present a favorite omelet recipe. They will soon use German to write postcards to friends and prepare the horoscopes of ideal partners.

Down the hall, students in a fourth-year German class each write a letter to the editor from an imagined old man who compares contemporary xenophobia to what he witnessed in World War II. They also write letters of condolence to the imagined sister of a Jewish woman killed in the Nazi-led pogrom known as Kristallnacht.

Monday 5th November 2007
Chronicle of Higher Education (subsciption needed for online version)

Monday, 5 November 2007

USA: Special experiences like study abroad and undergraduate research make a real difference, this year's National Survey on Student Engagement shows

Special experiences like study abroad and undergraduate research make a real difference, this year's National Survey on Student Engagement shows.

Interview with George D Kuh

Monday, 5th November 2007
Chronicle of Higher Education (audio)

'Sharp fall' in language GCSEs

Fewer than half of pupils in England took a modern European language at GCSE this year, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

In 2007 the number of children taking French, German and Spanish had fallen to 48% - down from 83% in 2000.

Monday, 5th November 2007
BBC website

Friday, 2 November 2007

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Polish class a hit in coast town

Police officers keen to communicate with the growing Polish community in a Sussex town are among dozens of people taking evening classes in the language.

Wednesday 31st October 2007
BBC website