LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies- report published

The JISC Digitisation programme recently commissioned work from the University of Exeter to look at the digital needs of the Islamic Studies community within HEIs. This was in response to the subject of Islamic Studies being made a strategic subject by the government.
A range of recommendations were made, many of which overlap with issues JISC-funded projects are engaged in:

* The creation of a authoritative gateway to Islamic Resources
* Develop digitised catalogues of Islamic manuscripts and related
research material such as recent theses;
* The commissioning of a feasibility study into the creation of a corpus
of interactive online education materials, which could also be hosted by
the national gateway
* Continuation, and increase, of the subsidies for major online
reference works in Islamic Studies.
* The archiving of the websites of UK Islamic organisations
* Subsidising the acquisition of an online collection of research
monographs in Islamic Studies, should such a collection be developed by
a commercial organisation.

The full report can be downloaded via
JISC is in discussion with HEFCE about how these recommendations can be
taken forward

Friday, 25 July 2008

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Welsh English speech goes online

Hundreds of recordings of disappearing dialects of English spoken in Wales from the 1960s onwards are going online.
Swansea University researchers taped the "folk-speech" of elderly villagers, and later urban youngsters, to compile the Survey of Anglo-Welsh Dialects

BBC website
Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Welsh English speech goes online

Hundreds of recordings of disappearing dialects of English spoken in Wales from the 1960s onwards are going online.
Swansea University researchers taped the "folk-speech" of elderly villagers, and later urban youngsters, to compile the Survey of Anglo-Welsh Dialects

BBC website
Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Spreading the wiki footprint

Egypt's second largest city Alexandria, has just played host to the annual meeting of the Wikimedia foundation, the non-profit organisation that is responsible for the phenomenon that is Wikipedia.
One of the main aims of this event is to increase the number of articles available in Arabic.

BBC website
Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Monday, 21 July 2008

One tongue, very tied: Deirdre McCloskey on glottomania

Deirdre McCloskey, Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication, traces her experiences of trying to learn a second language - everything from French, Greek and Latin to German, Scots Gaelic and Sanskrit - with no success. But she's still not resigned to monolingualism.

The article continues in the 17-23 July issue of Times Higher Education

McCartney wows Quebec after row

Sir Paul McCartney performed his greatest hits and spoke French to more than 200,000 fans at a Quebec City concert opposed by nationalists.
The 66-year-old played Beatles, Wings and solo songs in the outdoor concert - part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of French-speaking Quebec.

Monday, 21 July 2008
BBC website

Friday, 18 July 2008

UK children dip toe in global waters

Twenty 18 and 19-year-olds - some school leavers, others school dropouts - are getting a crash course in China's culture, geography and language.

Friday 18 July 2008
BBC website

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Why does anyone learn Esperanto?

Littlewoods Direct is using a language constructed in the 19th Century, Esperanto, to launch a new clothing range. Who still learns this language, and why?
"Mi superfantazia eltravo alporti plu vesoiji."

Wednesday 16 July 2008
BBC website

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Companies work better with languages - the Business Forum for Multilingualism launches its report

Extract from the European Commision website:

Europe should put in place farsighted policies that turn linguistic diversity into an asset for prosperity.Languages can be used as a competitive advantage for European business. These are the key messages in the report of the Business Forum established by the European Commission in 2007. The main conclusions of the report were presented at a press conference in Brussels on 11 July 2008 by Commissioner Orban and Viscount Etienne Davignon, the chairman of the Business Forum. In the same context, G√ľnther Verheugen, the Commissioner in charge of Enterprise and Industry, participated in a discussion with the business organisations about the recommendations put forward in the report.

Tuesday 15 July 2008
European Commission

Friday, 11 July 2008

LLAS e-bulletin July 2008

The July 2008 e-bulletin is now available on the LLAS website.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

USA: An End to Foreign Languages, an End to the Liberal Arts

An opinion piece by WILL H. CORRAL and DAPHNE PATAI about foreign languages in US universities.

6 June 2008
Chronicle of Higher Education

Monday, 7 July 2008

Call for debate on language learning in Scotland

The Scottish Funding Council is calling for a national debate on why and how we learn foreign languages after publishing a report into the supply and demand of modern language courses in colleges and universities.

More details: Scottish Funding Council

Language lessons: When a new language is child's play

Tamsin Kelly on a school where the pupils teach each other
This month pupils at Newbury Park Primary School in Redbridge, north-east London, are learning Dutch. Not so unusual, perhaps, but what makes these lessons unique is that the school's star "teacher" is a child herself - 11-year-old Mathumy.

The Telegraph
Sunday 6 July 2008

Thursday, 3 July 2008

US ambassador on song in Paraguay

The US ambassador to Paraguay has become a music sensation in the country after recording an album of folk songs in the indigenous Guarani language.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008
BBC website

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Learn a new language for free.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has identified websites with free language learning materials.


Tuesday, 1 July 2008

UK's top university teachers named

Lynne Barnes, co-ordinator for deaf studies at the University of Central Lancashire,is one of 50 higher education teachers is one of 50 teachers who have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship.

Lynne Barnes on Higher Education Academy website

Guardian article, 26 June 2008

Lynne Barnes' webpage that University of Central Lancashire

Watchdog debates exam difficulty

England's independent exam regulator is to ask experts to discuss more evidence that it is harder to get top exam grades in some subjects than others.
Durham University researchers say the hardest A-level is physics - along with general studies, though that is usually disregarded by universities.
At GCSE level, languages generally were harder than sciences, while citizenship was harder than physics.

Tuesday, 1st July 2008
BBC website

Full report

Speaking is 'languages weakness'

Speaking skills remain a weakness among children learning modern languages in secondary schools in England, says a report from inspectors.
But this is against a background of wider improvements in learning languages, Ofsted reports.

BBC website
Tuesday 1st July 2008