LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Enquiry-based learning in languages

On Friday 26th September, I attended a one-day conference on Enquiry-based learning in languages, organised by colleagues from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester, with support from LLAS and the Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning (CEEBL). Attended by over 60 people it was a truly excellent event that featured a wide range of interesting presentations. Topics addressed included the autonomy of the learner, e-learning, and employability, demonstrating how EBL taps into many key areas of interest for the teaching community. Many of the presentations described EBL projects being undertaken in languages departments across the land, which stood as inspiring models for future work.

The event ended with a lively roundtable discussion involving all the delegates, the aim of which was to determine where we should now go with EBL and what issues should be addressed. While there still lacks a consensus about a definition, delegates agreed that EBL focuses essentially on the process of learning through enquiry rather than the end product. Other discussions revealed that further work is needed in the theorisation of EBL, and models of good practice would be valued. What this event ultimately demonstrated was the significant interest in EBL as a teaching methodology for language, and enthusiasm for more work to be done in this area. LLAS will be looking into this over the coming academic year, so watch this space!

PowerPoint presentations from the day plus a full event report will soon be available here.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Arsène Wenger talks about learning languages.

Even for non-Arsenal fans these are great clips of Arsène Wenger talking positively about learning languages. They are produced by the Arsenal Double Club (one of this year’s winners of the European Award for Languages - www.cilt.org.uk/eal/doubleclub.htm) and are really inspiring.

There are two clips and each is available in two formats. The ".wmv"file might be best if using a Windows machine and the ".mov" if an Apple Mac. You may need to download the clips completely before being able to play them. You can access the clips at the following URLs:
Clip 1:http://privateweb.arsenal.com/languages/wenger1.wmv
http://privateweb.arsenal.com/languages/wenger1.mov 2:http://privateweb.arsenal.com/languages/wenger2.wmv
The WMVs will play on a Windows machine straight away in Windows Media Player. To play .mov - use www.apple.com/quicktime


Quarterly e-Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 1 (September 2008)
Read online at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/learning/sustainability/enewsletter
Or download as PDF (228KB) from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/ourwork/tla/sustainability/esd_enews2_1.pdf
See contents and highlights below...
‘- agree, following consultation led by HEFCE, a new strategy for sustainable development in the HE sector, covering, amongst other things, how sustainable development issues, including climate change, can best be addressed in the HE curriculum (recognising that the curriculum must be for universities to determine)’
-- Quotation under ‘Skills and Education Objectives 2008-09’ from the new DIUS Sustainable Development Action Plan, http://www.dius.gov.uk/sustainable_development.html
• ESD: Strategic Consultations among English HEIs
• Welcome to the Sahel
• Teaching Sustainable Development Innovation: The Market Place
• Developing e-Learning Materials for Sustainable Construction Management
• e-Learning Case Study for ESD and Archaeology
• A Network for Sustainable Development Education in the Humanities
• Work in Progress
• Education for Sustainable Development Conference
• Academy ESD Project Special Issue of Environmental Education Research
• Call for Chapters: The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy
• ESD Networks and Regional Networking Days
• All Our Futures Conference
• UK Centre for Legal Education
• England
• Northern Ireland
• Scotland
• Wales
• U.S. Congress Passes Higher Education Sustainability Act
• Outdoor Learning and ESDGC
• Getting Results – The Secret to Winning Hearts and Minds
• Understanding Sustainability Economics
• The Principles of Sustainability
• The Centre for Sustainable Futures e-Newsletter
• Regeneration and Learning: Continuity, Change and Community
• The Schumacher Certificate in Education for Sustainability
• Embedding Ecodesign and Sustainability in Mainstream Design Curricula: A Joint Venture for Four Welsh Universities
• Ecoversity Newsletter
• Green Economics
• Westcountry Energy Action
• Skills to Last
• SD and Well-Being
• SD, Systems Thinking and Professional Practice
• The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook
• International Textbook Research
• The Nuptial Dimension of SD
• Bournemouth Conference Announced
• International Journal on Development Education and Global Learning
• TRANSVision
• Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University
• Understanding SD
• Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy
• Education and SD: Learning to Last?
• University Challenge: Towards a Well-Being Approach to Quality in Higher Education
• Green League 2008
• Green Frontiers: Environmental Educators Dancing Away from Mechanism
• ESD in the Field of Nursing: Call for Information
• University Reform in an Era of Global Warming
• An Appeal to Heroic Educators
• Green Collar Jobs
• Green Edition of Ofsted’s Talisman
• Green General Education?
• First University of St Andrews Graduates in SD Collect Degrees
Calling all lecturers interested in education for: community development, sustainability, social justice, wellbeing, participative democracy, corporate responsibility, ecological balance, citizenship, social cohesion, holistic thinking… Come to this free, one day conference on Friday 17 October 2008 to explore how these areas coalesce under the banner of ESD. The day includes the dissemination of the Academy's Education Subject Centre (ESCalate) research project on embedding ESD in the curriculum, and keynote speeches from Brian Chalkley of the GEES Subject Centre and Peter Hopkinson, founder of Ecoversity, on University of Bradford's institutional shift towards Educating for Sustainable Development. Read about ESCalate’s project: http://staffcentral.brighton.ac.uk/clt/research/projects.htm#coastal and learn more about the day: http://staffcentral.brighton.ac.uk/clt/events/esd.htm
A special issue (Vol 14.4 ) of Environmental Education Research produced in collaboration with the Academy’s ESD Project is now available. This issue, entitled 'Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education', is guest edited by Stephen Sterling with William Scott, and provides a snapshot overview of the state of ESD, particularly in the English HE system. Most of the contributions come from academics who presented at the ESD Project's conference in Bradford in 2007. Contents are as follows:
Higher education and ESD in England: a critical commentary on recent initiatives
Pushing the boundaries: the work of the Higher Education Academy’s ESD Project
Developing sustainable development within the higher education curriculum: observations on the HEFCE strategic review
Starting with the staff: how swapshops can develop ESD and empower practitioners
Sustainable graduates: linking formal, informal and campus curricula to embed ESD in the student learning experience
Exploring the role of the extra-curricular sphere in higher education for sustainable development in the United Kingdom
Teaching against the grain: multi-disciplinary teamwork effectively delivers a successful undergraduate unit in sustainable development
Making sustainability 'real': using group-enquiry to promote Education for Sustainable Development
For details see: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713416156~db=all
Dr Arran Stibbe of University of Gloucestershire is leading on the publication of a Handbook of Sustainability Literacy, which will be a dual format (online/print) book, exploring the abilities, competencies, forms of knowledge, attributes, and values that can help people deal with the changing conditions of the 21st century and contribute to a more sustainable society. The publishing contract is with Green Books, an independent UK publishing company specialising in environmental and cultural issues. The production of the book will be preceded by the event Soundings in Sustainability Literacy where participants will have a chance to engage in critical discussion and debate about sustainability literacy. The event will be held on 21 November 2008 at the University of Gloucestershire, followed by a deadline for submitting chapters of 1 Feb 2009. To book a (free) place at the Soundings in Sustainability Literacy event, please contact Seek Pang: spang@glos.ac.uk. For more information about the book, please contact Arran Stibbe: astibbe@glos.ac.uk. Instructions for authors and a booking form for the Soundings event are available from:
http://www.eauc.org.uk/soundings_in_sustainability_literacy_a_national_es .
This workshop, which is due to take place at the University of Bradford on 14th October, aims to stimulate behaviour change in institutions by identifying ways to motivate colleagues to take up the sustainability challenge and includes case studies by David Wood, Principal of Lancaster and Morecambe College, and Sheri-Leigh Miles, Ecoversity Student Engagement Co-ordinator at the University of Bradford. For details, see:
Read online at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/learning/sustainability/enewsletter
Or download as PDF (228KB) from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/ourwork/tla/sustainability/esd_enews2_1.pdf

Friday, 26 September 2008

BBC NEWS | Wales | Supermarket tills to speak Welsh

BBC NEWS Wales Supermarket tills to speak Welsh

Tesco's automated tills will now speak both Welsh and English
Shoppers at branches of a supermarket chain will now be able to use self-service checkouts in Welsh following demand from customers.
Tesco said a programme that was started in the summer to convert the automatic tills was now complete.

BBC NEWS | Education | UK adults 'forget school French'

The number of language GCSEs being studied is falling
Half of adults in the UK have forgotten the languages they learned at school, a survey suggests.
Two fifths of the 1,000 people polled by ICM regretted not keeping up their language skills after leaving school.
Most people thought languages were important in everyday life and 52% said they were important to a career."

Happy European Day of Languages 2008!

26 September 2008

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment


Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment

{COM(2008) 566 final}

European Commission

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Foyle and West | Minister backs languages strategy

Minister backs languages strategy

The minister said the matter of an Irish language act had been dealt with
The culture minister has urged people to accept that a 'languages strategy', and not an Irish language act, is the best way forward.
Gregory Campbell told the Assembly that this was the best way to meet the needs of a European charter"

Monday, 22 September 2008

Learn languages or lose out on a job | Business | The Observer

EU chief warns that British students are missing out as firms increasingly opt for bilingual graduates
Liz Lightfoot
The Observer,
Sunday September 21 2008

Britons are missing out on jobs at home and abroad because of their inability to speak languages other than English, the European Union commissioner for languages has warned.

BBC NEWS | Education | Tories would scrap some Diplomas

Tories would scrap some Diplomas
By Mike Baker

The first five Diploma lines are work-related, academic ones come later
The Conservatives have given the clearest indication yet that they would scrap the three new 'academic' Diplomas.
The three Diplomas in humanities, languages and sciences are 'a mistake and a wrong turning'.
As for the other 14, 'we will take stock when the time comes'."

Friday, 19 September 2008

Launch day for new Gaelic channel

The new Gaelic television channel, BBC Alba, is due to be launched on satellite later.

The service is a collaboration between MG Alba and the BBC. An evening news programme - An La - will launch on Monday at 2000 BST

The channel will be available on Sky and Freesat from 2100 BST on Friday, but the opening night's viewing will also be shown on BBC Two Scotland.

BBC website

Commission Communication on Multilingualism: tapping the full potential of languages in Europe

Languages help citizens to enter into dialogue with people from different cultural backgrounds and to realise their potential by making the most of opportunities for mobility and business openings.

In its Communication, the Commission invites EU Member States and the other EU Institutions to join efforts to encourage and assist citizens in acquiring language skills and removing communication barriers. It proposes an approach which advocates including multilingualism across a whole series of EU policy areas.

The policy document proposes a series of concrete actions related to these questions and foresees a review of the progress made in 2012.

European Commission

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Interview: John Crace meets language guru David Crystal | Education | The Guardian

Interview: John Crace meets language guru David Crystal Education The Guardian:
Gr8 db8r takes on linguistic luddites. Language guru David Crystal tells John Crace that txt spk is responsible for neither bad spelling nor moral decay.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Highlands and Islands | Zidane and Trump on new Gaelic TV

BBC NEWS Scotland Highlands and Islands Zidane and Trump on new Gaelic TV: Zidane and Trump on new Gaelic TV

The new Gaelic television channel BBC Alba has unveiled a package of programmes it will run from its launch on Friday.

Friday, 12 September 2008

September 2008 e-bulletin

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

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Bad French prolongs Russia-Georgia conflict - Telegraph

Bad French prolongs Russia-Georgia conflict - Telegraph: "Bad French prolongs Russia-Georgia conflict
The conflict between Russia and Georgia has been worsened by badly-translated French, France's foreign minister has admitted on the eve of crucial talks in Moscow between the European Union and the Kremlin."

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | The case for forensic linguistics

BBC NEWS Science/Nature The case for forensic linguistics

Text message analysis is becoming a powerful tool in solving crime cases.
In February 2008, linguistic evidence contributed to the conviction of David Hodgson in the murder of Jenny Nicholl.
The case highlighted how people choose their own text language "rules" - which they tend to use throughout all their messages.


BBC NEWS | Wales | Red letter day for place names?

BBC NEWS Wales Red letter day for place names?

Place names in Wales could be changed to ensure they have standard spellings.
The Welsh Language Board (WLB) has been advising local authorities such as Powys and Rhondda Cynon Taf on the correct spellings of place names.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Report on multilingualism in 31 countries


Ditch the island mentality

Times Higher Education - Ditch the island mentality
4 September 2008
British academics must stop being monoculturalists and embrace the influx of foreign students, says William Burns

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

BBC NEWS | Magazine | 20 examples of grammar misuse

BBC NEWS Magazine 20 examples of grammar misuse:

Grammar just ain't what it used to be, it seems. When we explained the difference between 'fewer' and 'less than', following Tesco's policy shift on this matter, readers told us what grammar rules they see being flouted or find confusing. The list was a long one. Here are the best."

Intercultural skills report

Socrates scheme report on "Study of the intercultural skills taught in foreign languages courses at each stage of compulsory education and training in the European Union"

BBC NEWS | Education | Q&A: Diplomas in England

BBC NEWS Education Q&A: Diplomas in England: Q&A: Diplomas in England

Diploma partnerships typically involve colleges, schools and others
The government is predicting that the new Diplomas could become 'the qualification of choice' for teenagers in England's schools and colleges.
What are they?
Firstly, they are not to be confused with the welter of other diplomas that already exist such as BTec Diplomas (at different levels) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Initially called Specialised Diplomas, they were the government's answer to an inquiry it commissioned into 14 to 19 education."

Language Diplomas will be introduced in 2011

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

My message: 'Anybody can learn'

Let's adopt the teaching methods of legendary language guru Michel Thomas, a new book pleads. Anthea Lipsett finds out why

Michel Thomas: 'I didn't devise my system to teach languages quickly - I did it to change the world'.
There's a belief that languages either come naturally to a person, or they don't. But to the late Michel Thomas, the "world's greatest language master", there was no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher.
It's a view that grates with prevailing educational opinion. These days, children's inability to learn is often blamed on a variety of learning disabilities. If teachers are brought into the equation, it is usually by ministers either claiming the workforce is the best trained it has ever been, or declaring that inadequate teachers must be fired.

The Guardian, Tuesday September 2 2008

Monday, 1 September 2008

School Pupils Get Obesity [and language] Lessons - Yahoo! News UK

School Pupils Get Obesity Lessons - Yahoo! News UK: "School Pupils Get Obesity Lessons
Thousands of secondary school pupils are to tackle completely new subjects as they return for the new academic year.

Youngsters will learn about subjects such as credit card debt, climate change and tackling obesity.
The changes will also allow headteachers in England to schedule lessons in 'economically useful languages' such as Mandarin and Urdu."

SkyNews - Monday, September 1 04:30 am