LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Are Germans ruder than the British?

Are Germans ruder than the British? Are Britons more dishonest than Germans? Fortunately, we don't have to rely on blind prejudice for answers. Serious academic research has been done on both sides of the North Sea.

BBC website

Monday, 23 May 2011

"MFL should not be compulsory" says secondary head

An Oxfordshire head teacher has said she should not be forced to teach foreign languages to her pupils.

Dr Fiona Hammans from Banbury School said a 12-year-old with a reading age of six did not benefit from learning French or German.

She said: "They are so left behind and my real concern is that we don't leave them even further behind."

The school has now applied to become an academy so it is free from having to stick to the national curriculum.

Currently Banbury School is obliged to teach a second language to all its pupils until the age of 14.

BBhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifC news

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Don't Look to the Ivy League - Howard Hotson

This thought-provoking article has just appeared in the London Review of Books (Vol. 13, No. 10, May 19). In it, Hotson questions the prevailing view in the UK that US universities perform far better than their counterparts here. He argues that closer inspection of league tables and rankings shows that the UK does very well if population numbers are taken into account. The UK, Hotson suggests, has more top 20 universities per head of the population than the US and it has managed to achieve this with a fraction of what the US spends on higher education. This effect is intensified if the league tables are considered in their entirety.

To read the whole article, go to: www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n10/howard-hotson/dont-look-to-the-ivy-league

Can you learn a language in just two days?

'In theory," says language teacher Paul Noble, forming a steeple with his fingers in true professorial style, "you should learn Chinese today and tomorrow quicker than anyone has ever learned it on the planet." In theory, because I'm the very first student to take his intensive two-day course in Mandarin, which he is teaching me with his wife, native speaker Kai-Ti Chou, in the basement of a north London art gallery. If their prototype course works as well as they are hoping, then two days from now I will, as the spiel on Noble's website boasts, "have learned to speak Chinese the way it is really spoken".

The Guardian

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Speaking multiple languages can give you multiple personalities The idea that language affects the

Speaking multiple languages can give you multiple personalities

If you speak multiple languages, you might have multiple personalities. Reporting October 15 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, psychologists at Hong Kong Polytechnic University found that native Chinese students who were fluent in English appeared more assertive, extraverted and open to new experiences—personality traits often associated with Westerners—when conversing with an interviewer in English as opposed to Cantonese.

iO9 website

Scientific American website