LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Languages for employability video (Leeds Met University)

Graham Webb and colleagues from Leeds Metropolitan University have produced a short video about languages for employability. It was filmed at their recent Language and employability conference which was attended by employers, students and academics.

Leeds Met Languages and Employability Conference Press Release

The coalition government’s education policy changes mean demand for language teachers is set to soar over the next few years. After a decade in which language teaching in schools has declined dramatically (total GCSE entries in modern languages this year were down this year by 43% compared to 2000) the inclusion of a modern foreign language as one of the 5 core subjects of the English Baccalaureate and which count towards school league tables means the focus is back on language study. The School of Languages at Leeds Metropolitan University is already seeing an increase in applications to study languages and more interest teaching languages as a career.

Rai Shacklock, Head of School, said “Over the next 5 to 10 years, qualified teachers that can teach two languages or a language and another key subject will be in high demand, so now is an ideal time to be taking a language degree.” However, teaching is only one of a whole range of careers open to language students as pupils from local Leeds schools heard recently at the Languages and Employability Conference at Leeds Met

Debbie Easton from Enterprise Rent a Car said “We recruit 750 graduates every year and we like language graduates as they can demonstrate good communication skills as well as resilience, confidence and leadership as most have had a year abroad when they had to fend for themselves”.

Fiona Spence, representing the global group ITW, said that they now actively targeted graduate entrants that had not one but two languages because their business needs people who can move between their main operations worldwide. English may be the major global language but people everywhere prefer to do business in their own language, especially if they are considering buying British products.

According to Victoria Boldison, Export Sales Manager of Optimum Medical Solutions, “languages are vital for UK companies as you can target markets that are not in recession even if the UK and Eurozone are”. So, the revival of languages in schools may be just in time to help revive the UK’s economy over the next few years.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Call for contributions: European Journal of Language Policy

European Journal of Language Policy/ Revue européenne de politique linguistique
Call for contributions

Proposals are invited for contributions to the European Journal of Language Policy / Revue européenne de politique linguistique, which is published by Liverpool University Press, in association with the Conseil européen pour les langues / European Language Council, and edited by Michael Kelly (University of Southampton, UK).
This is an international peer-reviewed journal, which has published eight issues since Spring 2009. It addresses major developments in language policy from a European perspective, regarding multilingualism and the diversity of languages as valuable assets in the culture, politics and economics of twenty-first century societies. The journal’s primary focus is on Europe, broadly understood, but it is alert to policy developments in the wider world.
The EJLP/REPL invites proposals or manuscripts of articles studying any aspect of language policy, and any aspect of the area of languages for which policies may need to be developed or changed. It particularly welcomes proposals that provide greater understanding of the factors that contribute to policy-making, and proposals that examine the effects of particular policies on language learning or language use.
The EJLP/REPL presents relevant policy documents and reports, particularly where these contribute to debates and decision-making on language policy in Europe and elsewhere. It invites suggestions for such documents.

Articles and other items are accepted in either English or French. Abstracts of articles will be provided in both languages. Materials may be derived from or refer to texts in other languages, and a website associated with the journal will provide access to texts and materials in a wider range of languages.

The next issue for which contributions are invited will appear in Autumn 2012 Manuscripts for publication should be submitted to the Editor by 30 April 2012. All correspondence should be addressed to Dr Eleanor Quince (E.M.Quince@southampton.ac.uk).

European Journal of Language Policy/Revue européenne de politique linguistique is hosted online by Metapress at http://liverpool.metapress.com/content/121626/, and online access is free to existing subscribers.
October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

Footballer Joe Cole learning French

Joe Cole embraces life with Lille to reinvigorate his England hopes
Winger has refound his joie de vivre since moving to France, so much so he has gone back to school to learn the language

The Guardian

Thursday, 13 October 2011

£6m to improve standards in Welsh medium-teaching and learning

Cardiff University’s contribution to a multi-million pound scheme to improve standards in Welsh medium-teaching and learning will be launched by Education Minister Leighton Andrews tonight (13 October).

The Welsh language Sabbatical Scheme is a course designed for teachers, lecturers and classroom assistants who want to raise the standard of their Welsh and gain confidence in using the language.

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'Lack of trust' and course mismatches mean study abroad may go unrecognised

One in five students who participates in an Erasmus exchange is forced to retake courses and exams after failing to be given full credit for studies abroad.

The problem of international accreditation has been highlighted in a survey of almost 9,000 students participating in the European Union exchange programme in 2010-11.

About 25 per cent of students reported receiving only partial credit for work done abroad, and 3 per cent gained no credit when returning home, according to the Erasmus Student Network.

Times Higher Education

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Language awards reward innovative learning and teaching

Excellence in language teaching has led to awards for schools and education groups in the East of England, West Country and West Midlands.

Eleven awards for excellence in language teaching have been made this year by the CfBT Education Trust.

Successful projects received a European Language Label to reward innovative teaching and learning.

BBC website

Sunday, 9 October 2011

South Sudan adopts English as its official language

The young nation of South Sudan has chosen English as its official language but after decades of civil war, the widespread learning of English presents a big challenge for a country brought up speaking a form of Arabic.

BBC news

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Anthony Seldon: Modern languages in schools are 'close to extinction'

Modern languages are close to extinction in British schools, a leading educationalist is to warn teachers.

Anthony Seldon, a pioneer of innovative teaching and the headteacher of Wellington College, will tell language teachers that their subject is deeper trouble than it has been for a century.

The Guardian

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dying languages and how Hebrew was saved

LANGUAGES ARE draining away. According to linguist Mark Abley, a language dies every 14 days, never to be heard again.

Wonderful languages are already dead, like the magical Marlda Kangka, spoken only by the boys of three islands south of New Guinea upon initiation into its signed vocabulary after ritual circumcision; and Mati Ke, whose last two speakers in northern Australia were brother and sister, prohibited by taboo from talking together.

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Respones to Michael Gove's call for primary languages

The Guardian has compiled some of the responses to Michael Gove's call for languages from age 5.

The Guardian

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Teach foreign languages from age five, says Gove

Every child aged five or over should learn a foreign language, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said.

He told the Guardian that almost every other advanced country teaches a foreign language from that age, and the UK should set itself the same target.

BBC website