LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Why I'm glad I gave languages a second chance

Looking at my track record it's fair to say that I was an unlikely candidate for a modern languages degree. I achieved a B in French GCSE, and plummeted spectacularly when I received a D at AS-level. At parents evening my tutor said that I simply wasn't cut out for studying languages at an academic level.
Skip forwards four years and you'll find me writing from my desk in the University of Rosario in Bogota, Colombia. I'm on a placement year as part of my language degree which I am studying at the University of Leeds.

Full article in the Guardian 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Languages: the State of the Nation: new publication from the British Academy

Languages: the State of the Nation
Demand and Supply of Language Skills in the UK

The British Academy has today launched Languages: the State of the Nation. The report, prepared by Teresa Tinsley, outlines the baseline data on foreign language use and deficits in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Key findings from the report include:
·         There is strong evidence that the UK is suffering from a growing deficit in foreign language skills at a time when globally demand for language skills is expanding.
·         The range and nature of languages being taught is insufficient to meet current and future demand
·         Language skills are needed at all levels in the workforce, and not simply by an internationally-mobile elite
·         A weak supply of language skills is pushing down demand and creating a vicious circle of monolingualism
·         Languages spoken by British school children, in addition to English, represent a valuable future source of supply – if these skills can be developed appropriately.

These findings present us with cause for both cautious optimism and rising concern. Our diverse demographics and world-class higher education system provide us with the tools to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future. But, too often, education policies are operating in isolation of demand. The report concludes that without action from government, employment and education sectors, we will be unable to meet our aspirations for growth and global influence.

Click here to download the Summary and Full Reports.