LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Friday, 30 March 2007

University drops English privatisation plans

Lecturers were claiming a victory today after their university pulled out of a deal which would have lead to the privatisation of their English language studies department.

Debbie Andalo
Friday March 30, 2007

Mother tongue twisted by drive for global gains

As universities 'accommodate' foreign fee-payers with limited language skills, Roy Harris fears for the future of English.
Roy Harris
Times Higher Education Supplement (Subscription required) Friday, 30 March 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Modern languages: Songs and stories make French lessons fun

Primary pupils are to learn languages. But will they find the lessons interesting?
Nick Jackson
The Independent, Thursday 29 March 2007

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

You are what you speak

The UK's regional accents are changing - and it's not just the spread of Estuary English behind this shift, but the slang and intonation of Caribbean and Asian voices.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

BBC website

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Who's best to teach Primary MFL?

Discussion on Times Education Supplement website

TES forum

Map that shows Northerners have the last laff

The grarse spreading out from its London roots is gradually stifling the graaas, but one of Britain's leading accent experts said yesterday that a larf will never drown out a laff.

Students of the voices that make up a patchwork quilt of spoken English across the country have drawn up a map of the way in which the long "a" of received pronunciation has followed the exodus of Londoners into the rest of southern England.

Ben Fenton
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007
Daily Telegraph

Brown announces English language course pilot

The government is to pilot short, work-focused English language courses in London to increase the employability of migrants, it was announced yesterday.

Liz Ford
Thursday March 22, 2007

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Schools form Europe-wide network

Some UK schools are to be linked with their European counterparts as part of a project marking the European Union's 50th anniversary.

Thursday 22 March 2007
BBC website

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

'Learn Welsh too' migrants urged

Migrant workers are being urged to learn both Welsh and English to help them settle in Wales.

Source: BBC website, 21 March 2007

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Letter from Michael Hutt, SOAS

Michael Hutt draws attention to the growing interest in non-European languages, which is often unnoticed by commentators.
Education Guardian
20 March 2007

Times Education Supplement coverage of Dearing report

Foreign languages to be manadory in primary schools. But report suggests spicing up schemes of work rather than compulsion for secondary schools.
Helen Ward, pp. 12-13

Reaction: Letter from Husain Akhar 'Madatory languages are a mistake' (p. 28).

Comment: Dearing's language makes sense, p. 30

Times Education Supplement (Subscription required)
Friday 16 March 2007

Friday, 16 March 2007

Alison Piper

Alison Piper, who died in December 2006, was the external evaluator for the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. Her friend Philippa Dolphin remembers her in an article published in today's Guardian.

The Guardian, 16 March 2007

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Bilingual classes 'raise results'

Bilingual children who learn in their family's language as well as English do better at school, research suggests
Research by Dr Charmian Kenner, Goldsmiths College

Source: BBC website, Thursday 15th March 2007

UK must embrace 'modern' English, report warns

The UK needs to abandon its outdated attitudes to English and embrace new forms of the language to maintain its influence in the global market, the leftwing thinktank Demos said today.
Liz Ford

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Grammar course for Tefl teachers launched

A course that allows people to brush up on their grammar before taking an English language teaching course is being launched today.
Liz Ford

Wednesday March 14, 2007

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Responses to Dearing

Department for Education and Skills (DfES)

CILT, The National Centre for Languages

National Union of Teachers (NUT)

University and College Union (UCU)

CBI (Confederation of British Industry)

Media articles on Dearing

The Independent
Foreign languages to be compulsory from age seven

Leading article: Revolutionary approach

The Guardian
Chattering classes
Modern languages are increasingly becoming an elite subject, dominated by the middle classes and concentrated at the top universities. Anna Bawden reports

Case studies
Case sudies of 4 university languages departments.

The Telegraph
Languages will again be made compulsory in secondary schools if a drive to increase the numbers studying them fails, the Government said last night.

Exam plan gives 'the basics' in more languages
Children should be allowed to drop traditional French and German GCSEs for exams requiring only a tourist's grasp of foreign languages, according to a Government-backed review.

The Times
Comment: Language Handicap
Schools let down their children when they let them off languages

It’s time to talk - in many languages
Teenagers should be free to study a “more flexible” business-oriented GCSE combining up to three languages, under radical proposals to make foreign languages more accessible.

Daily Mail
Children of five 'should be taught Somali in schools'
Children as young as five should learn Polish, Afghan and even Somali under plans to shake up language learning.

The Sun
Foreign lingo bid for kids, 7
LESSONS in foreign languages will be compulsory in primary schools in a new education shake-up.

The Mirror


Western Mail
Welsh speakers half-way to a third language
SCHOOLS in Wales can exploit the nation's inherent bilingualism to broaden children's minds and boost an aptitude for languages, experts urged yesterday

Financial Times
Teachers warn on languages push
Making foreign languages compulsory for seven-year-olds will not revive take-up of the subjects at GCSE level unless employers make clear that monoglot school leavers will struggle to find jobs, head teachers warned yesterday.

Mandarin lessons give pupils head start
The "get 'em while they're young" approach advocated by Lord Dearing finds ready acceptance at Manchester High School for Girls, where the exam takers of the future - children aged seven to nine - are getting their tongues around one of the languages of the future: Mandarin.

Monday, 12 March 2007

The Dearing report

Lord Dearing’s final report on language learning in schools has now been published and is available at the teachernet site.

Lord Dearing has not called for a return to statutory languages for all at Key Stage 4 (14-16) but has recommended that languages should be compulsory in primary schools.


Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Academic questions success of specialist schools

The academic achievement of specialist schools has been "seriously overestimated" by the government, an academic claimed this week.
Debbie Andalo

Source: EducationGuardian.co.uk March 6, 2007

Routes into languages: Evaluator needed!

The Routes into Languages Programme invites tenders to evaluate the programme. The evaluator will be required to carry out formative and summative evaluation of the programme as a whole. It is envisaged that work would begin in June 2007 or as soon as possible thereafter and continue to November 2010. The main output will be annual reports to assist the development of the programme and to assess the outputs and impact of the programme in terms of its overall aims.

Full details on LLAS website

Monday, 5 March 2007

English language award winners named

The British Council's claim that the UK is at the forefront of technology when it comes to English language teaching was borne out last night, following the announcement of the winners of its annual innovation awards.

The Guardian, 2 March 2007

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Is it 'ciao' to the Masters?

A European agreement intended to harmonise higher education could starve universities in Britain of cash, say MPs. Lucy Hodges reports

The Independent, 1 March 2004

Higher education funding (England)

The Higher Education Funding Council for England has allocated grants for England's universities and other higher education institutions for next year.

Source: BBC website