LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Language experts celebrate Scouse

The Liverpool accent is being put under the microscope by languages experts at a public event in the city.

Researchers from the universities of Liverpool, Lancaster and Edinburgh are looking at how Scouse developed and its representation in modern culture.

Saturday, 29 March 2008
BBC website

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Plans to get every young child speaking a foreign language are on track

Young children may be receptive to languages, but until last year, language teaching in primary schools was a matter of luck. The right head and the right teachers meant that some schools were teaching French, German and Spanish, but, for most, languages were something to be left to GCSEs.

Thursday, 27th March 2008
The Independent

World's Portuguese speakers in new attempt to unify language

The seemingly innocent letters y, k and w have provoked a bitter linguistic row among Portuguese speakers, with plans for them to oust three existing letters from the language.

The letters c, p and h could be consigned to orthographic history if the Portuguese government revives a proposal mooted in 1990 to standardise the language spoken by about 200 million people around the world.

Wednesday, March 26 2008
The Guardian

Paras learn Pashto

Paratroopers due to arrive in Afghanistan in the next few days have been preparing for their deployment by learning the local language.

Eleven soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), based at Colchester Garrison, have spent the last ten months learning Pashto, the language spoken in southern Afghanistan.

Tuesday 25th March 2008
Defence News

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Let babies learn to think for themselves

Being force-fed classical music and foreign languages does not make a child genius. It can lead to anxiety and aggression, says Carl Honoré in the Telegraph's final extract from his new book.

Wednesday 26 March 2006
The Telegraph

Sustainability e-newsletter now available

The Higher Education Academy Sustainability e-newsletter is now available.

Pupils told they can't study GCSE languages

STAFF shortages forced a school to deny pupils a chance to study GCSE foreign languages.

George Tomlinson in Kearsley was named as one of only 27 secondary schools nationwide where no pupils sat exams in French, German or Spanish in 2007.

Wednesday 19th March 2008
The Bolton News

Last chance to enter LAFTAs languages and film competition

With two weeks left until the deadline for the Languages and Film Talent Awards (the LAFTAs), there is still time to send your students’ entries in. The competition invites 13-21 year olds to submit two-minute film clips which demonstrate the importance of language learning. Some examples of recent entries are now available on our Youtube page: www.youtube.com/RoutesintoLanguages

Prizes include: two iPod classics donated by Apple and the French Embassy; a one-week French and surfing course in Biarritz donated by Cactus Language; and four return tickets to Paris, donated by Eurostar. Winning entries will be chosen by our panel of celebrity judges, including comedian Eddie Izzard and broadcaster Sir Trevor MacDonald.

The deadline for entries is 31 March 2008. For more information and how to enter, visit our website: www.languageswork.org.uk/laftas

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

French is no longer enough

Britain is multilingual yet there are few teachers of community languages and even fewer training courses

Rowenna Davis
Tuesday March 18, 2008
The Guardian

Monday, 17 March 2008

Mind my language? I only wish that I had, mes amis

Opinion piece by Tim Hames

I like to think of myself as an educated person. Yet the brutal truth is that by the standard that has prevailed for about 1,500 years I’m not. This might strike regular readers of this column as a statement of the obvious, but for me it is a matter of embarrassment. I am intellectually incomplete because I cannot speak, let alone master, a foreign language.

Monday, 17 March 2008
The Times

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Cambridge drops language demand

Cambridge University has dropped its requirement for applicants to have a language GCSE because too few pupils now take them.

Saturday, 15 March 2008
BBC website

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson learning French

TOUGH-talking Sir Alex Ferguson is becoming fluent in French – thanks to lessons from his Gallic stars.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
The Sun

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

BBC launches Arabic TV channel

The BBC has launched a new Arabic language TV channel.

The channel is free to everyone in North Africa and the Middle East with a satellite or cable connection.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008
BBC website

The primary school where every child learns to speak 40 languages

If this is March, it must be Nepali. Welcome to Newbury Park Primary School in Redbridge, north-east London, where its 850 pupils will have learnt phrases in 40 languages by the time they transfer to secondary school.

Monday, 10th March 2008
The Independent

Linguist awarded WINGS WorldQuest 2008 Women of Discovery Award

Dr Irina Nikolaeva of the Endangered Languages Academic Programme in the Department of Linguistics at SOAS has been awarded the 2008 Humanity Award by the Wings WorldQuest (WWQ) organization.

SOAS website

USA: Area Studies professors among best paid

Area, ethnic, cultural, and gender studies, in fact, beat related fields significantly at all levels — full professor, associate professor, and assistant professor. Full profs average $94,700, associates $71,014, and assistants $56,271. English profs at the full level came in $18,000 less, history full profs $15,000 less, visual and performing arts at $18,000 less, foreign languages and literatures at $12,000 less, and liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities at $13,000 less.

Chronicle of Higher Education

Friday, 7 March 2008

Ministers boost Diplomas' value

Ministers are increasing the scope of England's new Diplomas, so the advanced ones will be equivalent to four and a half A-levels - one more than now.

Friday, 7th March 2007
BBC website

Church service to be conducted in Anglo-Saxon

A service conducted in Anglo-Saxon will mark the reburial of excavated skeletons at a thousand year old church.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme (Listen again)
Friday 7 March, 2008 (Broadcast at 0855)

Archive for Welsh language pop

An archive of Welsh language pop is being created at Bangor University to preserve its history and development.

Friday, 7 March 2008
BBC website

Thursday, 6 March 2008

LLAS e-bulletin March 2008

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


We would be grateful if you would forward this bulletin to colleagues and relevant mailing lists. Please do not hesitate to contact the Subject Centre if you have any queries regarding this bulletin.

LAFTA update: More prizes!!!!

With one month left until the deadline for the Languages and Film Talent Awards (the LAFTAs), there is still time to get your entries in. We have seen several exciting developments in the competition during the last month, including a range of new prizes and sponsors. Apple and the French Embassy have teamed together to donate two prizes for winning film clips, each consisting of one iPod classic and £150 to spend on Apple products. Cactus Language have also come on board as a sponsor, donating a one-week French and surfing course in Biarritz, comprising 20 hours of French lessons and 10 hours surfing lessons. Eurostar are the third company to show their support for the LAFTAs in the past month, donating four return tickets to Paris as a prize for the competiton.


Monday, 3 March 2008

Language barrier scuppers walker

A man who planned to walk from Bristol to India without any money has quit, after getting as far as Calais, France.
Mark Boyle, 28, who set out four weeks ago with only T-shirts, a bandage and sandals, hoped to rely on the kindness of strangers for food and lodging.

But, because he could not speak French, people thought he was free-loading or an asylum seeker.

29 February 2008
BBC website