LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

BBC NEWS | Business | Tesco checks out wording change

BBC NEWS Business Tesco checks out wording change:

Tesco says the change will be phased in
Tesco is to change the wording of signs on its fast-track checkouts to avoid any linguistic dispute.
The supermarket giant is to replace its current '10 items or less' notices with signs saying 'Up to 10 items'.
Tesco's move follows uncertainty over whether the current notices should use 'fewer' instead of 'less'.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Business blamed for slump in foreign language entries

Exam boards are blaming British businesses for a further slump in the take-up of modern foreign languages at GCSE.
Figures showed that take-up of French had fallen by a further 6.8 per cent this year to 201,940, which means that only about one in three teenagers is taking the subject. German fell again, too, from 81,061 last year to 76,695 in 2008, a drop of 5.4 per cent.

The Independent
Friday, 22 August 2008

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Languages still slipping at GCSE

The number of students opting to study modern languages at GCSE continues to slide - with French being the biggest loser - this summer's results reveal.
The number taking French has slumped by a third in four years, although language experts say they hope the trend is now slowing.

Thursday, 21st August 2008
BBC website

GCSE figures show languages decline slowing

Press release from CILT, the National Centre for Languages

Today’s GCSE figures suggest that the decline in numbers opting for languages is slowing. While French and German are down again a little (6.8% and 5.4% respectively by comparison with 2007) the percentage decreases are much smaller than in previous years. Spanish GCSE continues to rise in popularity with numbers looking likely at least to equal those for German by next summer.

Full text at CILT, the National Centre for Languages

GCSE blow for languages, amid new results high - Times Online

There was concern about a significant slump in the number of teenagers studying foreign languages at GCSE today, as pupils broke another record for the number of top grades overall.
The figures have consistently nosedived since the Government's decision to abolish the requirement for all teenagers to study a foreign language beyond the age of 14 in 2004

Thursday 21st August 2008
The Times

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Brain's counting skill 'built-in'

Humans have an in-built ability to do mathematics even if they do not have the language to express it, a research team has suggested.

A study in Australian Aboriginal children, whose languages lack number words, found they did just as well as English-speaking children in numeracy.

BBC website

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Former England football manager Steve McClaren speaks English in Dutch accent

Dramatic decline in foreign languages studied at university

Evidence of the alarming fall in the take-up of languages by students at universities has emerged in research.
Figures show that German, especially, has plummeted, with only 610 students accepted on degree courses last year, compared with 2,288 a decade ago. French is the second biggest casualty, with numbers dropping by a third from 5,655 to 3,700 in 10 years.

Tuesday 19 August 2008
The Independent

See also Richard Garner: Hoping that someone speaks English is not enough in a globalised world The Independent

Pupils rediscover the joys of maths and languages

Traditional subjects are making a comeback at A-level, with a rise in the number of teenagers opting to study maths, science and modern languages.
By contrast, some of the subjects dismissed by traditionalists as easier – such as communication studies, general studies and the performing arts – are showing a decline.

Friday 15th August 2008
The Independent

Electrosmog enters the dictionary

"Electrosmog", "eco-village" and "carbon footprint" are among the new environmental terms which have made it into the latest Chambers Dictionary.

Thursday, 14 August 2008
BBC website

Revival hopes for 'stem' subjects

A growing number of students are taking maths and science A-levels, prompting hopes of a revival.

There were also increases in the numbers of students taking languages at A-level.
French rose by 2.8%, Spanish by 1.5%. The numbers taking Chinese rose from 2,441 entries to 2780.
Other languages, such as Arabic, Russian and Turkish also increased, but from lower bases. There was a 0.9% fall in the number of entries for German.

Thursday, 14 August 2008
BBC website

Monday, 4 August 2008

¿ Puede leer este titular? Si no, esta es la razón...*

*The headline says: Can you read this headline? If not, here is the reason… This week thousands of British schoolchildren will head off on foreign holidays – but, sadly, many won't be able to speak a word to the locals. Fewer and fewer pupils are studying foreign languages, and language teaching in our schools is in a dire state.

Liz Lightfoot
Sunday 2nd August 2008
The Observer

Friday, 1 August 2008

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Ulster-Scots academy 'misguided'

Proposals for an Ulster-Scots academy have been condemned as misconceived, divisive and a potential threat to the future of the language.

BBC NEWS Northern Ireland Ulster-Scots academy 'misguided'

31 July 2008

HEFCE consultation on sustainable development

HEFCE is consulting on its Sustainable Development Strategic Plan:

Responses are due by 5 September 2008