Archive for the Category: Education

‘Academic’ style language teaching

I’ve noticed that when some people write about language learning, particularly those who encourage you to learn languages on your own, they often make disparaging remarks about the ‘academic’ style of teaching found in language classes. Apparently this style of teaching is boring, dry, focused on grammar and learning vocabulary, and/or has too few opportunities […]

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Mandarin in UK schools

According to an article I found today in The Independent there is a dire shortage of qualified teachers of Mandarin Chinese in the UK – only about 100 at the moment – and at the same time increasing numbers of schools want to offer Mandarin lessons. Apparently some 500 schools in the UK currently teach […]

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Kurdish in Turkish schools

According to an article I came across today, the Turkish government plan to introduce Kurdish language lessons in schools, if there is suffient demand. About 12% of Turkey’s population speaks Kurdish, so it’s likely that there will be demand for these lesson, especially in Eastern Turkey, where most of the Kurds live. Until 2002 there […]

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Sicilianu

According to an article I found today, l’Assemblea regionale siciliana (the Sicilian Regional Assembly) has voted unanimously in favour of the introduction of lessons in Sicilian language and culture in Sicily’s schools at all levels from next year. The aim is to preserve “l’immenso patrimonio storico e letterario della Sicilia” (the immense historical and literary […]

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Language teaching in schools

According to an article I found today, the majority of business managers in the Czech Republic who were surveyed by Czech Position think that at least two foreign languages (English plus one or more others) should be compulsory in Czech schools. This came in reaction to a proposal from the National Economic Council (NERV) that […]

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Languages in schools

According to an article I found today in The Telegraph, the British government have decided to tinker with the education system yet again and plan to reintroduce compulsory foreign languages in secondary schools up to the add of 16. Their plan is to make languages one of five core subjects along with English, mathematics, a […]

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Budget Cuts Threaten Foreign Language Education

Today we have a guest post by Alvina Lopez Both in the United States and Europe, and most recently in the UK, higher education budget cuts have threatened many aspects of university education that were once taken for granted. Particularly hard hit have been humanities and arts departments. Cutting funds for foreign language study seems […]

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Jamaican and Scots

A few weeks ago I had an interesting discussion with a Jamaican poet about the Jamaican language. He told me how it is being standardised and used as a medium of instruction in schools, and is now considered a language in its own right. One advantage of using Jamaican in schools is that pupils who […]

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‘Extreme’ language exchanges

Language exchange trips have been popular for many years, but usually involve spending only a few weeks in a foreign country. For example, I took part in a language exchange with a French lad while at school which involved me spending three weeks with his family in France, and him spending three weeks in the […]

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Mandarin for all

According to this report, the UK Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, would like all secondary pupils in UK schools to have the opportunity to learn Mandarin. One reason for this is that a poll of employers found that Chinese is the most useful language for employees to know after French and German. The poll, conducted by […]

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