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Archive for the ‘promotion’ Category

The history of the Spanish language

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

I’ve just come across this short video about the Spanish language via Pinterest.

It explains how Spanish came to be, condensing 2000 years into 3 minutes and shows why Spanish is such an important world language. Well worth a watch, whether as a tool for promotion or persuasion or out of interest.

Report on Foreign Language Learning in Europe

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

An interesting report on Teaching Languages in schools across Europe was published a few days ago.

Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe 2012 is a joint Eurydice/Eurostat publication, produced in close cooperation with the European Commission. The report is based on four main data sources: Eurydice, Eurostat, the European Survey on Language Competences (ESLC), and the OECD’s PISA 2009 international survey. Eurydice data covers 32 countries (27 Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey) and takes the reference year 2010/11. [The report] contains 61 indicators and qualitative information describing the context and organisation of foreign language teaching, student participation levels as well as the initial and continuing education of foreign language teachers. In addition to giving a snapshot of the situation today, the report also presents several time series which are helpful in identifying trends in language teaching over recent years and past decades.

You can see the highlights of the report in the document below, or read the full version by clicking on the image on the left.

Some of the key points however are –

1. Students start learning foreign languages from an increasingly early age. It makes me really sad to see the UK block at 11 years old after all the hard work done to make it 7. And you can see that we’re far behind many other countries in Europe.

2. More students learn two foreign languages. Not in the UK though it seems.

3. English by far is the dominating foreign language in Europe. 

4. Very few students learn languages other than English, French, Spanish, German or Russian.

5. Students’ perceptions of the usefulness of a language is a motivating factor for learning – and English is by far seen as the most useful.  Perhaps this, and point 3, explain some of the UK’s language “apathy”? Trips are also pointed out as a motivating factor.

6. Teaching guidelines for foreign languages place equal emphasis on all communication skills – and yet both teachers and students make infrequent use of the target language in the classroom. Interestingly, the UK is not on the graphic for this section – I wonder why?

7. The Common European Reference Framework (CEFR) is becoming a main tool for defining student attainment levels. Also interesting to note that the UK is one of the few countries in Europe (along with Spain, Netherlands, French speaking Belgium and a few others) without an expected level of proficiency in a second language by school leaving age.

8. School reports difficulties filling vacancies for language teachers. I know a few great language teachers who would love a job!!

9. Few countries require teachers to spend an immersion period in the target language country. The UK does have recommendations about this, and also about the content of ITT. However, I think they could go further. You should have to visit regularly as well to keep ‘up to date’. Why not have funded sabbatical periods – even a week would be good – to revitalise your skills every two or three years? And I don’t mean a trip on which you’re supervising children, nor do I mean a week of sunbathing on the Italian riviera. Perhaps shadowing a colleague, or investigating something that interests you. And immersing yourself in a language and culture that you love.

I wonder if anyone who makes decisions about languages has read this report properly? Or have they just seen the ‘English is the most useful’ and thought ‘That’s Ok then’?

World Hello Day

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Thank you to June da Silva for pointing this out via primarylanguages@mailtalk.ac.uk.

November 21st is World Hello Day on which people are encouraged to greet 10 people to demonstrate the importance of personal communication in maintaining peace.

  World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973.  Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

    People around the world use the occasion of World Hello Day as an opportunity to express their concern for world peace.  Beginning with a simple greeting on World Hello Day, their activities send a message to leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.

    As a global event World Hello Day joins local participation in a global expression of peace.  The World Hello Day web site address is http://www.worldhelloday.org.

As June says in her email, what an opportunity to promote communication in other languages too. I will be attempting to greet 10 people in Swiss German and / or their native language. I’m sure I can find 10 people who speak 10 different languages at home amongst my boys’ new classmates and parents…

www.ipl.org/div/hello will help me in my task as will http://www.digitaldialects.com/ 

And how about these lovely song?

“Language and your brain”

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Just found this interesting infographic about the relationship between learning languages and your brain.

The bottom section about the optimum age for your brain to be most efficient at language learning is a strong case for Primary Languages (hurrah!) but not such good news for my attempts to learn German (boo!). It doesn’t say you can’t learn a langage when you’re old. Er. Although I will very shortly head off their scale…

via

 

Linguascope awards.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Just discovered the following via Linguascope’s Facebook page.

To celebrate the second Linguascope Conference in Brighton we have decided to create a series of awards aimed at rewarding and highlighting outstanding achievements by individuals, companies and organisations involved in the field of Modern Foreign Languages.
The categories are as follows:
Language Teacher of the Year
This award aims at rewarding excellence and encouraging best practice in Language teaching.

Language Company of the Year
The award is aimed at rewarding a company for its outstanding contribution and service to the Foreign Language Teaching Community.

Language Product of the Year
This award aims at highlighting a product that is considered outstanding or innovative in the field of Languages.

Language College of the Year
This award is aimed at rewarding the College that has fostered outstanding achievement, elevated standards of good practice and has contributed to the local community.

Language Organisation of the Year
This award is aimed at rewarding an organisation that has raised the profile of Languages in the UK.

Language Speaker of the Year
This award is aimed at rewarding the speaker who has contributed innovative and inspiring ideas within the Language conference circuit.

Language Personality of the Year
This award is aimed at recognising the contribution of an individual in helping to raise the profile of Languages.

Language Blogger of the Year
This award is aimed at rewarding the most interesting and helpful blog in the field of Modern Foreign Languages.

To nominate someone is very easy and FREE! Just click on the relevant award, then download and fill in the form, making sure that all fields are completed. Then, fax or post it back to us (Linguascope) using the details below.
All nominations must be made via fax or post and submitted by the end of March 2011. The finalists will be announced at the end of May 2011. The Awards will be presented at the Linguascope Conference in Brighton on July 1st and 2nd 2011 at the Thistle Hotel. The VIP Guest Speaker for the event will be the Comedian John Moloney.
In order to keep the selection impartial we have appointed an independent panel of judges with extensive knowledge in the field of education and Languages.

So, get nominating! There are lots of great language ‘professionals’ out there who deserve a pat on the back!

Try life in another language – French and German

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Following on from my previous post, here are clips from the same series in French and German.

Try life in another language – Spanish

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

I’ve just been reminded of these lovely videos that were part of a campaign to promote language learning.

Posters to promote language learning. 9

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Photograph by me ;o)

Posters to promote language learning. 8

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Here’s another gem – this time brought to my attention by Richard Mayor at Holy Cross Primary in Walmley.
If you have any favourites, perhaps you’d like to share them in the comments below? I’m getting quite into this poster making malarky! ;o)

Posters to promote language learning. 7

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Thanks to @simonhowells for this suggestion. And thanks to @josepicardo as I understand Simon saw it on José’s website!