Thursday, March 23, 2006
lsda survey on language skills
The Learning Skills Development Agency (LSDA) has just launched the results of the national survey they conducted among Futher Education colleges.
The report was called ‘Modern Foreign Languages in a Vocational Context’ and it looks at the way that languages are incorporated into vocational courses and questions the importance given to the teaching and learning of languages.Read more: LSDA
"Of course English is the international business language"
France may be committed to protecting its culture from English and American intrusions but a senior trade official has conceded the Gallic tongue is not that of global business.
"Of course English is the international business language," the head of France's international investment body, Clara Gaymard, told reporters in Sydney. Gaymard, who is seeking to attract greater foreign investment from China, India, Australia and ASEAN nations, said that investors coming to France did not need to learn another language to do business.Read more: ASEAN
internet use up 11% in norway
The majority of Norwegians are now using the Internet as a daily part of their lives, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on Thursday. According to figures from Statistics Norway, 55 percent of the population aged 9-79 used the Internet on a normal day in 2005, an increase of 11 percentage points compared to 2004.Read more: Norway
word of the day: paterfamilias
paterfamilias \pay-tuhr-fuh-MIL-ee-uhs; pat-uhr-; pah-\, noun;
plural patresfamilias \pay-treez-; pat-reez-; pah-treez-\:
The male head of a household or the father of a family.
His father served as paterfamilias to the entire García clan, dispensing money and advice to those who needed it, and the family, in turn, revered him. -- Leslie Stainton, Lorca: A Dream of Life
Just after World War II the paterfamilias, Eric, briefly abandons his wife and children for a doomed romance in Paris. -- John Domini, "review of Drowning, by Lee Grove," New York Times, July 21, 1991
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
school wins appeal in muslim dress at school debate
A school which was told it unlawfully excluded a Muslim pupil for wearing a traditional gown has won its appeal at the House of Lords.
The Court of Appeal had said Denbigh High School had denied Shabina Begum the right to manifest her religion in refusing to allow her to wear a jilbab.
But in a unanimous ruling, judges at the House of Lords overturned that. They said the Luton school had "taken immense pains to devise a uniform policy which respected Muslim beliefs".Read more: Appeal
navigating the cross cultural etiquette minefield
Thinking about giving a Japanese business partner a gift bearing the words "made in China", or ordering an Italian colleague an after lunch cappuccino? Think again. Given uneasy Japanese relations with China and Italians' post-prandial preference for espresso, such attempts to make good first impressions could wind up being faux pas.
In international business, good impressions can be crucial and preparation, presentation and professionalism are a must. The question is, how to ensure that you and your foreign partner will keep doing business?Read more: CNN
charities failing to reflect cultural diversity
There is only one chief executive from an ethnic minority community and one with a disability among the UK's top 50 charities, according to a study.
The vast majority of chief executives working in the charities sector are white, middle-aged and middle-class, the research by Third Sector magazine showed. The only non-white chief executive is Daleep Mukarji of Christian Aid, who is Indian. And the only CEO with a disability is Jackie Ballard of the RSPCA, who is blind in one eye.Read more: Charities
arabic studies booming in italy
Universities across Italy have registered a record number of Arabic language and culture students in the past five years, news reports said on Wednesday.
In a survey on the increasing popularity of Arabic, Rome-daily La Repubblica reported that the Orientale University of Naples, one of the most well known in the country for Middle Eastern studies, had registered a 250 percent increase in students this year compared to 2001.
The paper also said the boom wasn't limited to Naples, Milan and Rome, where colleges specialised in Arabic are based, but was recorded throughout Italy. "The first hike was after 11 September 2001, when the number of students slightly increased," said Francesca Corrao, an Arabic language professor at the university of Naples. "We thought at the time it was only a passing curiosity, but the number of students has progressively increased."Read more: Arabic
PRChinese.com Launches Innovative Approach to Chinese Language Learning
Language experts generally agree that one-on-one training with a native speaker is among the best methods in learning a new language. PRChinese.com, a Hong Kong based Chinese language learning provider, seeks to combine new technology with the traditional approach to deliver one of the most affordable yet effective methods of learning Chinese available today.
“It takes a tremendous amount of practice to achieve fluency in a new language,�? says Jacqueline Wah of PRChinese.com. “Learning Chinese is no different. In my opinion, one-on-one training and practice with native speakers is among the most effective methods of learning a new tongue. By harnessing the new technology of the Internet, we believe we can now hurdle the impractical and expensive option of having to travel many miles to China just to talk to a native Chinese speaker.�?Read more: PRChinese
yahoo! invests in southeast asia's future potential
Yahoo has launched three new localized home pages for Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam as part of a strategy to tap rapid growth in the number of Southeast Asian Internet users.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company also plans to further increase its investment in regional operations, Yahoo's managing director for Southeast Asia, Reza Behnam, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Yahoo has doubled staff in the region to more than 60 over the past 14 months, while investment in the business has increased by about the same rate, Behnam said on the sidelines of a press conference in Singapore. He declined to give specific figures.
Including Wednesday's launch, Yahoo has localized home pages for five markets in the region. Singapore and Malaysia were the first two countries in the region to get localized Yahoo sites.
The company plans to roll out a Yahoo site for Thailand within the next six months. The number of Internet users in Southeast Asia is expected to rise by 83% to 100 million by 2008 from 54.7 million users at present, according to Behnam. The region's Internet penetration rate is projected to rise to about 20% over the same period from 11.3%, he said. "We have some of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia," he said.Read more: Yahoo!
word of the day: succor
succor \SUH-kuhr\, noun:
1. Aid; help; assistance; especially, assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty, want, or distress.
2. The person or thing that brings relief.
1. To help or relieve when in difficulty, want, or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; to relieve.
In Asakusa, a crowd sought succor around an old and lovely Buddhist temple, dedicated to Kannon, goddess of mercy. -- Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
Ever since I was five, I have inserted myself into every movie I've seen and gratefully, humbly found succor there. -- Laurie Fox, My Sister from the Black Lagoon