Thursday, June 14, 2007
Hamburg English develops online English language ability testing
Hamburg English started down the road of online testing specifically aimed at international companies wishing to measure employee and job applicant English language ability. Upon completion of a test, an ability report is generated and sent by email to a chosen email address within just a few seconds. The English ability tests are just a part of an online empire created by Hamburg English, which additionally covers department need analysis and TOEIC (The Test of English for International Communications) estimation and preparation.Read more: Testing
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
UK foreign language teaching hits all-time low
Foreign language teaching in the UK's state schools has been reduced to "the sort of thing you find in a 'get by' phrase book", claims a doom-and-gloom report published yesterday.
That's the conclusion of The Corruption of the Curriculum by Shirley Lawes, which indicates that the government's decision in 2004 to allow GCSE pupils to drop languages has resulted in a predictable decline in the number of kids taking the exams, leading to a "dumbing down" of language curricula "as teachers react to the latest fads to revive pupils' waning enthusiasm".Read more: Language Learning
Thursday, June 07, 2007
"Diversity and change in adult language learning"
- The number of adults learning languages in local authority and FE college classes is continuing to decline.
- Spanish continues to grow as the foremost language learnt, with Italian, British Sign Language and Arabic also increasing their share of the market.
- Between 11% and 12% of local authorities and FE colleges are already using Asset Languages to accredit learning.
These are the initial findings from CILT’s survey of adult language learning, carried out in conjunction with NIACE and the Association for Language Learning earlier this year. Although figures on learner numbers are difficult to interpret, the findings reflect similar conclusions published by NIACE last month (Figures of Speech, May 2007). In addition to the overall decline, these highlight the growing diversity of adult language learning provision, and the growth in participation from ethnic minority communities.Read more: CILT
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Australia: Lack of language skills
Australia's top research universities, the Group of Eight, are doing the nation a favour in moving to kick-start foreign language teaching from infancy to postgraduate standard.
The imperatives for the case are compelling. In the 1960s, 40 per cent of Year 12 students studied a second language, compared with 15 per cent today. In Queensland, the fall-off is even more serious, with just 5.8 per cent of Year 12 doing so. At university level, the number of languages available has fallen from 66 to 29 in the past 10 years, with just 3 per cent of students studying an Asian language.Read more: Australia
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Malaysia may change name of language
Malaysia’s government has announced a move to change the name of the national language back to “Bahasa Malaysia�?, or the Malaysian language, to promote a sense of belonging to all races in the multi-cultural country, official reports said yesterday.
The original name for the language had been “Bahasa Malaysia�? since the country achieved independence in 1957, but the government renamed it “Bahasa Melayu�?, or the Malay Language, in 1986.Read more: Malay
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Nokia launches China English-language learning service
Nokia Corp has launched an English language learning service for ihandset users in China, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Marko Vanska, director of Nokia''s emerging-business unit in China.
Nokia, the world''s largest handset maker, plans to charge users for the "Mobiledu" service which it launched yesterday, which includes both audio- and text-based lessons, the newspaper said.Read more: Nokia
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Multilingual London may get language museum
Language enthusiasts want to open a dedicated museum in London -- the world's most multilingual city, where more than 350 languages are spoken -- to coincide with the 2012 Olympics.
Linguist David Crystal said the interactive museum would draw on high-tech gadgets and serious scholarship to boost people's interest in languages -- both foreign and their own -- and would be the first of its kind in Britain.Read more: London
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
EU recruitment office 'guilty of language bias'
In a potential landmark announcement, EU Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros is shortly to declare that the EU institutions' recruitment office, EPSO, is guilty of bias in favour of English, French and German, acording to Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza .
The Ombudsman's opinion, which is expected soon according to popular Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza, could have legal reprecussions, as candidates who failed to gain EU institution employment will be able to challenge their results in court.Read more: EU
Cuts drive adults out of language classes
Although more Britons are travelling abroad than ever before, half a million fewer adults in the UK are learning foreign languages than a decade ago, according to a new survey. Of those adults who are learning a language in the UK, a quarter are studying English. Since the last national review in 1999, English has knocked German out of the top three languages being studied. The other two most popular remain French and Spanish.Read more: Languages
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Smartsource Products Announces New Ways To Learn French
Smartsource Products is proud to announce they are now offering one of the most comprehensive and effective language programs on the market today. With this product, individuals can learn French language without reading, writing, or repeating nonsensical phrases.Read more: Smartsource
Friday, May 11, 2007
More Britons learning languages
Language software provider Rosetta Stone (UK) Limited has reported a 34% increase in UK sales of its language software to consumers in the first quarter of 2007, compared to the same period last year.
Michael Lefante, Marketing Manager for Rosetta Stone comments: “Our increase in sales is significant and perhaps reflects the fact that more Britons are realising the many personal, professional and social benefits of learning a second language. Additionally, people are choosing e-learning over other language learning methods because of the flexibility it affords.�?Read more: Rosetta
Defense Leaders Announce New Language Corps
The Department of Defense announces the implementation of a pilot "The Language Corps" over the next three years. The pilot will include no fewer than 1,000 members drawn from all sectors of the U.S. population. Members will have the opportunity to join a dedicated pool or a national pool of linguists.Read more: US Army
Thursday, May 10, 2007
China's Hot New Export: Its Language
Chinese has become the newest export to the United States, where in the last few years the study of Chinese has gone from pretty much zero to thousands of students. It's growing fast: from Maryland, where a third of the schools now teach Chinese, to Chicago, where most classes are in urban schools, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen reports.Read more: Chinese
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Job-seekers to showcase international expertise
A new resource from CILT, the National Centre for Languages, to be launched on the 9 May will assist young people to demonstrate their language and communication skills to potential employers. The Language Work Placement Toolkit has been specially designed for those undertaking, organising or hosting languages work placements.Read more: CILT
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Police get Romanian translation guide
Police officers have been handed a special translation guide to help them deal with Romanian crime suspects, it emerged yesterday.
The initiative has been introduced to tackle a crime-wave involving East European thieves and pickpockets who are targeting London's West End. Since Romania joined the EU in January, thefts and handbag snatches have soared as organised crime gangs and beggars trawl the streets in the hunt for cash and valuables.Read more: Romanian
Monday, April 30, 2007
Italian Language Baffles Holiday Homeowners
Just 12% of British holiday homeowners in Italy say that they benefit from speaking the language abroad, according to a new survey conducted by holidaylettings.co.uk. Whilst this may demonstrate the nation's linguistic failings, it also indicates that being unfamiliar with the Italian language is not necessarily a barrier to buying property in the country.Read more: Italy
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Australia: Boost language skills say bosses
With next month's Budget in mind, Australia's business leaders are turning their attention from corporate boardrooms to the nation's classrooms.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has issued a 10 year blueprint for education and training containing 153 ideas for improving primary, high school, university, TAFE and even early childhood learning. The Chamber wants the Education Budget to grow annually by 3 per cent over 10 years to almost $8 billion dollars.Read more: Australia
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A revival of Latin?
The children are writing postcards about their favourite things - holidays, sport, food.
But however many times they jot down "wish you were here", their intended recipients never will be. They have been dead for about 2,000 years. It sounds macabre, but a primary school in Hackney, east London, is actually trying to keep something alive. Latin, the ancient language which has long been in decline in state schools, is being taught in the area for the first time that anyone can remember.Read more: BBC
Monday, April 23, 2007
Majority Of Internal Medicine Practices Provide Language Services
The majority of practices represented by internists that have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients provide language services, the American College of Physicians (ACP) reported today as it released a report on language access in health care. "Language Services for Patients with Limited English Proficiency: Results of a National Survey of Internal Medicine Physicians" reported that a majority of the internists surveyed agree that it is difficult to provide patient care to LEP patients when language services are not available.Read more: LEP
Friday, April 20, 2007
Foreign language learning and the UK pig industry
Foreign language training guidelines, a new scheme striving for consistent pork quality and a ‘confidence survey’ – those are the three latest projects from the British Pig Executive (BPEX).
The training guidelines have been designed to help pig farmers overcome the initial language problems when employing new staff from eastern Europe. They are available in four languages – Lithuanian, Russian, Romanian and Polish – and cover food and water, handling and moving pigs, restraining pigs, sick pig management, hygiene, useful words and slap marking.Read more: Pigs