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Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

The next League of Champions competition from Vocab Express will be taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2017.

It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students. Free spaces are still currently available!

Visit the website for more information and to register your school.

Teachers can also sign up for guest access to a free trial of the Vocab Express platform using their school or academic e-mail address.

Read more...

New earpiece translates foreign languages as you have a conversation

20 June 2017 (The Independent)

A new device that delivers foreign language translations directly to your ear almost instantly has just gone on sale.

The Translate One2One has been hailed as a real-world equivalent of the Babel fish, the famous fictional creature from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s powered by IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and takes between three and five seconds to complete a translation and play it to you.

It currently works across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

However, both people in a conversation need to be wearing one.

Lingmo International, the company behind it, claims the Translate One2One is clever enough to avoid common translation stumbling blocks.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

1 September 2016 (Vocab Express)

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

There are currently 84 free non-subscriber school places left. Visit the website for more information and to register now!

Read more...

Brazilians Speak Portuguese, but the Olympics Must Use French

9 August 2016 (NY Times)

Rio de Janeiro - Michaëlle Jean, secretary general of the International Organization of la Francophonie, spent a recent morning at the sultry Lagoa Olympic venue, where the world’s most exciting rowing was taking place. She was not so interested in what was happening on the water.

“You will notice that the commentators are not speaking French,” she said, indignantly. “In the venue, none of the signs are in French.”

Monitoring the use of French at the Olympics is a frustrating and quixotic job, particularly when the Games are being held in a non-French-speaking country preoccupied with non-French-related matters like street crime, economic chaos and how to cram thousands of excitable spectators into the beach volleyball venue. But Rule 23 of the Olympic charter states that the Games have two official languages, and Ms. Jean’s organization, which represents 80 Francophone countries, is determined to make sure nobody forgets that one of them is French (the other is English).

Read more...

Related Links

Is English the Lingua Franca of International Sports? (Transparent Language blog, 10 August 2016)

Learn Portuguese for Rio, Britons urged

5 August 2016 (BBC News)

Britons "should give Portuguese a go" as the Olympics get under way in Rio de Janeiro, urges the British Council.

Almost two in five of 2,000 UK adults surveyed for the charity did not know Portuguese was the official language of host country Brazil.

More than one in 10 said the language was "Brazilian", while one in five thought it was Spanish.

Portuguese is not widely taught in UK schools but will be crucial to future trade deals, says the British Council.

Previous research by the UK's international cultural and educational organisation identified Portuguese as the sixth most important language "for the UK's prosperity, security and influence in the world over the next 20 years".

That report called for a wider range of languages to be taught in schools, based on analysis of global economic, political and educational factors.

Read more...

Related Links

Learning Portuguese: An Olympic Hurdle Too Far for Britons? (Huffington Post, 5 August 2016)

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

20 June 2016 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year!

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 100 free school places available to non-subscribers.

Visit the League of Champions website to find out more and to register for one of the free school places. 

Read more...

Study a language at LSE this summer

25 April 2016 (LSE careers blog)

Did you know that the LSE Language Centre offers summer courses? Each year, ‘Summer Languages’ has grown to include more languages, levels and courses of different levels of intensity. You may want to consolidate the language skills you have learned during the academic year, or you may want to try learning a language as a beginner. You could even restart learning a language you were taught at school.

More information about all the courses and languages available can be found on the LSE Summer Languages website.

Read more...

Welsh footballers help pupils go global

23 March 2016 (Welsh Government)

Players from the Wales National Football team have been doing their bit to help pupils concentrate on their modern foreign languages lessons by launching a new learning resource pack linked to this year’s Euros.

The educational resources have been produced as part of the Welsh Government’s Global Futures plan which aims to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales.

The Euros-based resources have been published on Hwb, the digital learning platform for schools, so teachers can capitalise on their pupil’s excitement in the run up to June’s tournament, and use the packs to promote the importance and relevance of modern foreign languages.

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Shakespeare Lives 2016

25 January 2016 (British Council)

This Shakespeare Lives schools’ pack has been created by the British Council in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

Specially designed to encourage learning across the curriculum, the resource is split into five key themes; Leadership and Power, Family and Relationships, Identity and Equality, Fate and Destiny, Justice and Rules. Within each themed section you will find a wide range of activities for pupils aged 7-14. These can be used as starting points in individual lessons or as elements of a cross-curricular project, which could be carried out with a partner school overseas.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download the pack. On the site is a link to a number of videos created as part of the celebration. In addition to the English version, the 'Shakespeare Lives in 2016' animation is also available on YouTube in French, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin.

Read more...

Thinking about a degree at Oxford? Why not try us out for a week this summer?

20 January 2016 (Oxford University)

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about a modern foreign language and its culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 (S5) of a state school, and have some free time in July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures.

The French summer school runs from 2-8 July this year, the German summer school and the Beginner Languages school both run from 16-22 July, and Spanish is 23-29 July.

Visit the website for more information and to apply by 3 February 2016.

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Interview with Marc Joss: football translator and interpreter (part 1)

7 December 2015 (The Language of Football)

Marc Joss is a London-based football translator and interpreter. He speaks Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English.

Marc has been involved in a host of high-profile translation projects including Guillem Balagué’s Messi, Barça: The Official Illustrated History of FC Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography, as well as translating for the English version of Marca.com. He also works with Premier League clubs as an interpreter.

In the first of a two part interview, we talk to Marc about his translation work.

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Our Europe film making competition - deadline approaching

25 November 2015 (SEET)

The deadline for the Our Europe film-making project is fast approaching, but don't worry, there's still time to sign up! Entries must be in by 10 December 2015, so if you want to sign up and haven't yet done so make sure you do it soon! If you have teams of S3-6 pupils who are interested in taking part please complete the registration form.

We are also adding new features to our Script Centre tool, designed to help students with scripting the language component of the project.

We have been extremely busy over the past few weeks making visits to schools all across Scotland and it has been great to see such enthusiasm for the project from students. For more information about the Our Europe project, please visit our website. Remember, it's not too late to sign up!

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2015

14 August 2015 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year! The championship will run from Wednesday 30 September until Tuesday 6 October 2015. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are currently still 50 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

Read more...

Budding police constables must speak second language in Met pilot scheme

20 July 2015 (The Guardian)

Aspiring police constables must speak a second language to join London’s Metropolitan police under a month-long pilot scheme.

Scotland Yard is hoping the new criterion will help police “engage with London’s diverse communities as effectively as possible”.

From Monday, to be considered for one of the sought-after positions with the capital’s police force, applicants must speak one of 14 languages as well as English. 

They are: Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Spanish, Turkish or Yoruba (Nigeria).

Read more...

Related Links

Language recruitment campaign launched (Metropolitan Police, 20 July 2015)

Forget French and Mandarin - Arabic is the language to learn

12 July 2015 (The Independent)

The 10-year-old was looking at the card in front of him which showed an image of a fish. “Samak,” he said decisively.

He and his classmates at Horton Park primary school, in Bradford, have been learning Arabic for three years now, courtesy of a drive by the British Council to boost the take-up of the language in state schools.

Read more...

Revealing the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ In Four New Languages to Mark World Whisky Day

14 May 2015 (Scotland Food & Drink)

Zum Wohl (German), Saúde (Portugese), Santé (French), gān bēi (Chinese), Sláinte (Gaelic) or cheers (English) – there are many ways to toast a dram around the world.

To mark World Whisky Day on Saturday (May 16) four new foreign language translations of the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ guide are being launched this week by Aberdeenshire Provost, Jill Webster, at Glenglassaugh Distillery near Portsoy.

Working in partnership with local whisky producers, Aberdeenshire Council established the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ last year to highlight the less well-known range of small distilleries all within an hour’s drive of Aberdeen, each with its own distinctive history, style and taste.

The guide has been well received by the tourism industry and the printing of the German language version was sponsored by a German tour company specialising in Scotch whisky tours.

The Portuguese, French and Chinese versions of the guide have been produced in response to demand from key international tourism markets.

Read more...

Call for Mandarin and Arabic to be taught from primary school

9 April 2015 (Holyrood Magazine)

Studying a foreign language should be compulsory from the year children start school in order for Scottish firms to compete in the international export market, a business group has urged.

Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian have been pinpointed by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) as “international languages of business” that must be made mandatory in the education curriculum from primary 1 onwards.

It has called on government to implement the measure by 2020 to ensure Scottish businesses have sufficient cultural and language skills to tap into a number of growing economies.

The demand is among a number of 'business asks', which also include staying in the European Union, set out as part of the Scottish Business Voice Campaign, led by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network.

Read more...

Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

16 March 2015 (British Council)

Want to start your international career with us? Applications are now open for our 2015 future leaders scheme.  You must be fluent in English and be capable and willing to learn one of the following languages: Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.

To find out more about the scheme and full eligibility criteria visit the British Council website.

Application deadline is 30 April 2015.

Read more...

Saved by song: can singing improve your language skills?

11 February 2015 (The Guardian)

Despite having a good grasp of vocabulary and grammar, Jonross Swaby found few understood him when he spoke Spanish and Portuguese. That was until he started singing.

Read more...

Related Links

Six songs that will improve your Spanish and Portuguese (The Guardian, 11 February 2015)

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.

Read more...

Eurotoolbox 2014-15

4 September 2014 (Goethe-Institut London)

The Eurotoolbox consists of 5 specially chosen collections of children's and youth literature from Europe in the original language - German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, with between 12 and 15 books in each language.

The exhibition of books is free to borrow for 2-4 weeks at a time and is available from September.

Visit the Eurotoolbox launch webpage for more information about the collections and contact Mariella Riccobono at the Italian Cultural Institute to arrange a booking slot: maria.riccobono.iic@esteri.it 

Read more...

Learn languages to boost your MBA

4 September 2014 (The Guardian)

In the increasingly globalised world of work, multinational companies are looking to hire business high-flyers who can communicate in several different languages.

Europe’s top business schools are responding to this need; courses at Insead, IESE, HEC, and London Business School incorporate a language requirement as well as the opportunity to learn and practise another language. Insead teaches Mandarin at Fontainbleu and in Singapore.

For some schools, a language component is a compulsory part of the MBA. The Insead MBA is taught exclusively in English, so fluency in the language is a pre-requisite, but in addition to that, another language at a practical level is also required for entry – and students are expected to add a third language by the time they finish their MBA. “At Insead we believe strongly in the importance of an international outlook and the ability to work effectively in multiple cultures,” says admissions director Pejay Belland.

Read more...

Related Links

Doing an MBA abroad could give you a competitive edge (The Guardian, 4 September 2014)

Audio Lingua

12 March 2014 (Audio Lingua)

Audio-Lingua offers mp3 recordings in several languages. It is a collaborative bank of authentic audio resources, recorded by native speakers, and can be searched by level, topic and language.

Read more...

2014 Canning House Essay Competition

18 December 2013 (Canning House)

A fantastic complement to the national curriculum, the Canning House Essay Competition is targeted at students of Spanish and Portuguese aged 17-19 (by 31st August 2014) and challenges them to apply their knowledge of language and structures to produce a sophisticated piece of persuasive writing.

Each year we challenge language students from all over the UK to submit an essay of 750-1000 words which best displays their linguistic flair and capacity for free expression in their second language(s). The topic for discussion changes from year to year.

An exciting range of prizes reward the best impressive entries, with previous winners having enjoyed cash prizes and even a fully paid for return trip to Latin America.

Read more...

Shortfall in the languages the UK needs the most

20 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Three-quarters of the UK public are unable to speak one of the 10 most important languages for the country's future, a British Council report has found.

The British Council has called on government and business to work together to develop educational policy and priorities relating to languages. This follows a YouGov poll commissioned by the British Council, which found that of 4000 UK adults polled, 75% are unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted as crucial to the UK's economic standing.

The Languages for the Future report identified those languages, in order of importance, as: Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese.

Read more...

Related Links

Read the British Council report here.

'Alarming shortage' of foreign language skills in UK (BBC, 20 November 2013)

UK warned over shortage of foreign language speakers (BBC News, 20 November 2013) - includes a link to audio item 'But why are British students so behind with foreign language skills?' BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast reporter Rowan Bridge visited language teachers and students at Manchester College to find out.  (Available to listen to until Wednesday 27 November 2013).

Britons are told they must learn languages of success (The Herald, 20 November 2013)

Arabic beats French, Mandarin beats German and Spanish is best: UK's international education body highlights most important foreign languages to learn (The Independent, 20 November 2013)

Poor Language Skills 'Hampering UK Economy' (Sky News, 20 November 2013)

Languages must be as important as maths and science, British Council says (TES News blog, 20 November 2013)

Languages - Gift of bilingualism is too often 'squandered' (TES, 22 November 2013)

I caught the language bug late but remain happily infected

18 October 2013 (The Telegraph)

This former soldier once hated learning languages – but ended up working as a translator in Brazil.

Read more...

Video Competition for Children and Young Adults – Young Voices Against Poverty

11 October 2013 (eTwinning, via Twitter)

In the run-up to European Development Days 2013 - Europe's premier forum on development, poverty eradication and sustainable development - we want you to have your say!

All you have to do is make a short video (no more than 120 seconds) answering the following question: If you could have your say, how would you fight poverty?

You could be one of 4 lucky winners to win an all-expenses paid trip to Brussels to attend European Development Days, 26 - 27 November 2013, where your video will be screened.

The competition is open to young people aged 13-24 and video submissions can be made in one of the 5 official contest languages: English, French, German, Portuguese or Spanish.

More information on eligibility, competition rules and how to apply is available on the competition Facebook page.

Read more...

Arteta supports language programme

27 September 2013 (Arsenal Football Club)

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has spoken about the importance of learning language skills ahead of the European Day of Languages, which encourages more people to learn a foreign tongue both in and out of school.

Arsenal in the Community has long championed language learning through its successful Double Club model – an innovative education and football programme which aims to fuse football and education to form a fun and enjoyable way for young people to engage with their academic studies and football at the same time.

In addition to Arsenal-themed language learning materials for German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, a DVD of one of Arsenal’s players speaking in their native language is provided as an exciting classroom resource.

Read more...

Related Links

Double Club German – new resources for 2013-14 season! (UK-German Connection, 24 September 2013)  Double Club: German is a joint project by Arsenal FC, the Goethe-Institut London and UK-German Connection. It is an innovative education and football programme which aims to show pupils that German can be fun, improving their knowledge of the German language and culture in a joint football / German club. Pupils attend one session per week, which can take place after school, in lesson time or during holidays, and is split up into two 45-minute sessions. Available as a module for primary or secondary level pupils, new materials for the 2013-14 season are now available. Follow the link above to find out more about the programme and how to sign up.

We speak your language, English clubs tell foreign fans

26 September 2013 (Reuters)

Manchester City and Liverpool announced an expansion of their social media presence on Thursday with more local language websites and Twitter accounts to cater for a growing international fan base.

Abu Dhabi-owned City launched 10 new Twitter accounts in addition to existing feeds in English and Arabic to engage with supporters in Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Read more...

Juvenes Translatores 2013

8 August 2013 (REAL)

Amid ever-growing interest, the European Commission will run its Juvenes Translatores translation contest for the seventh time in 2013.

The contest is organised for 17-year-olds in secondary schools throughout the European Union. They will translate a 1-page text between any 2 languages from among the EU's 24 official languages. This year the theme of the texts will be "citizens".

The authors of the best translation from each EU country will be invited to Brussels to receive an award, meet the Commissioner for multilingualism and see how professional EU translators work.

Schools can register for the contest from 1 September to 20 October 2013.

Follow the link to the website for more information.

Read more...

Language Summer School

9 May 2013 (London School of Economics)

Launched in Summer 2011 our Summer Language Programme is a range of, short but sweet Arabic, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish courses. Each year the programme has grown to include more languages, levels and courses of different levels of intensity.

Courses run at various times throughout July and August each year.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

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