HE


HE

Scotland would be biggest loser from abolition of Erasmus scheme after Brexit

24 March 2019 (The Herald)

A 30-year-old student exchange programme that faces the axe after Brexit disproportionately benefits students from Scottish universities, according to new figures. 

More students north of the Border choose to study and train in the EU through the Erasmus scheme than in nine other areas of the UK.

The Erasmus programme, which was set up in 1987, allows students to study or acquire skills in another EU country.

The Prime Minister’s Chequers agreement promised to “explore participation” in the scheme, but it was not mentioned in the political declaration on the future relationship with the EU that May negotiated.

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Spring break revision courses

19 March 2019 (Alliance Française)

There are still some spaces available on the semi-intensive revision courses running 8-12 April for Secondary School pupils and University students who are due to sit their French examinations in 2019.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to register.

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Erasmus scheme in chaos as UK students left in limbo

19 March 2019 (The Guardian)

The 17,000 students about to do a year abroad face huge uncertainty over funding and accommodation

For Alice Watkins, a Manchester University student, a year in Paris, then Madrid, as part of her degree was a dream. Now, with the turmoil of Brexit, she is preparing to arrive in France this summer with nowhere to live and no idea whether the money will still be there to support her.

“It’s horrible not knowing,” Watkins says. “We’ve been told to take at least £1,200 of our own cash to cover us for the first six weeks, and that we can’t realistically sort any accommodation before we arrive. Turning up abroad with nowhere to live is a big stress.”

Last Wednesday the European parliament voted to guarantee funding for UK students already studying abroad on the Erasmus+ student exchange programme, in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. It also promised to continue supporting European students already in the UK on the scheme.

But uncertainty hangs over the 17,000 British students who had planned to study in Europe under Erasmus+ from this September. A technical note, published by the government at the end of January, failed to guarantee any funding for the scheme if Britain leaves the EU with no deal.

Watkins, like many language students, regards a period living and studying in Europe as a crucial part of her degree in French and Spanish. “We are people who plan to live and work abroad in the future. We were too young to vote in the referendum and we are the ones whose future is being affected. It’s all such a mess,” she says.

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Spring break revision courses April 2019

26 February 2019 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

We are running semi-intensive revision courses in April for Secondary School pupils and University students who are due to sit their French examinations in 2019.

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A plan for study exchange is essential for ‘Global Britain’

15 February 2019 (THE)

Paul James Cardwell considers the alternatives to staying outside the Erasmus+ programme if the UK has no national student mobility strategy.

The panic button is being hit in terms of what a no deal Brexit means for the Erasmus programme. With only weeks to go until the UK leaves the European Union and with no strategy to replace the scheme, future UK students will be shut out of one of the longest running and most successful transnational education schemes in existence.

Most people I have come across in higher education see Erasmus as a good thing and do not need to be convinced of its benefits. It is a great chance for students to get a new experience somewhere different, pick up or improve a foreign language and maybe add a skill to their CV while expanding their job interview talking points. 

But, when those of us in the higher education sector argue the benefits of Erasmus to the wider public, some misconceptions usually come up.

The most common is to challenge why the UK needs to be in the whole architecture of the EU just to swap students with European universities. The simple answer is that it doesn’t. Other European countries participate fully as programme countries (such as Turkey and – this week – Serbia) and Erasmus+ (as it is now known) has taken the scheme to a global level that allows exchanges beyond Europe. 

But – and it is a big but – only EU members get a say in the key decision-making and the budget. Being outside that makes having any kind of influence more difficult.

There is nothing stopping UK universities from having exchanges with European partners. After all, this is how the UK does exchanges with non-European countries in the Americas, Asia and Australasia. But students would have to rely on other sources of funding, perhaps from their universities, which are hard to come by for those that need the most help – and study destinations further afield mean increased travel costs and complex paperwork, including visas.

As universities face uncertain finances post-Brexit, they are unlikely to be able to step in to the place that Erasmus funding occupies. What is more, non-standard exchange contracts come with a lot of red tape. The beauty of Erasmus is that it makes things much easier by working to a standard form. European partners might still be willing to continue relationships, particularly long-standing ones, but they would also need sources of financing for students to come to the UK.

(Note - registration required to read full article).

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DAAD/IMLR German Writing Competition 2019

14 February 2019 (DAAD)

This year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) are joining forces for the sixth time to invite all learners and lovers of German, from secondary school upwards, to take part in a writing competition.

2019 marks the 200th birthdays of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. This year’s competition is launched on Valentine’s Day to commemorate a love that blossomed across borders, cultures and languages, between the Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the British queen. 

They first met in May 1836, were engaged in October 1839 and married in February 1840. During the years before Albert moved to Windsor Castle, many letters crossed the Channel – from Britain to Saxony and back from Saxony to Britain – and most, if not all of them were written in German, the language Victoria had learnt from her mother as a little girl.

Your competition brief is to imagine one of these letters. You could:

  • Put yourself in the shoes of Victoria or Albert (or both) and write a (pair of) letter(s) or
  • Creatively adapt one (or an exchange) of their letters as a mini-play, lyrics for a rap song (à la Hamilton), a (set of) poem(s) or similar

Does Albert share his thoughts with Victoria about moving to Britain and becoming a part of her life? Does Victoria tell Albert about Britain while contemplating their life together?

Be creative and think outside the box. The only two rules: your text must be written in German and not be longer than 350 words. Submission deadline is 15 May 2019.

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Speaking the same language at national meeting

12 February 2019 (Education Scotland)

‘Looking Beyond 1+2’ was the focus of the annual National Modern Languages Network meeting in Stirling this month.

The day saw the launch of the new National Modern Languages Hub on GLOW, incorporating a new Yammer forum and bringing together policy, resources and CLPL for practitioners delivering languages for Scotland’s learners.

Participants heard updates from:

  • SQA on changes to Advanced Higher
  • Larbert High School cluster on their award-winning approach to implementing the 1+2 approach to language learning
  • Dr Joe Carson, St Andrews University, on the challenge of a first year university course in French
  • SCILT on how the Developing the Young Workforce agenda and language learning can work together

Colleagues ended the day by taking time to share their priorities for implementing the Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach​ in their local authorities.

The 1+2 approach is the Scottish Government’s policy aimed at ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn a modern language from P1 until the end of the broad general education (S3).

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Digital Modern Languages tutorial writing sprint - Call for proposals

12 February 2019 (Language Acts and Worldmaking)

The Digital Modern Languages tutorial writing sprint is a physical and virtual event designed to create a variety of open educational resources demonstrating the critical and applied use of digital tools and methods for teachers, learners and researchers interested in modern languages and cultures. 

This initiative is led by the ‘Digital Mediations’ strand on the Language Acts & Worldmaking project, which explores interactions and tensions between digital culture and Modern Languages (ML) research. The project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). 

The DML tutorial writing sprint aims to: 

  • Produce a set of learning resources which will improve critical digital literacies in ML learning and research  
  • Facilitate greater engagement between digital practitioners and ML educators/researchers  
  • Provoke discussion about possible connections between digital literacies at secondary and HE levels and beyond 
  • Foster greater connection between ML and heritage/community language learning modes  
  • Provide students and researchers with new modes of engagement with ML content and research 
  • Contribute to greater awareness of the importance of Modern Languages learning and research 

This initiative will lead to the production of a series of self-learning online tutorials on how to use digital tools and methods critically in researching or learning about ML languages and cultures. The outcome will be an edited collection of tutorials, providing a snapshot of digital methods for modern languages. 

The tutorials will be approximately 4,000 words in length, and be written in approachable, non-expert language with clear examples. 

Proposals are invited for Tutorials (‘how to’ use a particular digital method or tool) which address either educational or research challenges in the Modern Languages and Cultures, including both: 

  • Language learning and
  • Learning and research about ML cultures 

Visit the website for further information and submit your proposal by 28 February 2019.

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Does studying abroad help academic achievement?

31 January 2019 (European Journal of Higher Education)

Studying abroad as part of a degree has become commonplace for many students in European and other developed countries. Universities actively promote opportunities as part of internationalization strategies.

Whilst research has looked into the ‘abroad’ aspect of study abroad, there is less literature on the ‘study’ aspect, and in particular, the effects that the period has on academic achievement. This article provides evidence that studying abroad has a beneficial effect on overall academic achievement.

The article compares the final degree grades of students at Sheffield Law School (UK) who participated in a year studying abroad, with those who did not. Interviews with students across the period deepen the qualitative dimension to the research by exploring how students felt about their academic experience. Whilst few students opt to go abroad for the purposes of improving grades, most feel that the additional confidence and maturity, alongside deeper knowledge of their subject and a break in the pattern of their studies, contributes to their higher achievement.

Read the full article online.

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BBC - Future Voices Programme

15 January 2019 (BBC World Service)

Are you an aspiring journalist who speaks more than one language? The BBC is offering the opportunity to train as a journalist within the BBC World Service, on a six-week Future Voices Internship.

This scheme is open to people aged 18 and over from all backgrounds and from every corner of the UK.  You do not need any journalism skills before you start but you must be able to demonstrate a genuine interest and passion for a career in Journalism.

Visit the website to find out more about the Future Voices Programme and how to apply.

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University of Hull's language degrees suspension 'damaging'

5 January 2019 (BBC)

A university's decision to suspend student recruitment onto some of its language courses has been described as a "damaging retrograde move".

Nearly 200 academics across the UK have signed an open letter criticising the University of Hull.

Last month the university said it was reviewing its 2019 modern languages programmes except for Chinese.

In the letter, the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) urged management to "reinstate recruitment".

The University of Hull has been approached for a comment.

The letter, which was written by the UCML and posted on Facebook, included signatures by senior academics from the Russell Group of leading universities.

In it, the UCML expressed "grave concern" over the university's decision.

"We consider this to be a retrograde move that damages not only the reputation and standing of the University of Hull but is indicative of a broader devaluing of modern languages in the UK at the current time.

"Languages at Hull has been in the vanguard of modern languages research from the 1960s onwards, leading in the area of languages and cultural studies."

It went on to say that the university's "withdrawal of support" for languages was "out of step with overwhelming evidence on the need for the University sector - regionally and nationally - to help close the UK's 'language deficit'".

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Teach abroad as an English Language Assistant

18 December 2018 (British Council)

University students and graduates, why not teach English overseas on a paid six-month or one-year placement working as a language assistant? Experience life in another country, learn transferable skills and stand out in the job market. 

Applications for 2019-20 are open now and close on Friday 15 February 2019.

As an English Language Assistant, you will: 

  • strengthen your CV
  • improve your fluency in another language
  • gain skills in communication, presentation, time management, organisation, teamwork, working independently, creative thinking and problem-solving
  • immerse yourself in another culture
  • increase your cultural awareness
  • develop professional confidence.

Teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week, giving you plenty of time to experience the country and pursue other interests. 

Visit the British Council website for more information.

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European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2019

16 November 2018 (European Parliament)

Young people aged between 16 and 30 from any EU Member States can submit projects for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize.

Projects can be submitted individually or, preferably, in groups. They should promote European and international understanding; foster the development of a shared sense of European identity and integration; and provide role models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community. UK projects will continue to be eligible.

The three winners will be chosen from the projects nominated by national juries and representatives from all countries will be invited to the award ceremony in Aachen in May 2019.

Visit the website for more information. Entries should be submitted by 28 January 2019.

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Survey: Education & careers abroad with #Globescotters

7 November 2018 (Young Scot)

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, Young Scot have partnered with British Council Scotland to encourage you to embrace the international experiences available to you at home and abroad as part of our joint campaign, ‘GlobeScotters’.

In this short survey we want to find out your thoughts on all things international when it comes to education and careers abroad!

Visit the website and complete the survey by 17 December 2018 to earn reward points!

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Slump in school language learning hits Scottish universities

6 November 2018 (The Herald)

The number of students from Scotland learning a modern language at university has fallen by more than 500 in the past five years.

New figures show 3,400 students chose languages at a Scottish university in 2016/17 compared to nearly 4,000 in 2012/13.

The decline, which shows numbers are falling for German, French, Russian and Spanish, has sparked fears Scotland will become increasingly isolated in the world, particularly following Brexit.

This summer, opposition politicians called on the Scottish Government to launch an inquiry into the decline in the number of pupils studying modern languages at school.

The drop has been blamed partly on curriculum reforms which mean pupils experience a broader education in the first three years of secondary.

That means exam subjects are chosen a year later than previously with a shorter time to prepare - resulting in some subjects getting squeezed out.

Professor Vicente Perez de Leon, Head of the School of Modern Languages at Glasgow University, said the school squeeze was hitting university recruitment.

And he argued language learning at school should be protected and resourced to ensure numbers increase.

“Languages are something that can open possibilities for employment abroad or having better jobs here,” he said.

“They can open minds and allow students to make connections with new people, new cultures and new literature. It should be a priority within the curriculum.”

Dr Dan Tierney, an independent languages expert, said the decline was also fuelled by the closure of some university departments.

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Report on language provision in Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2018

2 November 2018 (UCML)

The UCML has issued a new report on the language provision in UK modern languages departments.

The report investigates the provision of language modules (ie modules whose object of study is language) in MFL departments alongside models of collaboration between Languages departments and Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) in UK universities. 

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Related Links

Modern (Foreign) Languages: time to rename? (University of Oxford blog, 8 November 2018)

The 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students

1 November 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

We are delighted to announce that the 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 2nd March 2019 at King’s College London.

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Scholarship opens for entry for one Scottish student to have "experience of a lifetime” studying in Japan

1 November 2018 (FE News)

Japanese language scholarship open for entries

The search is on to find the next recipient of the Thomas Blake Glover ASI Scholarship, which will enable one Scottish student to have “the experience of a lifetime” studying in Japan.

Initiated by the Japan Society of Scotland and sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments, the scholarship offers a fully funded opportunity to undertake an intensive language course at a Japanese university.

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Internships in China

25 October 2018 (British Council)

Spend two months in China with a Generation UK – China internship

Live in one of six booming Chinese cities while gaining experience in an industry of your choice. There are start dates throughout the year - choose the date which suits you.  

Applications are open now for current undergraduate and postgraduate students at UK universities, and those who have recently left university. The deadline is 2 December 2018 (23:59 BST).

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News from the Alliance Française

21 September 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française offers a range of courses and activities for French language learners. Click on the relevant link below to find out more about upcoming events:

Visit the main Alliance Française website for more information about the organisation and their initiatives.

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Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition 2018-19

14 September 2018 (SCILT)

Today we're launching the 2018-19 Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition in Scotland.

All students who are learning a language at school, college or university, or who speak a native language at home, can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category. All entries must be the students' own, original work.

For more information about this year's competition and previous events, visit our MTOT website and register to take part! The closing date for registrations is 26 October 2018.

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DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

In addition to accompanying written texts, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out about historical or current traces of German-language culture in your area and create a short film not exceeding 3 minutes featuring German-language dialogue or voice-over. Judges will be looking for creativity and language use - rather than technical ability.

The competition is open to all German speakers upwards from secondary school level.

Find out more about the competition on the DAAD website and submit entries by 5 October 2018.

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Evening classes in Doric as Scots writing revival blossoms

16 August 2018 (The Herald)

Fancy learning a spot of Doric? Furry boots? Aiberdeen Varsity.

It's better known for its schools of medicine, law or international relations. But now one of Scotland's ancient seats of learning has launched evening classes in a language many of its scholars have derided: north-east Scots.

Aberdeen University's Elphinstone Institute has devised 10-week workshops in Doric, to help both locals and newcomers to the region learn to speak - and more importantly - write in the mither leid.

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Applications for languages degrees plummet, figures show

15 August 2018 (The Herald)

The number of applications for foreign language degrees has plummeted in the last decade, figures show.

Applications for both European and non-European language degree courses have fallen, according to an analysis of Ucas data carried out by the Press Association.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

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Related Links

Number of students interested in studying foreign languages drops (The National, 15 August 2018)

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

YouthLink Scotland, its members and UK/German Connection have teamed up to offer an opportunity to share experiences and make new links between our two countries.

This is an exciting opportunity for workers and the young people (aged 14-21) they work with to get together with German counterparts here and in Germany.

The commitment is two residential weekends taking place in October and December - one in Scotland and one in Berlin.

Places are limited so get in touch soon. The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 August 2018.

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Language courses at risk amid staff shortage

30 July 2018 (The Times)

Head teachers may have to cut language courses in schools as a staffing shortage worsens.

With weeks to go until lectures begin, some modern language courses for teachers at leading universities are half empty. There is already a widespread recruitment crisis in the profession.

At the University of the West of Scotland only 11 of 20 places for one-year postgraduate teacher training courses in modern languages in secondary schools had been filled by mid-July.

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Opportunity for young people during the Fringe

12 July 2018 (Theatre Sans Accents)

Theatre Sans Accents is on the lookout for 4 young people aged 16-25 who are passionate about the performing arts and with an interest in foreign languages and cultures (please note you don't have to be speaking a foreign language or be an experienced artist to apply to this!).

TSA will be running two free (but ticketed) events on Monday 13th August on the topic of Bilingualism and Theatre as part of the Festival at Fringe Central:

  • A practical workshop in the morning exploring foreign languages in theatre 
  • A conversation/debate in the afternoon between a panel of young people, a panel of artists and the audience about the future of British and foreign artists in the UK post Brexit

Award-winning artists and companies Le Petit Monde, Brite Theatre, Jabuti Theatre, Fronteiras Theatre, Ludens Ensemble, Charioteer Theatre and Bilingualism Matters will be present on the day.

If you're selected to be on the panel you can also attend the practical workshop.

All we need from you is a short paragraph about why you wish to participate and why this conversation matters to you.

Any questions, please contact Marion Geoffray at hello@theatresansaccents.co.uk 

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A National Framework for Languages supporting implementation of 1+2

19 June 2018 (SCDE)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) Languages Group, which represents all language strands within the Schools of Education across Scottish Universities, has created a National Framework for Languages (NFfL) and associated digital resource to support teacher educators and teachers at all stages of their careers, with the aim of transforming the 1 + 2 Languages Policy in Scotland into purposeful classroom pedagogies promoting plurilingualism and pluriliteracies.

The NFfL is based on four overarching principles: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation and transformative practice, and reflects the strands of the Professional Standards established by GTCS. For each of these strands the NFfL has identified a series of statements which encourage practitioners to consider a broad and inclusive understanding of the role of language in and for learning. These statements are linked to the associated digital resources: a reflective tool and digital resource bank.
The reflective tool includes a personal biography based on Pepelino and the European Language Portfolio as well as a series of reflective questions. These reflective questions are directly linked to the statements of the NFfL and aim to support teachers in evaluating their own practices.

The digital resource bank was created after a systematic review of the international literature covering formal language learning across all ages and stages, the increasingly complex demands of plurilingual and pluricultural classrooms and the need to develop a shared understanding of the role of languages for learning, which addresses the fundamental role played by languages (including the learners’ first language) in developing global citizens.

The NFfL and accompanying digital resources are now being piloted and can be accessed on the National Framework for Languages (NFfL) website.

Further information can be obtained from Ingeborg Birnie (Ingeborg.birnie@strath.ac.uk).

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GlobeScotters

18 June 2018 (British Council)

British Council is excited to announce the launch of GlobeScotters! We've partnered with @YoungScot to inspire Scotland's young people to embrace the international opportunities available to them at home and abroad!

Over the next six months the GlobeScotters website will be updated with all things international - from funding opportunities, to fun videos on international foods and some big Young Scot Rewards prizes!

Whether you are studying abroad next term, or want to learn about different cultures in your community, we have you covered!

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China to create cultural heritage centres in universities

15 June 2018 (THE)

The Chinese government has announced plans to establish 100 “cultural heritage” centres at universities throughout the country that will run academic programmes and conduct scientific research in a bid to promote traditional Chinese culture.

The ministry of education said that it will “build about 100 excellent Chinese traditional cultural heritage sites” in universities and colleges nationwide by 2020, including 50 this year, and support institutions to “focus on ethnic folk music, ethnic folk arts” and folk dances, dramas and operas.

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International youth event in Berlin: Youth for Peace

7 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Are you interested in Europe, history and peace? Do you want to learn more about World War I and its consequences? Do you want to know how other societies experienced the war and how you can personally contribute to a peaceful future in and around Europe?

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), along with partners, is organising an International Youth Meeting in Berlin. The event will bring together 500 young people from across Europe and beyond to discuss topics such as war, peace and history in an international setting. It will take place from Wednesday 14 November – Sunday 18 November, 2018.

As a partner organisation, UK-German Connection are recruiting a group of 18-22 year olds from the UK to attend this youth event.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 17 June 2018.

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German writing and video competition 2018

23 May 2018 (DAAD)

To all learners and lovers of German, it’s time again to release your creative spirit and enter the annual writing DAAD/IMLR writing competition! 

This – our fifth – jointly organised competition branches out into new territory: after successful (and exciting!) forays into poetry, prose, translation and dramatic dialogue writing, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out more and how to enter on the DAAD website. Submission deadline is 5 October 2018.

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The Babel Young Writers' Competition

18 May 2018 (Babel)

Our 2018 competition is now open to 16-18-year-olds and undergraduates! Young linguists have until 24 August to enter for the chance to be published in Babel No25, to be published in November. The winner also, of course, receives a year's subscription to Babel!

Entries should be no longer than 2,500 words, and can discuss any topic to do with languages and linguistics.

Visit the website for more information.

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Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

A competition opens today (10 May) which invites young people to show in film what Scotland means to them. The competition has been organised by the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Youth Film Festival as part of the Year of Young People.

Anyone under 19 years of age can submit a one-minute film on any theme, in any language and in any genre.

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

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Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Foreign Office is looking for children and teens who love writing and who would like to publish their own texts: Along the lines of “A world for you and me” young authors from around the world are invited to depict their fantasies, hopes and dreams.

Children and teens up to 19 years old can participate. Entries can be short stories, essays, poems or songs consisting of no more than 3000 characters (including spaces) and can be written in either German or English.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information. Entry deadline is 15 July 2018.

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Would you like to explore Europe this summer?

20 April 2018 (European Commission)

Are you 18 years old? Would you like to explore Europe? Then you are the perfect candidate to apply for a new European Union initiative to be officially launched shortly.

In June 2018 the European Commission is selecting up to 15.000 enthusiastic young people to be the lucky recipients of a travel pass to discover Europe.

Travelling is a chance for young people to take advantage of our freedom of movement, to discover the diversity of Europe, enjoy its cultural richness, and make new friends from all over the continent. Ultimately, it’s also a great opportunity to discover yourself.

With 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage, consider yourself particularly lucky. It means that you will also have the opportunity to participate in the many events that are taking place this year all over Europe to celebrate our fantastically diverse cultural heritage.

Applicants must be 18 years old (and not yet 19) at the time of application and have the nationality of one of the EU countries. You can travel up to maximum 30 days and visit up to 4 different country destinations. Moreover, there is the possibility to travel either individually or as a group.

Visit the European Youth Portal website for more information. Applications open in June 2018.

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MTOT celebration event - webpage now live!

20 April 2018 (SCILT)

The celebration event for this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition took place on Saturday 17 March at the University of Strathclyde. 

Visit the SCILT website to see the full list of winners and to view the anthology of winning poems. You can also find photos from the event and read some of the feedback received from pupils, parents and teachers. 

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China stories: 500 words competition

17 April 2018 (University of Liverpool)

A new 500-word short story competition – with entries judged by best-selling author Philip Pullman – is being launched ahead of the 2018 Liverpool Literary Festival.

The China Stories competition is looking for submissions across a broad range of categories. Winners will see their work published in a special anthology and take part in a writing session with the Royal Society of Literature, as well as receiving vouchers to spend as they wish.

Stories can be about anything, but to coincide with Liverpool’s China Dream season all entries should have a Chinese theme.

Entries are invited from primary and secondary students and should be submitted by 20 July 2018.

Further information can be found on the University of Liverpool website.

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Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Edinburgh Napier University is delighted to announce the publication of the very first issue of Worldwide Napier, a free magazine in which our students in languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) showcase some of their work. It is available now on digital and soon a few print copies will circulate within Edinburgh.

Secondary school pupils are being invited to contribute articles for the forthcoming issues. View the magazine online and see the attached introductory letter for more information.

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European Language Gazette 41 - March/April 2018

3 April 2018 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's Language Gazette is now available on their website. The newsletter includes updates on the organisation's projects along with new initiatives, events and resources of interest to the language teaching community across Europe.

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Young People in Scotland 2018 YOYP - New National Lottery "Spark a Change" Fund

22 March 2018 (YOYP/National Lottery)

To mark the Year of Young People 2018, a new National Lottery fund has been launched to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives. Grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are available for heritage, community and sports projects which are run by and for young people aged eight to 26. Funding is available for projects which encourage positive mental health for young people and inspire them to lead active lives. 

We’re all aware of the positive mental health benefits of language learning, so why not encourage your students to set up a language project, perhaps a community language class or an outdoor language adventure trail? Visit the Lottery Fund website for more information and to apply by one of the two funding deadlines - 30 April 2018 or 18 June 2018.

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Youth seminar in Berlin: 'Finding our place in history'

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

UK students aged 16-19 with an interest in history, discussing identity, reconciliation and more, are invited to apply for the seminar taking place in Berlin from 1-3 June 2018. We will combine these themes through site visits and lively discussions, which will bring young people from the UK and Germany together to work on projects to promote a better, more united future.

UK-German Connection will cover all seminar costs, including flights, local and domestic travel and full board and lodging.

German language skills are not essential. Some German language elements will be included in the seminar but no prior knowledge is necessary and/or translations will be provided.

Visit the website for full details and to apply by Monday 16 April 2018.

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Foreign Language Enrollments Drop Sharply

12 March 2018 (Inside Higher Education)

Foreign language enrollments dropped 9.2 percent from fall 2013 to fall 2016, according to new data from the Modern Language Association. The drop is the second largest since the MLA started tracking such information in 1958.

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Number of British students studying abroad plummets, report finds

29 November 2017 (The Telegraph)

The number of British students studying abroad has plummeted, a British Council report has found.

A reluctance to leave family and friends and a lack of foreign language skills have dampened the desire of UK students to venture overseas, according to a survey of more than 1,000 undergraduates.

Just 18 per cent were interested in some form of overseas study, down from 34 per cent in 2015.

The report by education organisation the British Council said living costs abroad and tuition fees were the biggest turn-off for more than half of those who said they did not want to study abroad. This was followed by difficulty leaving loved ones, being happy in their life in the UK and a lack of confidence in foreign languages.

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Study abroad is invaluable – students deserve clarity on Erasmus

27 November 2017 (The Guardian)

As a hopeless optimist, I am finding it difficult to adjust to the growing possibility of a no-deal Brexit. For universities – as for many other sectors of the economy and society – there is a huge amount at stake. While the rhetoric on both sides in relation to higher education and research has been very positive, the frequently expressed mutual desire to maintain co-operation will be more difficult to achieve in the absence of an agreement on our future relationship with the EU.

Based on the public comments of ministers, including the prime minister, and of our European counterparts, a deal would almost certainly secure the UK’s continued participation in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus + until the end of the current programmes. It could also pave the way for the UK to participate in future programmes under association agreements. Without a deal, however, we could find ourselves reliving the experience of our Swiss colleagues, who were shut out of these programmes overnight in 2014.

For students planning to study abroad, this continued uncertainty is a growing problem. This autumn, students starting at UK universities for whom a third year abroad is a compulsory element of their programmes arrived on campus not knowing how that year abroad would be organised. Universities could not tell them with any certainty whether the UK will still be eligible to participate in the Erasmus + scheme – and the same was true for our European counterparts whose students might be planning to come to the UK.

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Why teaching in English may not be such a good idea

22 November 2017 (THE)

Research suggests that students learn better in their native tongue, and English fails to prepare international students for a job after graduation.

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UK risks mass exodus of EU academics post-Brexit, finds report

Guardian (14 November 2017)

The potential risk to UK universities from post-Brexit academic flight has been laid bare in a report that reveals there are regions where up to half of academic staff in some departments are EU nationals.

The British Academy report warns that economics and modern language departments will be particularly badly hit if European academics leave the UK, with more than a third of staff in each discipline currently from EU member states.

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Brexit risks to social sciences and humanities highlighted (THE, 14 November 2017)

Actors taking sign language to the stage

13 November 2017 (The Scotsman)

A group of actors from the UK’s only degree course for deaf performers are taking their show on the road for the first time this week, with the hope that it will challenge public perceptions. 

The production, which blends British Sign Language (BSL) with spoken English, will be performed by students from the Glasgow-based Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The group of ten actors are all studying Performance in British Sign Language and English, a three-year degree course which is the only one of its kind in the UK.

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The dos and don'ts of writing a personal statement for languages

8 November 2017 (The Guardian)

Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein may have made a good case for studying languages when he said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” But be warned: if you quote him in your personal statement, you may test the admission tutor’s patience.

Students often start by quoting someone famous, says Mike Nicholson, director of admissions at the University of Bath, who thinks it’s a “waste of space” and “just demonstrates that you can copy and paste”. Hilary Potter, a teaching fellow at the University of Leeds, adds that quotes “don’t tell us anything about the student”.

Whether you’re interested in French, Spanish, Arabic or Japanese, your first step will be to impress admissions tutors and convince them you deserve a place on their course. A strong, cliche-free personal statement is a must, but what else should you include? And what mistakes should you avoid?

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Young Europeans Award

23 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all pupils interested in European issues! Take part in the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

This initiative aims to encourage dialogue and exchange between young people in the 'Weimar Triangle' countries - Germany, France and Poland. For the 2017-18 round, the UK has been invited to take part as a guest country.

Teams of young people from within schools in Germany, France, Poland and the UK are invited to enter the competition (with support from their school) in groups of 6+ by sending in a collaborative creative project of their choice addressing the statement: 'To be or not to be...a European'.

Winning teams will have the opportunity to visit the Polish capital, Warsaw.

Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2018.

To find out more about the initiative and how to take part, visit the UK-German Connection website.

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Could instant translation technology revolutionise world HE?

17 October 2017 (THE)

Language is often cited as one of the main obstacles to universities’ internationalisation efforts, blamed for everything from the low number of UK students studying abroad to Japan’s lagging behind on numbers of foreign academics and internationally co-authored publications.

So could new technology allow students and academics to transcend language barriers – and therefore transform international higher education?

Earlier this month Google launched Pixel Buds – a new set of wireless earbud headphones that deliver real-time translation between 40 different languages using Google Translate on a Pixel smartphone.

Bragi’s Dash Pro earbuds deliver the same feature using the iTranslate app on an iPhone.

Colin Mitchell, learning technologist at Leeds Beckett University, said that the technology has the potential to benefit scholars and students.

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

11 October 2017 (European Parliament)

There's still time to apply for the third European Youth Event (EYE) which will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

EYE provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

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DAAD/IMLR Competition

9 October 2017 (DAAD)

Jointly organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the IMLR, this year sees the fourth writing competition for all learners and lovers of German. The competition is open to secondary schools, undergraduates, postgraduates and anyone else who feels up to the challenge!

This year, the task ties in with the 500th anniversary of Luther’s publication of his 95 theses that sparked the Reformation. Put yourself in the shoes of a time-travelling spy: you overhear a conversation between Luther or one of his German, Austrian or Swiss contemporaries (real or imagined) and a figure from public life in 2017 Britain. Is the German-speaking 16th-century time traveller debating Brexit with Boris Johnson or comparing sporting skills with Andy Murray? Does Jamie Oliver try to revolutionise cooking skills of Reformation Germany? Write down what you hear! The only two rules: the dialogue must be written in German and it must not be longer than 350 words.

Visit the DAAD website for more information and to submit entries by 23 October 2017.

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Strathclyde University says ‘arrivederci’ to joint honours degrees in Italian

9 October 2017 (The Herald)

A university has downgraded the teaching of Italian sparking wider fears for the study of the country’s language and culture in Scotland.

Strathclyde University, in Glasgow, will no longer offer students the opportunity to study joint honours degrees in Italian.

Instead, the language will be taught at a more basic level in only the first and second years of a four year degree course.

The move brings to an end a long tradition at Strathclyde where students could combine subjects as diverse as architecture, engineering, law and politics with Italian to degree level.

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The 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students

2 October 2017 (Japan Foundation)

We are delighted to announce that the 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 24 February 2018 at King’s College London.

The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply by 9 November 2017.

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Short-term study abroad ‘better for building teamwork skills’

2 October 2017 (THE)

Students who go abroad as part of their degree for a short period of time develop better teamwork skills than those who go overseas for a year, while other areas of development are unaffected by the duration of international study, according to a survey of alumni [...] A longer period of studying abroad had a “significantly positive effect” on the development of 11 of the 15 skills surveyed, including language skills, self-awareness, intercultural skills and confidence.

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One Hundred Years of Russian: but what next?

1 October 2017 (Cable Magazine)

As the study of Russian in Scotland passes a notable milestone, Jenny Carr of the Scottish-Russia Forum casts an eye across the educational landscape and asks whether we should be doing more to enhance our knowledge of the Russian language and culture. The University of Glasgow celebrates the centenary of Russian studies at the university this year. Celebrations began in September with a conference and other events at the university, and will continue throughout the semester.

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Science plus arts — the best of both worlds

26 September 2017 (Times)

The STEM revolution sweeping schools has boosted the popularity of science subjects at university. However, what if scientifically gifted teens are not ready to give up history, English and the arts? Universities are increasingly offering broader-based degrees based on US-style liberal arts courses. These hybrid STEAM (STEM plus arts) degrees enable students to combine a wide range of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences courses, according to what they are interested in. They also provide the opportunity to learn a language and study abroad for a year.

Subscription required to access full article

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Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition 2017-18

22 September 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

Today sees the launch of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition and we're delighted to announce the addition of a category for students in further and higher education, enabling all Scottish educational establishments to participate.

Whether pupils are learning a language at school, college or university, or whether they speak a native language at home, everyone can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category. Even if you've taken part in the competition before, please note and read the new rules and criteria as only original work will be considered.

For more information about this year's competition and previous events, visit our MTOT website and register to take part! Closing date for registrations is 27 October 2017.

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

24 August 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

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Cross-Sector Hub meetings

24 August 2017 (SCILT)

UCMLS, the professional organisation representing languages staff in Scottish universities, is again holding two sets of regional cross-sector meetings during 2017-18, with support from SCILT.

The first round of meetings will be during the week beginning 11 September 2017. We will present our planned events and initiatives for the coming session, including the new Languages Lost & Found events on 18 November.

Language teachers and staff in schools, colleges and universities are warmly invited to attend. For those who live too far to attend in person we are also offering the option of joining us on one of two virtual meetings via Skype.

Please register for your session choice by Friday 1 September 2017.

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British Sign Language will count as 'foreign language' for university applicants

7 August 2017 (TES)

A leading university has announced plans to recognise British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications in its entry requirements.

University College London (UCL) said that in future, BSL will be considered as meeting the institution's modern foreign language (MFL) requirement.

The university is the only UK institution that requires all of its UK undergraduates to hold at least a C grade at GCSE in another language or to sign up for courses as part of their degree.

It has now announced that it will recognise sign language as part of the requirement, saying it hopes the decision will increase awareness and access to the language.

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

23 June 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:
  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet
Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

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EVALUATE Project

15 June 2017 (EVALUATE Project)

EVALUATE is a European Policy Experiment project funded by Erasmus+ Key Action 3.

This experimentation will evaluate the impact of telecollaborative learning on student-teachers involved in Initial Teacher Education in the participating European countries and regions. Telecollaboration, also commonly known as Virtual Exchange, involves engaging trainee teachers involved in Initial Teacher Education in task-based interaction and collaborative exchange with fellow trainees in other locations through online communication technologies.

The guiding research question for the study is: “Will participation in telecollaborative exchange contribute to the development of competences which future teachers need to teach, collaborate and innovate effectively in a digitalised and cosmopolitan world?”

A teacher-training event is due to be held in Italy 5-7 July 2017.

Visit the website for more information about the project and how to get involved.

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017

31 May 2017 (EIFF)

The programme for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) taking place from 21 June to 2 July 2017 has just been published.

The event will showcase films from 46 countries so there are plenty of opportunities to test your language skills!

For more information about what's on offer, visit the EIFF website.

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Graduate jobs: top 12 degree subjects for getting a job

12 May 2017 (The Telegraph)

Competition for graduate jobs has never been more fierce. With tuition fees and living costs representing financial sacrifices for many, students reasonably demand degree courses that offer them the best value for money in today's tough jobs market.

Languages feature in the list of the top 12 degree subjects.

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Online course: How to succeed in the global workplace

11 May 2017 (British Council)

Beginning your career or starting a new job brings to mind lots of questions, so we’ve designed a course to guide you through those initial weeks and months so you can make a positive start to your career.

You’ll see videos from employers, giving you insights from around the world into what they look for from their employees. You’ll learn how to communicate across cultures and discover the skills to build and maintain relationships with colleagues, managers and clients.

This is a free 4-week course and is hosted online by FutureLearn.

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Campaign seeks to double share of UK students studying abroad

25 April 2017 (THE)

A campaign aimed at doubling the proportion of UK students who spend time abroad during their degree has been launched by Universities UK International.

The new target forms the second phase of the organisation’s UK Strategy for Outward Mobility, which since 2013 has aimed to increase the share of students who have an international experience. However, the strategy has not previously set a figure.

Just 6.6 per cent of full-time undergraduates in the UK undertook international placements during their degree in 2014. The campaign seeks to increase this figure to 13.2 per cent by 2020 in order to “create a new generation of global graduates and a higher education culture in which international opportunities are an aspiration for all students”.

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UCMLS 1+2 action plan published!

25 April 2017 (SCILT / UCMLS)

Following our final consultation with stakeholders at the national UCMLS conference in Glasgow on 10 March 2017 we have produced our cross-sector Action Plan in support of Scotland's 1+2 language policy, and it is now available online. Click below for more details but please REFRESH THE PAGE to get the latest version of the webpage!
Marion Spöring, UCMLS chair.

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Call for applications - Trends in Translation

30 March 2017 (ALL)

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Embassy in London, the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are looking for the next generation of translators into English.

Higher Education Institutions across the UK are being invited to nominate their most promising undergraduate student(s) to take part in a one-day exclusive Masterclass in Translation to be held at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, on Thursday, 27th April 2017 with the opportunity for two Masterclass students to visit the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

This call is open to undergraduate students only. Students must have a proficiency in either German or French (Level B1 and higher, according to CEFR). A combination of the two languages is very welcome but not required.

The candidates and the nominators are asked to complete the application form and send it electronically to application@lond.diplo.de by Tuesday 18 April 2017.

For full terms and conditions, visit the Association for Language Learning (ALL) website.

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French at the Alliance Française in Glasgow

27 March 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française has a number of upcoming opportunities for French language learners in Glasgow. Follow the relevant link below for more information:
  • Spring Break Revision Classes April 2017 (3-7 April) - preparation courses for pupils sitting Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher French this year and University students due to sit exams later this year.
  • Easter workshop for primary school pupils (3-7 April) - children will learn about French language and culture through fun Easter-themed activities.
  • Term D adult courses now enrolling - classes available at all levels from Beginner to Advanced, along with specialised courses such as Conversation, Current Affairs, Grammar and Phonetics. New term commences 18 April 2017.
  • New adult classes - Beginners, Lunchtime Conversation Class, Phonetics Class, Grammar Class commencing from 18 April 2017.

For further information about the Alliance Française and their full range of activities, visit their website.

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What it's like to study a modern languages degree

23 February 2017 (Times Higher Education)

Are modern language degrees becoming obsolete? Absolutely not, say these four modern languages students.

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Do we need modern language graduates in a globalised world?

23 February 2017 (THE)

Six academics offer their views on the state of language learning in a populist climate.

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Speaking in tongues: how to save modern languages?

22 February 2017 (THE)

Matthew Reisz reflects on the role of universities in overcoming monolingualism.

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Translation Course for University Students March 2017

17 February 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new translation course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams where translation is involved.

This new 5-week course will take place on Wednesdays between 3.45-5.45pm starting Wednesday 1 March.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol by Saturday 25 February.

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Agenda: So much to be gained from young people learning modern languages

12 February 2017 (Sunday Herald)

Does language learning have a place in the Scottish curriculum? Yes. Are modern languages and their teachers under pressure in secondary schools? Yes. Has there been a better opportunity for promoting language learning in our schools ? No.

Language learning has a vital place in Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) on a learner journey from 3-18 but in a manner that does not see it as the preserve of the secondary school.

It has always baffled me that traditionally in Scotland, given its place in Europe, we started language learning so late in a child’s development.

The earlier we expose children to learning languages, the better their chance is of seeing this as something that is just part of their culture.

From a child development point of view, there’s much research to confirm that children are more receptive educationally and emotionally to language learning from an early age.

They soak it up and acquire language skills at a great pace. We know that bilingualism not only helps the cognitive development of the child but also that children who are in bilingual education such as Gaelic Medium Education also attain and achieve at least as well as, in many cases better, than their monoglot peers. They are fluent in two languages and are learning a third by the age of 11. In addition, there is another plus to early exposure to acquiring additional languages; most parents like it, understand it and support schools that promote it.

The Scottish Government-led 1+2 languages programme is a long-term policy commitment started in 2011 due to run until 2021, aimed at making it normal for all children and young people in Scotland to learn languages from primary one.

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Many Languages, One World - 2017 student essay contest

7 February 2017 (Many Languages One World)

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in collaboration with ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS) invites students, 18 years and older, who are enrolled in a full-time course of study at a college or university, to participate in the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest.

The essay should discuss global citizenship and cultural understanding, and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these and must be written in one of the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish).

Visit the Many Languages, One World website for more information about the competition and how to enter. Submission deadline is 16 March 2017.

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Refugee Exhibition

26 January 2017 (University of Edinburgh)

Let your senior phase students see a meaningful context in which German is spoken and meet the students who ran the integration project working with refugees in Germany.

The principal aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness, hopefully inspire similar projects and increase learner motivation for those who often don´t see the relevance of learning a language.

The photo exhibition will be open from March until the end of May. Interested schools can arrange to either:
  1. come and see the exhibition at the University of Edinburgh and meet some of the students involved
  2. see the exhibition and have some workshops about the refugee crisis
  3. request photos of the exhibition, the power point presentation and the film clip for those who are too remote to come to Edinburgh

Please email Annette Gotzkes in the first instance to discuss your preferred option.

Further information about the project can also be found on the University of Edinburgh website.

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Language Show Scotland – Free event + 20% discount on language classes!

24 January 2017 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s biggest and most prestigious event dedicated to all things language is back at the SECC in Glasgow on the 10th – 11th of March 2017. Officially sponsored by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government this free to attend event is a must for anyone interested in learning or advancing their languages, exploring job opportunities in the language industry, considering teaching or working abroad, enjoying a fantastic range of international cultural performances and much, much more!

10TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 6:00PM GLASGOW SECC
11TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 5:30PM GLASGOW SECC

Sample our extensive free seminar programme, meet over 100 top exhibitors like the European Commission, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the British Council, meet language professional recruiters, enjoy our fantastic array of cultural performances, free language classes and more.

Find out more and register for free today.

Our trademark intensive 2 hour Language Plus classes are also now available online at a heavily discounted early bird rate (over 20% off the standard price!) of just £18. These optional add-ons can be purchased at the end of the free registration process and are certain to add a productive language experience to your day!

Language Show Live Scotland 2017 logo

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UCML January Plenary 2017: Post-Brexit Implications for HE Languages

13 January 2017 (UCML)

Presentations of most of the speakers at the Workshop held on 6 January 2017 are now available to view on the UCML website.

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Regional Cross-Sector Hub Meetings, Round 2

13 January 2017 (SCILT / UCMLS)

UCMLS (University Council for Modern Languages Scotland) is again holding a second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings during January and February.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with university colleagues to discuss current and future collaborative events in support of the Scottish Government's 1+2 language policy. Comments will feed into the UCMLS cross -sector action plan in support of 1+2, due to be launched on Friday 10 March 2017 at Glasgow City Chambers.

  • Central Hub: Saturday 14 January 2017, 10-11.30, University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building, Room 2G13 (Registrations for the Central Hub meeting have now closed but if you wish to attend please send an email to m.m.g.sporing@dundee.ac.uk)
  • North Hub: Wednesday 1 February 2017, 4-5.30 pm, University of Aberdeen, Sir Duncan Rice Library, Top Floor, Room 1. Please register by 25 January
  • West Hub: Thursday, 2 February 2017, 5-6.30 pm, City of Glasgow College, Cathedral Street, Glasgow. Meet in Cafe Zero. Please register by 27 January
  • East Hub: Friday, 24 February 2017, 2-4 pm, Open University, 10 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh. Room tbc. Registration will open once room details have been confirmed so please look out for the update!

Gaelic writing competition

9 January 2017 (Acair Books)

Acair Books, an Lanntair and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have created a new award to encourage original writing in Gaelic for children.

The aim of the award is to:

  • Actively support original writing in Gaelic for children
  • Encourage and nurture new writers in Gaelic

In 2017, the award is for a book for 5 to 8 year-olds and must be between 1000 and 2000 words.

The work must be written in Gaelic by a writer aged 16-years or over, and who has never had a Gaelic book published for children before.

Visit the website for further information and submit your entry by 31 January 2017.

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English Language Assistants Programme

4 January 2017 (British Council)

Students and graduates - work across the world as an English Language Assistant. There is no better way to explore and experience life in another country than by living in it.

The English Language Assistants programme provides a unique opportunity for UK students and graduates to experience living abroad and make their CV stand out from the crowd by supporting the teaching of English in an overseas school or university.

Language Assistants can gain a wealth of transferable skills as well as proficiency in a foreign language by becoming immersed in another culture. Placements are paid and teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week which puts assistants in a great position to be able to travel, learn and pursue new interests.

Placements are available in fourteen countries worldwide including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, China, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and Latin America.

Visit the British Council website and see where becoming an English Language assistant can take you. Applications for the 2017-18 academic year are now open and will close on 28 February 2017.

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French writing competition launched from space!

2 January 2017 (Culturethèque)

An exciting French writing competition has just been launched by French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, from the International Space Station.

Young people, up to the age of 25, are invited to write a short piece in French based on le Petit Prince and submit their entries by 28 February 2017.

See Thomas speaking about the competition on the launch video and find out how to enter on the Culturethèque website.

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UCMLS - Second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings

15 December 2016 (SCILT / UCMLS)

We are holding a second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings in January/February where we are seeking your views in preparation for the UCMLS action plan in support of the 1+2 language policy (Launch date: 10 March, in Glasgow!).

Dates for Central and North Hub are already decided, those for East and West Hub will be announced in the New Year.

First up, though is the Central Hub meeting, which will be held at the University of Dundee (Dalhousie, Room 2G13) on Saturday 14 January 2017, 10-12 (Registration from 9.30). The North Hub meeting will be at the University of Aberdeen, on Wednesday 1 February (Library, top floor).

Please check for updates on the SCILT website.

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Generation UK – China Scholarship programme

14 December 2016 (British Council)

Through Generation UK, the British Council have opened up a range of opportunities in China, giving students the chance to experience the country, language and culture while gaining valuable skills for the future.

One student from the University of St Andrews shares her experience of taking part in the Generation UK - China Scholarship programme.

Read Victoria's story and find out more about the opportunities available on the British Council website.

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French grammar and oral courses for university students

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

Studying French at university? Brush up on your grammar and oral skills at the AF !

We will be running two new courses for grammar and oral practice specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at university.

The courses will run for 5 weeks during January/February 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.

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Too few UK students are studying overseas, and it’s a problem

17 November 2016 (THE)

This week is the British Council’s International Education Week, which promotes the benefits of international learning and cultural exchange.

The UK is a global hub for international students with more than 400,000 studying here last year. Yet British students travelling outside the UK to study is relatively rare, and this is a problem. Just 1.3 per cent of UK students travelled abroad to study or go on work placement in 2014-15.

For graduates to find jobs and succeed in today’s post-Brexit world, they need international and cross-cultural knowledge. It is also critical for the UK’s competitiveness in international markets that the next generation entering the workplace understands how to compete globally.

Employers expect graduates to appreciate cultural diversity, universal business language and be familiar with globalisation. However, in terms of having a global mindset, nearly a quarter of employers (24 per cent) have rated graduates as weak in this area.

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European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2017

28 October 2016 (European Parliament)

Since 2008, the European Parliament together with the ‘Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’ have each year been inviting young people from all EU Member States to submit projects run by and for youth showing an active participation in the development of Europe.

Young people aged between 16 and 30 from any EU Member States can submit projects for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize. Projects can be submitted individually or, preferably, in groups.

This year's competition is now open and invites projects on EU development, integration and European identity issues which must be submitted by 30 January 2017.

Visit the website for more information.

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DAAD writing competition

25 October 2016 (DAAD)

The DAAD and the IMLR, together with the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss and German Embassies in London, are calling all learners and lovers of German to take part in a writing competition! This time, the task is to write a story in German.

Two German-speaking authors, Anja Tuckermann (Berlin) and Ulrike Ulrich (Zurich), have provided beginnings of stories of migration. Now it’s your turn to take one of these beginnings and continue spinning the yarn. You are free to develop your text in any direction you choose: to write a story of flight or refuge, of identities and self-images, of encounters or new beginnings … . Your story can be set in the past, the present or the future - and in any geographical setting you wish. The only rule: it must not be longer than 250 words.

The competition is open to students at secondary schools, Sixth-Formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge!

Visit the DAAD website to find out more and submit your entry by 6 January 2017.

Read more...

Erasmus+ 2017 deadlines announced

21 October 2016 (Erasmus+)

All the deadlines and information on the types of activities you can apply for are contained in the 2017 Call for Proposals document and the 2017 Programme Guide both of which you can download from the Key Resources page of our website. The Call for Proposals is an overview document containing all the deadlines for 2017, while the Programme Guide contains all the detailed information on how to apply for Erasmus+ funding. You will need to read both documents when planning an application.

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Language Ambassadors Programme

6 October 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

Now in its 5th year, the Language Ambassadors Programme is offering visits to Secondary or Primary schools (and other formats too). As Language Ambassadors we will talk about our varied experiences as language learners and do our best to encourage your pupils to follow in our footsteps…

Motivation, experiences abroad, transition to First year at university, job prospects, university courses… This is what we can tell them about.

Boost your young learners’ motivation, invite us in!

For more information see the Language Ambassadors website and to organise a visit, simply contact: Cédric Moreau, c.moreau@strath.ac.uk.

Language Ambassadors at Strathclyde photo

Read more...

Generation UK – China

6 October 2016 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Scottish Government to support more students from Scottish universities to undertake internships in China through the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign. The partnership will be focused on supporting Scottish students from low-income backgrounds to gain international experience in the world’s second-largest economy.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish students to develop highly valuable knowledge and skills working in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies. The Scottish Government’s support for this programme underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce and further strengthening our growing engagement with China.”

The Generation UK – China campaign will assist the Scottish Government in delivering its International Framework and in further strengthening relations with China. It will also develop the academic achievement and employability of students and recent graduates of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

“My experience interning in Beijing was fast-paced, exciting and always engaging,” said Justine Porter, a graduate of the University of Dundee who completed a two-month internship at a law firm in Beijing through the Generation UK – China campaign last year.

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

How mentoring can improve modern languages uptake in schools

6 October 2016 (The Conversation)

For some time, there have been many stories told of the “crisis” in modern languages in secondary schools and universities. There is hard evidence to support this. Even though there have been upsurges in modern languages provision – following the introduction of the English Baccalaureate for example – pupil numbers continue to fall.

In Wales, where modern languages are still an optional choice at GCSE, research shows that the number of pupils studying a foreign language declined by 44% between 2002 and 2015. The number of pupils taking French in 2015 was less than half those who took it in 2002.

But why are pupils put off taking a language at GCSE level, and how can we improve attitudes to the subjects? As a bilingual country, it seems counter-intuitive that Welsh pupils cannot see the benefits of studying languages. However, research from an engagement project we have recently been running suggests a range of things are influencing pupils’ decisions not to study a language.

The mentoring project saw undergraduate modern language students from four Welsh universities trained to work with year eight and nine pupils (aged 13 and 14) in 28 schools. The students helped the pupils to practice their language, build confidence and knowledge, and teach them how modern languages can aid personal and professional development.

Our work was part of a push by the Welsh government, to arrest and reverse the decline in modern languages study by 2020.

Read more...

Harsh grading blamed for decline in students sitting modern foreign languages

4 October 2016 (AOL)

Harsh grading is resulting in a decline in the number of students sitting modern foreign languages, with native speakers performing less well than those whose mother tongue is English, it has been claimed.

Independent school headteachers said students sitting Spanish, French and German from GCSE through to A-level had been marked more heavily for the last decade, compared with other subjects.

Members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) said poor exam results were "sapping (students') confidence", while entries in A-level Spanish, German and French are all down on the previous year, by 2.7%, 4.2% and 6.4%, respectively.

James Priory, headteacher at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: "We have seen unpredictable language results this year. A number of students predicted B grades, for instance, have received grades below expectation, with the result that they are no longer set on studying languages at university.

Read more...

French grammar course for university students

22 September 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow will be running a new grammar course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase students' language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams.

The 5-week course takes place on Wednesdays commencing 19 October.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Students undervalue study and work abroad, report argues

21 September 2016 (The Pie News)

Many students who have access to international experiences during higher education don’t realise their value until after they have graduated, according to a recent survey. Study abroad, overseas internships, language courses and intercultural exchanges are all overlooked by students during their studies, it found.

Read more...

Languages 'Beyond School'

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

As the UCAS application process gets underway, make sure any pupils thinking of continuing their language studies checks out the Beyond School section of our website.

This section contains useful information to help senior pupils decide on the different language courses and options available once they have left school, at college, university or as part of a gap year. There are links to courses available in Scotland and across the UK.

Pupils, parents, guidance and careers staff should all find this section of our website useful.

Read more...

LanguageStrathclyde: A conversation about Language Learning

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages and the School of Education, University of Strathclyde hosted an afternoon of seminars led by language practitioners, students and academics on various strands of language learning including bilingualism, motivation and translanguaging.

SCILT has used Storify to summarise the discussions from the day. Visit our Storify page for a flavour of the event.

Read more...

University guide 2017: league table for modern languages & linguistics

23 May 2016 (The Guardian)

Use the Guardian's 2017 league table of modern languages and linguistics taught at UK universities to help with course choices.

A link to the guide can also be found on the Beyond School area of the SCILT website under the Language courses, UK universities section.

Read more...

Internships in China

9 May 2016 (Generation UK/British Council)

Whether you’re looking to pick up an internship in accounting, architecture, engineering or just about any other industry, Generation UK-China can help provide funding for your trip and make sure you make the most of your time in China.

Companies across the world are looking to engage with China, and value employees with experience in China immensely. New industries and work opportunities in China are rising up faster than the skyscrapers that accommodate them. Developing a connection with China could be the smartest choice you can make right now.

There are two-month internships available for applicants aged 18 years and over who are currently enrolled full-time at a UK university or who have graduated from a UK university within the past year. Whilst the ability to speak Mandarin is not essential, it is recommended successful applicants learn some of the basics.

Full details of the available opportunities, funding and application process can be found on the British Council's Study, Work, Create web portal.

Read more...

Stem and languages specialists 'more likely to go to top universities'

29 March 2016 (TES)

A level students focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects or languages are more likely to go to Russell Group institutions, according to research.

And the study finds that students who specialised in "applied" or "expressive" subjects – such as accounting, law, music and performing arts – were more likely to go on to study at less prestigious newer universities.

Read more...

French Easter revision courses

24 March 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running semi-intensive revision courses between Monday 11 and Friday 15 April for Secondary School pupils and University students who are due to sit their French examinations later this year.

These revision courses will concentrate on the following skills: reading, listening and writing.

Full details are available on the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Study in France - apply for an Entente Cordiale Scholarship

26 February 2016 (French Embassy)

The Entente Cordiale Scholarship Scheme is a prestigious bi-lateral awards scheme that funds British postgraduate students who want to study in France and French students who want to study in the UK. Funded for the most part by the private sector in both countries the scheme provides funding for around 20 French and British students each year.

Applications are now open.  The deadline to apply is 13 March 2016.

For full details about the scholarships and how to apply, visit the French Embassy's website.

Read more...

Translation Course for University students

26 February 2016 (Alliance Française)

Improve your translating skills at the Alliance Française!

They will be running a new translation course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase your language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams where translation is involved (version & thème).

This new course will take place on Wednesdays between 3.45-5.45pm and will start on Wednesday 2nd March for 5 weeks.

The cost to enrol is £60 per student.

Please visit or contact AF Language Office if you wish to enrol.

Read more...

English Language Assistants in Spain

12 February 2016 (British Council)

Would you like to be an English Language Assistant in Spain for the 2016-2017 academic year? British Council applications are now open.

The large number of posts available this year means that it is very likely that the vast majority of applicants for Spain will be allocated by the Spanish Ministry of Education (MECD).

Please note that the minimum language level required for a post in Spain is A2 on the European Framework (slightly lower than the B1 requirement for other countries) and that, as with all countries, applicants do not need a formal qualification in Spanish to be eligible.

Find out more about the eligibility requirements and posts in Spain on the British Council website.

Why become a language assistant in Spain?

Becoming a language assistant in Spain offers candidates a paid international work placement that can really make their CV stand out. As well as providing an opportunity to build on their Spanish language and teaching skills (or find out whether teaching is really for them), a language assistant placement enables candidates to develop a range of skills such as confidence, team working, adaptability and cultural awareness that are transferrable to future employment. In fact, 95% of last year's assistants said the assistantship enhanced their career prospects, and 90% said they'd improved or greatly improved their language, teaching and other transferable skills.

With only 12-16 teaching hours per week and a generous monthly allowance, assistants in Spain have the opportunity to explore this interesting and diverse country, as well as to visit neighbouring countries in their spare time.

Read more...

Steady currents? Overseas student flows and the UK

4 February 2016 (THE)

More can be done in the UK to encourage study abroad, but the anglophone world may continue to attract the lion’s share, says David Willetts.

Read more...

Multilingual Debate 2016

19 January 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, but also university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives. The audiences participated in the debate by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2016 takes place on Wednesday 23 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus.

To find out more about the debate topics and how to sign up to attend a session, see the video presentations in Arabic, BSL, Chinese, English, French and Spanish on the Heriot-Watt website.

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Does the rise of English mean losing knowledge?

14 January 2016 (BBC News)

Are we "losing knowledge" because of the growing dominance of English as the language of higher education and research?

Attend any international academic conference and the discussion is likely to be conducted in English. For anyone wanting to share research, English has become the medium for study, writing and teaching.

That might make it easier for people speaking different languages to collaborate. But is there something else being lost? Is non-English research being marginalised?

A campaign among German academics says science benefits from being approached through different languages.

Read more...

Many languages, one world - student essay contest

11 January 2016 (ELS Educational Services)

Full-time university students are invited to write an original essay (2,000 words or less) discussing global citizenship and cultural understanding and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these. The essay should reflect your personal, academic, cultural and national context.

Essays must be written in an official language of the United Nations that is not your first language or primary language of instruction during your primary or secondary education.

Essays should be submitted by Thursday 31 March 2016.

Visit the competition website for more information..

Read more...

Call for contributions to an e-book 'Employability for Languages: A Handbook'

25 September 2015 (LLAS)

We are planning the publication of a selection of case studies showcasing the excellent and inspiring work of language teachers, academics and practitioners in the area of employability for language graduates. This collection will form a snapshot of good practice and show the outcomes of recent projects and debates in the area of employability. Case studies will accompany articles from invited contributors describing a variety of personal experiences in the area.

This open access e-book will be freely available for download and will be aimed at practitioners in secondary and tertiary education. The focus of the book will be around practical experience ‘in the field’ and reflective practice, rather than research.

Expressions of interest in contributing to the book are invited.  Deadline 5 October 2015.  More information can be found on the LLAS website.

Read more...

UCML writes to Northumbria University re the closure of its language degree programmes

18 September 2015 (UCML)

Northumbria University has reviewed its degrees in French and Spanish and decided to close them for being non viable, due to student numbers.

UCML understands that a review has recently been conducted resulting in this lamentable decision. Not only are these degree programmes rated very highly in NSS scores and in Best University Guides (e.g. the Times and Guardian versions), but this decision further shifts provision of language degrees towards pre-92 universities, reducing student choice of destinations.

Read UCML's letter to Northumbria University senior management.

Read more...

Ulster University to close school of modern languages

2 September 2015 (THE)

Ulster University has confirmed the closure of its school of modern languages while identifying another four subject areas for “rationalisation”.

[..] Robin Swann, an Ulster Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the chair of its employment and learning committee, said that the closure of the modern languages department would be particularly damaging.

Read more...

Related Links

Minister slated as Ulster University forced to cut language school (Belfast Telegraph, 3 September 2015)

Exporter slams UU decision to close languages school (Belfast Telegraph, 9 September 2015)

Scots university link with China

11 August 2015 (Evening Times)

A SCOTS university is hoping to increase its involvement with China and its higher education institutions.

University of the West of Scotland has formed a partnership with Young Chinese Professionals Scotland which unites and promotes young Chinese in the living and working in the country.

The new agreement will also result in the university increasing its China-related research and cultural activities.

Read more...

Choosing your university course during Clearing: pick a passion

10 August 2015 (The Guardian)

“You must choose a subject you enjoy. You’re going to do it for at least three years and pay an awful lot of money for it,” says Tracey Griffin, head of sixth form at Bournemouth and Poole College, who has helped hundreds of young people choose what to study at university.

[...] Many UK universities now offer an optional year overseas (usually the third year) through the European Union’s student exchange programme, Erasmus. However this isn’t offered on all courses, so if you think you might be interested in a year abroad, it’s worth checking out which courses offer it before you start applying.

[...] Almost 80,000 undergraduates study languages at UK unis, and this year’s overall best five are Cambridge, Oxford, Leicester, Durham and Sussex. While all offer the likes of French and Spanish, you’ll need to hunt around if you’re keen to go beyond the mainstream.

Read more...

What nobody tells you about studying abroad

17 June 2015 (The Guardian)

Everyone told me how much fun I was going to have, but there are many things it would have been more useful for me to have known. Jack Harry, a French and Spanish student at Bristol University, shares his experience of his year studying abroad.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

3 June 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities. Priority is given to the following: 

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education
    Up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, e.g. conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others. 
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities 
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university - as part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant

The next application deadline for the 2015-16 programme is 19 June 2015. 

Further information and how to apply is available on the attached flyer.

British Academy calls for evidence for new interdisciplinarity project

12 May 2015 (British Academy)

The British Academy has launched its call for evidence for a new project on interdisciplinarity in research and higher education.

The call for evidence will ask individual academics, university management, funders and publishers about their experiences of engaging with interdisciplinarity, the success stories and the challenges.

The project will investigate:

  • how interdisciplinary research is carried out 
  • the demand for interdisciplinary research and research skills 
  • how academics can forge interdisciplinary careers 
  • whether the right structures are in place to support interdisciplinarity across the research and higher education system

While the focus is on research, it will also investigate the relation between interdisciplinarity in teaching and research, from the undergraduate level up. And while the focus is on universities, the project will be concerned with the relation between interdisciplinarity in universities and in the wider economy.

The deadline for submitting evidence is 26 June 2015.   See the British Academy website for more information.

Read more...

Exam board chief: 'Unless we act soon, even GCSE French and German could face the chop'

8 May 2015 (TES)

The furore around the announcement by some exam boards that they will no longer provide GCSEs and/or A-levels in ‘lesser-taught’ languages such as Turkish, Polish, Urdu and Gujarati begs some big questions. Given that the boards are a mixture of not-for-profits and commercial organisations, it is clear this is not simply a matter of money. The challenges are systemic and the root causes are a mixture of cultural attitudes, failed infrastructures and policy failures over many years.

Formal education has seen an overall decline in the study of traditionally taught foreign languages – French, German, etc – while the study of lesser-taught and community languages has failed to grow.

Any rational analysis of trends in school language education reveals that all languages, apart from English, are in danger of becoming ‘lesser taught’. The number of A-levels awarded in all available languages in 2011 was 40,685 and by the summer of 2014 it was 32,680. Many languages departments in universities are facing a real threat of extinction. Unless something is done soon to correct this we will wake up one morning to learn that GCSE French and German are also for the chop.

Read more...

Related Links

Newham lecturer’s concern over end to community language exams (Newham Recorder, 6 May 2015)

European universities ‘hobbled’ by language laws

7 May 2015 (THE)

Rector at Maastricht University fears that curbs on using English are preventing some institutions from innovating and internationalising.

[..]Professor Soete added that English has become the common language for research. However, all foreign students at Maastricht can also take an optional Dutch language course, alongside their main subject, as part of a target to encourage 22 per cent of them to stay in the Netherlands region after graduating. About 85 per cent of all foreign students now take basic Dutch lessons.

“If a French-speaking student studies in Belgium, they will leave their degree unilingual which means it will be difficult for them to get a job in Belgium itself,” he said.

“But if they go to Maastricht they can become a perfect English speaker, still hold on to their native language and learn Dutch by integrating with the community. That’s why we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of French-speaking students. Other Dutch universities are moving in the same direction.”

Read more...

QS world university rankings 2015: modern languages

29 April 2015 (The Guardian)

The top 100 universities in the world for modern languages, as ranked by higher education data specialists QS. Oxford and Cambridge top the rankings, with the University of Edinburgh reaching 26th in the listing.

The University of Edinburgh also came 3rd in the listing for linguistics.

Read more...

Related Links

QS world university rankings 2015: Linguistics (The Guardian, 29 April 2015)

French Easter Revision Courses April 2015

13 March 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running semi-intensive revision courses between Monday 13 and Friday 17 April for Secondary School pupils and University students who are due to sit their French examinations later this year.  Enrol by 2 April 2015.

Full details can be found on the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Would you like to contribute to our cross-sector discussion on the 1+2 language policy?

6 March 2015 (SCILT / University of Strathclyde)

In order to support the Government’s commitment to the 1+2 language policy the Cabinet Secretary for Education has asked the Scottish Funding Council “to consider the relevant recommendations in the SG Language Working Group Report and develop with the sector a strategy for growing the number of graduates with practical language skills”. You can read the full Letter of Guidance for 2015-16.

Our joint SCILT/UCMLS event on 6 May will give you the opportunity to make your views known and help shape the development of the strategy. For more information and to sign up for this event, visit the website.

Read more...

Good news for language learning: UCML and AULC publish the annual report on take-up of Institution Wide Language Programmes

2 March 2015 (UCML/AULC)

Each year the Association of University Language Centres in the UK and Ireland conduct a survey to explore the take up of Institution-Wide Language Programmes (for credit and not for credit) in UK universities.

UCML co-publishes this report with AULC and support from the Higher Education Academy. The report from this year's survey (conducted in autumn 2014) is now published.

It includes analysis of various trends (by language, by balance of credit and not etc) across the sector.

It is clear from this report that the trend continues to be for increasing demand for language learning in HE alongside the study of other disciplines.

Read more...

Only one in 65 new students chooses a modern language degree – we need a rethink

19 February 2015 (The Conversation)

Out of nearly half a million students who enrolled on a degree course in the UK last year, just over 8,000 of them studied a foreign language. New figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have crystallised the difficult situation facing university language departments across the country. Only one in every 65 first-year students chooses a modern foreign language degree, showing a decline from one in every 48 in 2007.

Most university subjects are recovering from the recruitment crash of 2012-13, the first year that universities could charge fees up to £9,000 – and some subjects are showing steady numbers of enrolments. Since 2007, the numbers of students starting degree courses in subjects allied to medicine have risen a meteoric 39% and there has been a 30% increase in biological sciences. The figures are no less impressive for the mathematical sciences and business administration, both with a 24% increase.

But this is not the case for modern foreign languages where there is little sign of post-fees recovery.

Read more...

10th LLAS elearning Symposium 2015

9 February 2015 (LLAS)

22-23rd January, saw the 10th LLAS elearning symposium taking place at the University of Southampton. Over two fantastic days, language teachers came together from across the UK and the world to share their experiences using technology in teaching and learning. There were inspiring and informative keynote talks from: Sara Pierson and Chris Cavey from the British Council, Marion Sadoux from the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, and Benoit Guilbaud, from the University of Manchester. You can watch their presentations again.

LLAS also had speakers talking about a range of topics from mobile learning, to Twitter for Italian, online interpreting, screencasting for pronunciation, open educational practice, e-portfolios, blended tandem learning, MOOCs and much more. LLAS recorded most of the sessions and you can see the recordings.

LLAS marked the occasion with the publication of a free, open access ebook, which is an edited collection of case studies and reflective pieces which showcase good practice in the use of technology for language teaching and learning. The book is an inspiring snapshot of good practice and contributions came from practitioners across the world, many of whom attended the symposium itself as speakers. Download the book.

2015 Disability Scholarship Program

23 January 2015 (CRCC Asia – British Council)

CRCC Asia are delighted to offer two *funded China Internship Programs with the British Council, specifically for students with a disability. The successful candidates will undertake a business placement at the British Council, in Beijing and Shanghai, and obtain first hand experience of China’s business and cultural environments. They will be required to complete the two-month China Internship Program during May-November 2015. The program is open to university students with a disability, and all eligible candidates from any academic discipline are welcome to apply.

Read more...

2014 report on language teaching in degree programmes

23 January 2015 (UCML)

A summary of the current state of languages in HE in universities across UK. A report on the basis of a survey of contact hours, credit loads and progression routes through the main 'European' languages taught within named degree programmes.

Download from right hand column through the link below.

Read more...

Year-abroad students say universities don't offer enough support

15 December 2014 (The Guardian)

Erasmus, the student exchange scheme for the EU, celebrated a record number of participants this year and launched its expanded Erasmus+ programme. But despite the popularity of international study, some students say universities are providing insufficient mental health support to those living abroad.

Read more...

Language degrees: when the words are not enough

11 December 2014 (Times Higher Education)

A deep understanding of foreign languages is often essential to the combination of cajolery and seduction many companies require in their international negotiators.

That was the argument of Richard Hardie, chair of investment bank UBS, at a Westminster Higher Education Forum seminar on “Priorities for foreign language learning: participation, resources and progression” last week.

Read more...

Languages for their future: support your students as they consider studying languages beyond school

31 October 2014 (SCILT)

Do you have students who are thinking about continuing with languages when they leave school? As the UCAS application process gets underway, the Beyond School section of our website contains useful information to help them decide on the different language courses and options available:

There’s lots of information on…

  • Languages – the benefits for you and your career
  • Undergraduate language courses at Scottish and UK universities – what’s available where
  • Enhance your degree – options for combining languages with other subjects
  • The gap year – opportunities to study, work or volunteer abroad
  • Student experiences – advice from those who’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt!

Please make your pupils, guidance and careers staff aware of the ‘Beyond School’ website. It covers all their language needs - www.scilt.org.uk/BeyondSchool.aspx

Read more...

ThirdYearAbroad.com launches Q&A site and jobs board

27 August 2014 (The Pie News)

The UK’s largest network for students who study or work abroad,ThirdYearAbroad.com has partnered with the the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Routes in Languages to launch TYA Answers– a Q&A site where students can get responses and information from fellow students, experts and university international officers.

The company also aims to connect UK graduates with language skills to employment opportunities through its site GlobalGraduates.co.uk set to launch this September.

Read more...

Learning lessons from overseas

15 August 2014 (Scottish Government)

Study trips to France, Spain, China and the USA are among the opportunities available to Scots-based students through new Scottish Government funding.

Grants totalling more than £127,000 have been shared among 12 projects – including summer exchange programmes, study trips and internships – all aimed at helping students from seven universities or colleges gain a global perspective in their respective fields.

Read more...

Study abroad: take a leap into the unknown

11 August 2014 (The Telegraph)

There is no better way to break the monotony of everyday university life than choosing to study overseas; a little bit of impulse can go a long way, says James Connington.

Read more...

Reshaping Languages in Higher Education Conference - Presentations now available

8 July 2014 (LLAS)

Presentations from the LLAS Conference, 'Reshaping Languages in Higher Education' (9-10 July 2014) are now available from the LLAS website.

Read more...

University role ‘crucial’ for languages recovery

14 July 2014 (THE)

Universities have a crucial role to play in “a national recovery programme” to improve the level of Britain’s linguistic skills.

Read more...

Related Links

Open letter from UCML (UCML website, 14 July 2014)

Classics example: any answers for modern languages’ decline?

12 June 2014 (THE)

Modern languages departments and scholars should look at how Classics has reinvented itself since the 1980s in order to boost its appeal to undergraduates, a scholar has argued.
It success was reflected, noted Roderick Beaton, Koraes professor of modern Greek and Byzantine history, language and culture at King’s College London, in “a large enough undergraduate cohort in over 20 higher education institutions to sustain a robust and internationally envied research culture”.

His argument was among many at a debate held at the British Academy on 27 May on the study of languages in the UK, which discussed the dramatic decline of modern languages in the nation’s higher education sector, the implications for employment and security, and strategies for reversing the trend.

Read more...

Strictly 1,000 Words competition

2 June 2014 (Language Show Live / Speak to the Future)

Strictly 1,000 Words is a national competition for language learners in schools, universities and language enthusiasts everywhere to produce a short video containing no more than 1,000 words in another language. Videos must be no more than 2 minutes long and contain up to 1,000 words in another language.

See the website for entry criteria. Deadline for applications is 11 July 2014.

Read more...

Globetrotters with a thirst for learning

6 May 2014 (The Guardian)

Welcome to our new hub for all students who have chosen to study far from home. Here's why we think the global movement of students is an important topic.

Read more...

What I've learned from studying abroad

6 May 2014 (The Guardian)

A student blogger shares his experience of picking up a language and getting to grips with a different culture.

Read more...

Exhibition of Third-year Students’ Research Projects in French, Italian & Spanish

1 May 2014 (SCILT)

Creativity, research and languages proved a great combination again last month in the 2nd annual ‘Exhibition of Third-year Students’ Research Projects in French, Italian & Spanish’ from the School of Humanities at University of Strathclyde. Groups of third-year students were given 'carte blanche' to research any aspect of life or identity in a country where the target language is spoken. Investigations ranged from art to women’s suffrage by way of gypsy culture, fashion, independence and music.

Led by lecturers Caroline Verdier and Lidia Acosta, the research challenge also features in two new SCILT blogs. Secondary learners considering studying Italian, Spanish or French at university might want to check out this student blog which details one of the groups’ process and learning in the course of their research project, or this poster blog showcasing the research posters in all three languages.

Information on both this year's and last year's Third Year Languages Research Projects can also be found on SCILT's 'Beyond School' section of the website.

Read more...

Erasmus exchanges get down to business

30 April 2014 (BBC News)

For a generation of European students, the Erasmus programme has been synonymous with having a good time while studying in another country.

Three million students have taken part in this exchange visit project over 27 years.
There were serious underlying principles about life skills, employability and getting a taste of another culture.

But it also had an optimistic international feel-good factor. This European Union project was where higher education met overseas travel and the spirit of Eurovision.

There has even been a spin-off movie about the social experience of Erasmus students house-sharing in Barcelona. It's a rom-com with lessons.

But times have changed. And so has Erasmus, which is now rebranded as Erasmus+.

The youthful idealism is being replaced with something with a harder edge and a more clearly defined strategic purpose.

Read more...

Study abroad for a cheaper university option

29 April 2014 (The Guardian)

Daniel Hughes had always wanted to take a master's degree but the cost of the qualification in the UK put him off. The current average price of a UK Masters degree is £6,000 a year, with some universities charging more than double that figure.

"I was thinking of going to study abroad after graduating from Bangor University and working in the NHS," he says. "I could speak a bit of Swedish and the master's courses in Sweden are free, so it made sense to look there."

Now 29, Hughes is in his second and final year of an MA in media and communications studies at Stockholm University and is writing a thesis on why Scandinavian noir TV series are so popular with British audiences.

He is one of a growing number of UK students opting to study abroad in Europe at universities that offer master's degrees in English for a much lower fee – or no fee at all.

Read more...

How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter

29 April 2014 (Time)

Research shows that experience in other countries makes us more flexible, creative, and complex thinkers.

How does studying or working abroad change you? You return with a photo album full of memories and a suitcase full of souvenirs, sure. But you may also come back from your time in another country with an ability to think more complexly and creatively—and you may be professionally more successful as a result.

Read more...

UK’s young people to benefit from €1 billion Erasmus+ fund

28 April 2014 (British Council)

The European Commission has announced it will make available almost €1 billion over seven years to help people in the UK to gain crucial international skills under the new Erasmus+ programme, managed in the UK by the British Council and Ecorys.

Hundreds of thousands of young people in the UK will be able to access the new programme over the next seven years in order to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer across the EU and further afield.

More than 30,000 young people per year – the equivalent of over 70 fully-laden jumbo jets – are expected to gain opportunities to expand their horizons under the programme. This represents a 50 per cent increase on the number of UK young people receiving grants compared with the EU’s previous Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes, which Erasmus+ will replace.

Read more...

Related Links

Erasmus+ launches across Europe (The Pie News, 30 April 2014)

Good news for universities?

1 April 2014 (Linguist)

Nick Byrne on the increase in non-specialist language provision.

Next year, I will have worked as a language provider in the Higher Education sector for a quarter of a century. For the last ten years, in particular, I have monitored the rise in non-specialist language provision for the Association of University Language Centres (AULC), the Departments of Education and Business, Hefce (the Higher Education Fudning Council for England) and the European Commission.

Read more...

Four winners at Chinese Bridge

25 March 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Three Edinburgh students and their tutor took top places at the UK wide `Chinese Bridge` competition for university students on Saturday March 22.

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New Erasmus+ should help boost UK outward mobility

21 March 2014 (University World News)

With countries like Germany and the United States launching ambitious campaigns to encourage more of their students to study abroad, the United Kingdom is redoubling its efforts to increase the tiny number of British students venturing to overseas universities or work placements.

Read more...

Professor takes vow of silence in support of deaf community

21 March 2014 (Times Higher Education)

Graham Turner at Heriot-Watt raises awareness for Sign Language Week.

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Edinburgh University in top five in the UK

26 February 2014 (The Herald)

Edinburgh University has outperformed rival institutions in Scotland in a new higher education league table. The university came in the top five in the UK in 10 out of 30 subject disciplines - far more than any other Scottish institution.

Edinburgh University came top in the country for linguistics, beating both Oxford and Cambridge to the top spot.  The university came 12th for Modern Languages.

Read more...

Related Links

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 - Modern Languages (Top Universities, 26 February 2014) University of Edinburgh is 12th in the list.

Modern languages and linguistics postgraduate and master's courses in 2014

25 February 2014 (The Guardian)

University performance data for modern languages and linguistics in our sortable table.

Read more...

Volunteer placements in Russia from September 2014

19 February 2014 (Ecologia Youth Trust)

Ecologia Youth Trust have opportunities for students to volunteer in Russia during their Study Abroad year. Find out more about Ecologia Youth Trust’s work and how to apply.

Read more...

Internationalising STEM

18 February 2014 (Inside Higher Ed)

Washington – The theme of this year’s Association of International Education Administrators conference is “Universalizing Global Learning in the 21st Century Academy,” and a session on Monday focused on broadening, if not universalizing, global learning experiences for students who have historically been underrepresented in study abroad: those in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The barriers to study abroad for these students -- among them strict and demanding sequential course requirements and a lack of time or interest in foreign language study -- are by now legion. However, presenters described two ambitious programs, both modeled on the University of Rhode Island’s longstanding International Engineering program, in which students double-major in a STEM field and a foreign language and spend an entire year abroad.

Read more...

New Resources for Language Students: Creating the Global Graduate - Sell your language skills on your CV

18 February 2014 (Routes into Languages Cymru)

This new set of resources, authored by the Careers Department at Cardiff University and in partnership with Routes into Languages Cymru, includes a Sample Languages CV Format and a Cronological CV which will show how those studying languages or those who have language skills can present their skills and experiences in the most effective way possible. With a greater call for ‘global graduates’ the resources also include Tips for the Year Abroad for Language Students which will give ideas on how to make the best of time spent abroad and to continue to build on the CV whilst studying.

Read more...

We need to fall back in love with learning languages

14 February 2014 (The Conversation)

The drop in applications to European language programmes at UK universities will not have come as a great shock to anybody teaching languages. For at least the past 15 years, the number of students applying for modern language degrees has been in decline.

Read more...

Annual survey of Institution Wide Language Programme take-up in UK universities

11 February 2014 (UCML)

The report from the annual survey of Institution Wide Language Programme take-up in UK universities has now been published. The responses indicate an increase in numbers of students enrolled on such programmes nationally, even taking into account a slight increase in the number of universities responding this year.

Read more...

3rd year BA research posters blog

4 February 2014 (SCILT)

Along with her Spanish and Italian colleagues, Caroline Verdier, Teaching Fellow in French at the University of Strathclyde, challenged 3rd Year students to work in groups on a research project.  The groups had 'carte blanche' to research any aspect of life or identity in a country where the target language is spoken. Subjects included independence movements in Spain and Scotland, the representation of Ancient Rome in cinema and on television and the status of Paris in the world of fashion.  There were also some case studies about businesses such as of Renault, Zara and Veuve Cliquot.

Information about the rationale, the research process and the findings were distilled and displayed in a poster.  The posters were very creative, many were interactive and had 3D elements.  An exhibition to showcase all the posters took place in the McCance Conservatory in April 2013.  During Spring 2014, posters and abstracts from this year’s 3rd Year students will be added to the blog.

This blog would be a good tool to support pupils involved in research for the IP strand of the Languages Baccalaureate.

Read more...

The ten skills students really need when they graduate

4 February 2014 (Guardian)

The number of jobs available for graduates is predicted to rise by 10.2%, according to a survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. Good news for students – but when you come to apply for your first job after university, are you sure you'll have the relevant skills for the post?

[...] "If you speak another language then make sure it's clearly displayed on your CV," says Curtis. "We really like bilingual candidates as they usually interview really well. But quite often their CV doesn't do them justice. 'Business fluent French' looks much better than just 'French A-level at grade A' as it offers a company more." Be careful though. "If you haven't had much practice with your languages make sure you scrub up before sending out a CV that implies you can hold your own."

Read more...

Languages reading list: Disney ignores Africa, whistling and Polish for police

1 February 2014 (Guardian - The case for languages learning series)

In Northamptonshire police officers learn Polish, the ancient art of whistling lives on in Turkey and Disney is accused of ignoring African languages.

Read more...

Why the drop in university applications for languages is worrying

31 January 2014 (Guardian)

Ucas figures showing falling applications for modern language degrees pose a real problem for Britain.

Read more...

Related Links

  • University applications hit record high (Guardian, 31 January 2014)
    [...] The number of applicants for European language courses fell by 5%, from 20,350 last year to 19,300. Applications for engineering are up from 127,000 to 141,000, and for computer science from 86,300 to 97,000. Wendy Piatt, director of the Russell Group of research universities, said: "We are worried by the continuing drop in applicants for both European and non-European languages. We need language graduates to meet the needs of our economy and society."

NEW ! Translation Course for University Students Feb-March 2014

30 January 2014 (Alliance Française)

Improve your translating skills at the Alliance Française!

From Wednesday 19th February, we will be running a new translation course specifically designed for students who are studying French at University. This course will increase your language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams where translation is involved (version & thème).

This new course will take place on Wednesdays between 3.45-5.45pm and is due to start on
Wednesday 19th February for 5 weeks.

The cost to enrol is £60 per student.

Please visit or contact the Language Office before Wednesday 12th February if you wish to enrol. Places are strictly limited and cannot be reserved until payment has been received.

Visit the Alliance Française website for further information and to download the enrolment form.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2014-15

29 January 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The criteria of the Japan Foundation’s Local Project Support Programme has changed for 2014-2015.  If your school is considering introducing Japanese, you might be able to take advantage of this funding programme.

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. Priority is given to the following:

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education - up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, eg conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others etc. 
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities:
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university. 
      As part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum from September 2014, will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years. 
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant.

There will be four application deadlines for the 2014-15 programme: April 1st 2014, June 20th 2014, September 26th 2014 and November 28th 2014. This funding will last until March 2015.

For further information about the programme and the application process, visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

China Lecture Series Winter/Spring 2014

20 January 2014 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The spring programme for the China Lecture Series 2013-14 at the Confucius Institute for Scotland has been published.

Read more...

7th National Russian Essay Competition 2014

18 January 2014 (Russian Teachers’ Group UK (RTG))

Students learning Russian in schools, colleges and universities in the UK, as well as heritage learners from Russian-speaking families and adult learners, are invited to take part in the 7th National Russian Essay Competition. This is a high-profile event which will give your students a chance to win great prizes including cash (1st prize - £100) and see their essays published on-line! It is a great opportunity for students to be creative, compete nationwide with their peers and raise the profile of Russian. The deadline for submitting entries is 11 March 2014. Judges will review the entries in March and April, and winners will be announced by 30 April 2014.

Read more...

My first term of learning of Russian from scratch at university

9 January 2014 (The Guardian)

Student Francesca Ebel reflects on her freshers' term of studying Russian at degree level, without having studied the language at A-level.

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University of Strathclyde Languages Ambassadors Programme

7 January 2014 (SCILT/University of Strathclyde)

Are you planning a languages event in your school?  Do you need some help promoting language learning to your students?  Why not arrange a visit from one of the student Languages Ambassadors from Strathclyde University's award-winning programme?

The Languages Ambassadors Programme is designed to provide support to schools by sending teams of two or three students to deliver a range of activities such as:

  • A general presentation by students about their experiences as language learners
  • Practical workshops or class-based activities focussing on fun language development
  • Q&A sessions about the benefits of studying a foreign language

As role models the Ambassadors will share their experiences and their successes, and they will also be honest about the challenges they have faced studying a foreign language.

Visit the Languages Ambassadors webpage to find out more and, if you would like to participate in the programme, please contact Cedric Moreau, Senior Language Teaching Fellow:

cedric.moreau@strath.ac.uk

Read more...

Beyond School - new section of the SCILT website

6 December 2013 (SCILT)

Our new ‘Beyond School’ section on the SCILT website offers help and advice to young people about the many ways they can continue to develop their language skills, whether by making the transition from school to a course at university or by studying, working or volunteering overseas. As well as general help and advice on making the move to university and courses available, there are links to potential career paths and opportunities and what support is available to schools to help promote languages as a subject choice at university.

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Encouraging UK students to study abroad: a new strategy for outward mobility

6 December 2013 (Universities UK blog)

In the context of a challenging jobs market, now more than ever, it is vital that universities help to prepare students for the world of work. At the same time, and in the context of rising tuition fees, higher education institutions are also rightly looking at ways in which to enhance the student experience.

One of the ways in which the higher education sector is seeking to answer these complex challenges is through the provision of international work and study abroad opportunities for students.

Today sees the launch of the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility by David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science. Supported by governments across the UK, the Strategy forms a key part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill’s International Education Strategy, published earlier this year.

Read more...

How a technical work and study exchange with IAESTE can change your life

2 December 2013 (British Council blog)

IAESTE is celebrating its 65th birthday. But what is it? The acronym stands for the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. Founded in 1948 through the enthusiasm of James Newby of my institution, Imperial College, IAESTE began in the climate of an early post-war need to build international co-operation. It helps students travel from the country of their studies to get practical and cultural experience in another country.

Read how an internship in Milan through the IAESTE programme changed the course of Professor Aleksander's career.

Read more...

‘Studying abroad should be part of every UK degree'

2 December 2013 (The Telegraph)

It all started with one email in my first year of university: it was the ‘Internationalisation and Study Overseas’ in the subject line that piqued my interest.  Studying abroad was one of the main reasons I considered attending university, but as I'm studying History, I always believed that the options would be limited to Europe.

Read more...

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2014

19 November 2013 (European Commission)

The European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen invite young people from all the EU member states to participate in a competition on EU development, integration and European identity issues.

The 'European Charlemagne Youth Prize' is awarded to projects, which:

  • promote European and international understanding
  • foster the development of a shared sense of European identity and integration
  • serve as a role model for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community

The projects can focus on the organisation of various youth events, youth exchanges or online projects with a European dimension.

Submissions for 2014 are now invited.  Applicants should be 16-30 years of age and should apply by 20 January 2014. Entries in all official languages of the EU are eligible.  Visit the website for full details.

Read more...

Languages in decline

15 November 2013 (Cherwell - Oxford University)

UK universities are witnessing a startling decline in the number of students studying modern foreign languages, recent government statistics show.

The figures, compiled by UCAS, indicate an overall drop of between 12 and 14 percent in the number of students accepted to study modern foreign languages at British universities between the 2011 and 2012 admissions cycles.

Read more...

Increasing numbers of UK students studying in Europe

15 November 2013 (The Telegraph)

The proportion of UK students who are looking to study or work in mainland Europe reached the highest level in 2012/13 since the Erasmus programme was launched 25 years ago.
This is likely to be due, at least in part, to the tuition fees that UK students now face to study at home.

This European Union flagship student mobility scheme saw 14,607 students studying or working in Europe in 2012/13, according to the British Council, which has seen the numbers on the scheme double since it took over running the UK side of it in 2006/7.

Scottish students feature particularly highly, at 13 per cent of those on the scheme, even though they represent just 8.5 per cent of the UK's overall student population.

Ruth Sinclair-Jones, the British Council's head of EU programmes, said: "The international experience offered through Erasmus has been shown to make a real difference in terms of people's employability. So while students in Scotland deserve praise for reaching out and looking to gain highly sought-after international skills, it is a concern that students in England and Wales are beginning to slip behind.

Read more...

Related Links

ERASMUS+ to fund over 4 million young people to train or study abroad in the EU (European Parliament, 19 November 2013)

£800 million to help UK students study overseas

14 November 2013 (UK Government)

Thousands of UK students will be helped to study overseas thanks to the new EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, Universities Minister David Willetts announced today.
The 2014-20 Erasmus+ programme is designed to double the number of people in the EU benefiting from opportunities abroad.

Funded by the European Commission, and bringing together a number of existing EU programmes, Erasmus+ is worth an estimated £793 million (€940 million) to the UK. It will increase opportunities for international study, teaching and volunteering in Europe and beyond.

Read more...

Inspiring Projects

10 October 2013 (Speak to the Future)

We’re highlighting inspiring projects happening across the country which are promoting languages to the wider public – showing those in the languages community what you could do, and helping to give those outside an insight into the value of languages and language learning.

There are a host of projects and websites covering a number of languages for all ages – take a look and see what will inspire you.

Read more...

University language department closures: 10 things you need to know

9 October 2013 (The Guardian)

Over the last few days, a Guardian investigation has revealed that modern foreign language departments are closing at an alarming rate. Here's a summary of the key facts.

Read more...

European language degree courses abandoned by many UK universities

7 October 2013 (The Guardian)

More than a third of UK universities have given up offering specialist modern European language degrees over the past 15 years, the Guardian has found, as leading academics argue harsh marking at A-level is putting teenagers off studying the subject at school.

Read more...

Related Links

Modern languages: degree courses in freefall (The Guardian, 8 October 2013)

Interactive: how many universities have dropped language courses? (The Guardian, 8 October 2013)

University language department closures: 10 things you need to know (The Guardian, 9 October 2013)

Arresting the UK's decline in language learning (The Guardian, 9 October 2013)  Letters in response to this week's language-learning articles

Russell Group quizzed on 'facilitating subjects' list

26 September 2013 (BBC News)

The Russell Group has been asked to produce research on what subjects teenagers need to get in to their universities, after a study cast doubt on so-called "preferred subjects".

The Russell Group's advice is in a document called Informed Choices which lists "facilitating subjects", saying they are sometimes "required more than others".

The subjects are maths, further maths, English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages.

Read more...

2013 British Academy Schools Language Awards winners announced

24 September 2013 (British Academy)

The British Academy has today announced the winners of the 2013 round of its Schools Language Awards. Schools and colleges – or institutions supporting them – were asked to submit proposals for increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels.

Congratulations to Glasgow’s Polish School, the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Council schools who all won awards. Visit the British Academy website for full details.

Read more...

Move to protect teaching of languages in Scots universities

20 September 2013 (The Herald)

Greater protection is to be given to threatened language teaching at Scottish universities.
Any institution that wants to cut languages in future will have to alert funding bosses before any decision is made.

Read more...

Scots students in Europe

16 September 2013 (Scottish Government)

Scotland only UK country to offer support for study in EU.  Up to 500 Scots studying at five European universities will be able to apply for financial support in a pilot that marks the first time any UK students have been offered help with European study.

Scots enrolled at Scottish universities already benefit from the best package of support in the UK, including free tuition fees, Education Secretary Michael Russell said this shows how decisions taken in Scotland benefit Scots.

Now those who choose eligible courses at the University of Southern Denmark, Malmo University in Sweden, Rhein Waal University in Germany, and the universities of Groningen and Maastricht in the Netherlands can have their fees paid by the country they study in and apply for the same package of bursaries and loans as those studying in Scotland.

Read more...

Related Links

Europe study grants for Scottish students unveiled (The Scotsman, 16 September 2013)

NUS Scotland welcomes new support funds for study abroad students (NUS Scotland, 16 September 2013)

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

9 September 2013 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to 3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities.

The next deadline for the 2013-14 programme is 27 September 2013.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply.

You may also wish to join their Primary Japanese Campaign 2014, which has been launched to support primary schools and teachers offering, or hoping to offer, Japanese language teaching.

You can read more about the campaign, and register to receive campaign updates and free, exclusive campaign stickers by following the link below.

Read more...

Russell Group to review two A-level subjects

6 September 2013 (THE)

The Russell Group will only need to revamp two A-level subject areas after a review said just minor changes were needed to most qualifications.

An initial group established by the exam regulator Ofqual and chaired by Professor Smith, which included the input of many academics from the Russell Group, the 1994 Group and other “high-tariff universities” has found that only maths and languages require major changes.

Read more...

UK still suffers trips of the tongues

29 August 2013 (THE Letters)

Your editorial “A timely look under the bonnet” (22 August) is right to draw attention to the issue of language degrees, but one of the figures was inaccurate. As of 23 August, the number of students starting a language degree was not down by 13 per cent but by less than 0.5 per cent.

Read more...

Language learning: the shaky future of study (and work) abroad

28 August 2013 (The Guardian)

Unless the government develops a coherent languages strategy, student mobility is threatened, says Anne Marie Graham. 

Another year, another fall (5%) in the number of language A-levels taken. The UK curriculum's first choice foreign languages, French and German, have been declining in popularity for more than a decade. And although numbers studying other languages, including Spanish and Arabic, have increased, they're not enough to buck the overall downward trend.

Read more...

If we're going to compete, we need multilingual graduates

25 August 2013 (The Observer)

The reported decline of language teaching in higher education is very worrying. Universities need to think creatively about language provision in their institutions.

Read more...

Get Funding for your UK/France Partnership

19 August 2013 (British Council)

The British Council administers the distribution of grant funding from the Lefèvre Trust and grants are now available to secondary schools embarking on projects in 2013.  These programmes support collaboration between the UK and France on educational opportunities that prepare young people to become global citizens.  

Please note the deadline for applications has changed: final closing deadline is 30 September 2013.

Visit the British Council website for a guide to the programme and to download a grant application form.

Read more...

Key Findings: Languages in further and higher education

19 August 2013 (Language Rich Europe blog)

Language Rich Europe research provides a rich source of cross-national insights into multilingualism across the education sectors. You can browse all of the national/ regional profiles or simply focus on further and higher education by reading on.

Read more...

Language teaching crisis as 40% of university departments face closure

17 August 2013 (The Guardian)

As many as 40% of university language departments are likely to close within a decade, the former government adviser charged with bolstering foreign language uptake in higher education has warned, delivering a huge blow to the UK's diplomatic and economic hopes.

Amid a deepening crisis in language learning – which is causing alarm at the highest levels of government – the number of universities offering degrees in modern languages has already plunged from 105 in 2000 to 62 at the start of this academic year.

Read more...

You can get on a language course without knowing a word

7 August 2013 (The Guardian)

Studying a new language at degree level is challenging, but many universities allow students to do so.

Students applying to study courses such as Mandarin and business or tourism management with Spanish are not expected to have prior experience of speaking their chosen languages.

But the dedication is likely to impress employers, acccording to Vince Peart, an adviser at the National Careers Service. "Employers recognise that languages require a lot of discipline, which is a highly valued quality."

Read more...

"Parlez-vous français?" Probably not, as the number of modern languages students falls

2 August 2013 (The Independent)

“Parlez-vous français?” The answer, according to new data from the Higher Education Funding council for England (HEFCE), is no.

The number of students accepting university places to study modern languages has fallen by 12 per cent overall, with French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Scandinavian Studies among the hardest hit.

Read more...

Clearing 2013: think about studying abroad

1 August 2013 (The Guardian)

Whether you go for a term or a whole degree, studying overseas can be a rewarding experience – and it looks good on your CV.

Read more...

Ucas stats reveal languages decline

23 July 2013 (THE)

The proportion of 18 year olds applying for non-European language degrees has fallen by more than a third in three years, according to new research.

Read more...

Bright Future for Gaelic Education at Lews Castle College UHI

25 June 2013 (PRWeb)

The University of the Highlands & Islands [UHI] this month hosted a lecture in Stornoway entitled “Gaelic in Education.” The keynote speakers were Mr. Iain Macmillan, Principal of Lews Castle College UHI and Dr. Frances Murray, Rector of the Nicolson Institute. The event was chaired by Mr. Matthew Maciver Chair of the UHI Court and retired Chief Executive of the GTC in Scotland.

Mr. Maciver introduced the lecture by stating that UHI was hosting the lecture in Stornoway to highlight the Gaelic Medium Higher Education courses which the university offers and that UHI had now been accredited to deliver a new Post Graduate Primary Teaching course in English and Gaelic.

Read more...

Degree year abroad: intercultural skills, and lots of fun

7 June 2013 (The Telegraph)

The debate: is the university degree's year abroad a golden opportunity for personal development, or a needless expense of time and money?

University courses that include time spent studying or working abroad are open to students of almost every discipline, not just linguists. This experience gives students the opportunity to study their subject from a new perspective or to get international work experience in their chosen field. At the same time they make a network of contacts abroad and gain an understanding of the language and culture that helps them excel in their Finals and kick start their career.

At least that’s what’s supposed to happen...

A degree year abroad is your chance to embrace new challenges, but you have to ‘own’ it to make the most of it, says language student-turned-entrepreneur Lizzie Fane.

Read more...

Related Links

Degree year abroad: the best year of my life? Hardly (The Telegraph, 7 June 2013)  The opportunity for a year abroad on degree courses is often described as "the best year of your life". Language student Lottie Fisher, back home from Buenos Aires and Naples, isn't so sure.

Discussion thread on 'degree year abroad' (Third Year Abroad, 7 June 2013)

Loving life in Lauf: All you need to know about teaching in a small town 5 June 2013 (Third Year Abroad)

Taking a year abroad when not a language student (University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog, 29 May 2013)



British Academy Schools Language Awards 2013 - Win £4000 to get more of your students to aim higher!

6 June 2013 (SCILT/British Academy)

As part of its programme to support and champion the learning of languages, the British Academy is again offering a series of Awards to schools and colleges throughout the UK for the encouragement of excellence in language learning. This year the Awards focus on activity which encourages more students to take language learning to a higher level.

The Awards are intended to encourage schools to find imaginative and effective ways of improving take up and enthusiasm for language learning into S5, S6 and beyond, and of addressing the social imbalance in the profile of language learners at higher levels. Projects which involve collaboration between sectors (e.g. between schools/colleges/universities, with business or employers) are particularly welcomed.

The Awards are open to all secondary schools and colleges, and cover all languages other than English, including those learnt as community languages. A total of 15 Awards of £4000 each will be made to schools throughout the UK. At least one Award will go to a winning proposal from Scotland. Application is via a simple online form, with an extended closing date of 30 June 2013.

Visit the British Academy website to download the complete information pack and apply now!

Read more...

Spanish Education Ministers sign Dundee Uni deal

4 June 2013 (The Scotsman)

Representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Education are to visit Dundee University tomorrow to sign a new collaboration agreement to strengthen existing links between the institution and Spain.

Liborio López García, the Spanish Counsellor of Education in London, and Joaquín Moreno Artesero, an Edinburgh-based Education Adviser to Spain, will meet Professor David Finkelstein, Dean of the School of Humanities, to sign the new agreement.

A university spokesman explained: “The agreement will see the Ministry promote the university’s programmes in Spain and throughout the UK, as well as supporting public engagement activities and existing Spanish language classes, workshops and other services.

Read more...

Related Links

Spanish Ministry to visit Dundee to sign education agreement (University of Dundee, 4 June 2013)

University guide 2014: league table for modern languages and linguistics

4 June 2013 (The Guardian)

The table includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, south Asian, African, Australasian, modern Middle Eastern languages, literature and linguistics.

Read more...

Learn Spanish with TECLA

15 May 2013 (Consejería de Educación)

Why not have a look at our latest pack of TECLA teaching materials? The topics are as follows:

  • Level A (Basic) El día de la madre. Mother’s Day in Spain
  • Level B (Intermediate) El 1º de mayo. El día del trabajo. International Workers’ Day
  • Level C (Advanced) Los Mayos. An Ancient Tradition Celebrating the Arrival of Springtime

TECLA is a collection of teaching material for teaching Spanish to adults and young adults. It deals with socio-cultural aspects of today’s Spanish speaking world. The learning units comprise of a reading comprehension part and a language section (vocabulary, grammar, discourse). A recording of the text is also available for pronunciation and listening comprehension work.

Read more...

China UK Entrepreneurship Competition

14 May 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Open to both University teams and existing businesses, the 2013 China UK Entrepreneurship Competition, which has a registration deadline of 27 May offers potential insights, contacts, prize money and investment.

Read more...

Erasmus Student Case Studies

10 May 2013 (British Council)

Erasmus is the European Union's flagship educational exchange programme for Higher Education students, teachers and institutions. It encourages student and staff mobility for work and study, and promotes trans-national co-operation projects among universities across Europe. It gives many European university students their first chance to live and thrive abroad.

Encourage your students to think about the benefits of studying abroad as part of their university courses by sharing the stories of students who have participated in Erasmus who come from your part of the UK.

Read more...

Study, Work, Create

7 May 2013 (British Council)

Are you 16-25 years old and living in the UK? Study, Work, Create is your go-to site for the chance to travel and work abroad or in the UK, develop your creativity and increase your chances of finding a job.

Read more...

Preparation Course for your Erasmus in France

15 April 2013 (Alliance Française)

We will be running a new preparation course for students who are about to spend a year in France to study (Erasmus programme). This course will include useful information on student life, the French university system as well as some revision of the language to ensure a good start in this new challenge and a better chance to succeed. It will also be a good opportunity for you to meet fellow Erasmus students!

This course is designed for 2nd and 3rd year university students who will be spending a year/semester in France in 2013/2014.  Enrol by 1 May 2013.

Read more...

Ten recession-proof degree subjects: French

12 April 2013 (The Telegraph)

The only language to appear on this list is, perhaps surprisingly, French.

But the subject has enjoyed the lowest unemployment of any modern language both prior to the recession (6.5 per cent) and since (9.7).

Languages also feature in the Top 10 subjects for achieving a 'first'.

Read more...

Related Links

Top 10 degree subjects for achieving a 'first' (The Telegraph, 12 April 2013)

The Only Way is Languages – New Careers DVD

11 April 2013 (Routes into Languages)

Routes into Languages West Midlands in conjunction with Stone’s Throw Media have produced a new DVD entitled “The Only Way is Languages!” The aim of this DVD is to inspire young people to study languages at school, college and university and to get them thinking of the different kind of careers they could go into with their language skills. They may think that teaching and interpreting are the only options but we can show them many different careers! We have six case studies of real life examples of people using their language skills in the workplace.

Read more...

French Easter Revision Courses in Glasgow and Edinburgh

21 March 2013 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running semi-intensive revision courses in French between Monday 8th and Friday 12th April for Standard Grade, Higher and Advanced Higher pupils as well as University students who are sitting their French examinations later this year.

For more details and to enrol, visit the Alliance Française website.

The Institut Français in Edinburgh will also be running revision courses for Standard Grade, Higher and Advanced Higher students during April and May.  Follow the link below to their website for further information.

Read more...

Get Funding for your UK/France Partnership

18 March 2013 (British Council)

The British Council administers the distribution of grant funding from the Lefèvre Trust and Charles de Gaulle Trust and grants are now available to secondary schools embarking on projects in 2013.  These programmes support collaboration between the UK and France on educational opportunities that prepare young people to become global citizens.  

A case study of Portlethen Academy in Aberdeen demonstrates what can be achieved through partnership working.  Here their international work has evolved from a simple pen pal project in one class 25 years ago, into an exciting programme of projects, visits and international connections which permeate the whole curriculum and involve the majority of pupils across all year groups.

See the guide to the programme on the British Council website for more details and to download a grant application form.

Read more...

`Chinese Bridge` language competition – three winners for Edinburgh

18 March 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Three fourth year undergrads from the University of Edinburgh swept the boards at the 12th annual `Chinese Bridge` language competition with Meghan Ghent being awarded First Prize, Edijana Obiakpani-Guest receiving 3rd prize and Anitra Williams being awarded best speaker.

Read more...

Related Links

"Chinese Bridge" Starts in UK (CRI, 18 March 2013)
Posted in: HE, Chinese

Could your language project inspire others and win a top prize?

15 March 2013 (SCILT)

Applications are now open for the 2013 European Language Label, and schools from across the UK are invited to apply.

This year’s theme is ‘Innovation in Language Teaching and Learning’, and the Award is open to schools in the Primary and Secondary sector, as well as FE and HE institutions. This award is a great opportunity for the innovative work being done in languages in Scotland to be recognised across the UK and Europe.

The European Language Label (ELL) is an award for innovative language-learning projects. It rewards creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate learners and make the best of available resources. Winning projects may use European Language Label on stationery and websites and, in addition, all winners receive prizes of books, vouchers or teaching materials from the Award sponsors. The awards are presented at a prize-giving ceremony on European Day of Languages, 26th September.

For more information, including the online application form, please visit the ELL website or contact idjouadj@cfbt.com.  For inspiration, follow the link below to see some of the previous winning projects.

The application deadline is Sunday 21 April 2013.

Previous winners from Scotland have included St Roch’s Secondary School in Glasgow in 2011 and Mid Calder Primary in 2009.

Read more...

What to do with your language skills?

4 March 2013 (Lexiophiles)

After spending countless hours on trying to understand grammar structures, memorizing long vocabulary lists, learning idioms and struggling with pronunciation, you have finally reached your goal: fluency! It’s been a long way and you’ve worked hard to get here. The question is, now that you've mastered a new language, what are you going to do with it?

Read more...

Is English still the dominant language of higher education? – live chat

13 February 2013 (The Guardian)

Is global higher education dominated by one language and, if so, what are the implications for growth, from research to recruitment? Join us 15 February 12-2pm GMT.

Read more...

Career ammunition for language graduates

13 February 2013 (Third Year Abroad)

As a business which works with year abroad students, we are constantly hearing stories about how important the year abroad and foreign language skills are for your graduate career prospects. It's when employers start talking about "the lack of linguistic graduates in the UK" that it gets really interesting. You are a linguistic graduate! You are a valuable commodity! You need to understand that with a grasp of a foreign language or an inside knowledge of another culture, you are in a position to approach employers speculatively and offer your services to help them develop new business in those geographical areas.

Read more...

German Language Films at Glasgow Film Festival & Glasgow Youth Film Festival

7 February 2013 (Goethe-Institute)

The Glasgow Film Festival 2013 is about to start. We are particularly pleased about the wide range of contributions from Germany to the sections cinema, music and education projects, supported by the Goethe-Institut Glasgow for this year’s programme:

  • Kaddish for a Friend (age 12+) - Tuesday 12 February, 12:45, Glasgow Film Theatre 
    94 mins, German with English subtitles.
  • Mercy (Gnade) (age 12+) - Monday 18 February, 20:30 / Tuesday 19 February, 13:15, Cineworld
    131 mins, German, Norwegian & English with English subtitles.
  • Reported Missing (age 12+) - Wednesday 20 February, 19:00 / Thursday 21 February, 15:45, Cineworld 
    86 mins, German with English subtitles.

Further information is available from the Goethe-Institut Glasgow Filmpages.

We also would like to draw your attention to German-language films featured in this year’s festival programme:

  • Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods (age 8+) - Sat 9 February, 13:30, GFT,
  • Lore (age 15) - Fri 15 February, 18:00, GFT/ Sat 16 February, 19:00, Cineworld
  • Cloud Atlas (age 15) - Sun 17 February, 19:15, GFT & Mon 18 February 13:15, GFT
  • Kuma (age 15+) - Mon 18 February, 18:45, Cineworld / Tue 19 February, 13:45, Cineworld
  • Museum Hours (age 12+) - Fri 22 February, 18:00, GFT / Sun 24 February, 12:45, Cineworld

Further information is available from the Glasgow Film Festival website.

Read more...

Eric Liddell China Saltire Scholarships

6 February 2013 (Scottish Government)

80 students will receive a £5,000 scholarship to strengthen links between China and Scotland in celebration of one of Scotland’s greatest ever Olympians.

The Eric Liddell China Saltire Scholarships will be available to Chinese students applying for a masters degree at the University of Edinburgh, where Eric Liddell studied. They will also be available to undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh studying for a year abroad in China.

The scholarships will help to build on the existing economic and educational links between Scotland and China.

Read more...

Start of new German courses - enrol now!

6 February 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

The new spring/summer semester at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow will start on 11 February. If you are interested in enrolling in one of our courses, please contact us as soon as possible. If you are unsure about the level or suitable class we will advise further.

Read more...

University applications 2013: what subjects are people applying for?

30 January 2013 (The Guardian)

The number of applicants to UK universities has risen by 3.5%.

Computer sciences had the highest increase in total applications (up by 12.3% at the same point last year). It seems social sciences, arts and languages are feeling the biggest decreases.

Read more...

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2013

29 January 2013 (European Parliament)

"The European Charlemagne Youth Prize" aims to encourage the development of European consciousness among young people, as well as their participation in European integration projects.
The Prize is awarded to projects undertaken by young people which foster understanding, promote the development of a shared sense of European identity, and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.

For further information about the competition and to apply, visit the website.  Submission deadline now extended to 18 February 2013.

Read more...

International success depends on collaboration, not just competition

28 January 2013 (The Guardian)

For institutions that value student experience and its impact on employability in a global market, internationalisation means more than overseas recruitment.
... This also means that providers should think twice before reducing language provision. Students able to speak different languages and understand different cultures will continue to be in demand and will find it easier to do business with those who don't speak English.

Read more...

Autocues for language learning

25 January 2013 (The Language Box)

This resource documents the evolution of an in-studio project at Swansea University, in the department of Languages, Translation & Communication. Students had to prepare a presentation on a current or cultural issue in the target language (French), read their presentation in the studio from a teleprompter, and then answer questions from the student panel and from the floor where their classmates sat during filming.

Read more...

A year of solitude: My year abroad in Colombia

25 January 2013 (The Independent)

Thinking of spending your university placement outside of Europe? Take up the challenge and venture further afield; there's a whole world to be found out there.

Read more...

New semester at the Goethe-Institut

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

For full details of all the language courses and examinations available at the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow for Spring/Summer 2013 visit the website, or view the information pages below.

Read more...

The Job Profile is Decisive – Foreign Languages in the Workplace

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

In today's professional world, knowledge of foreign languages is an indispensable skill and a must-have on any resume. Still, studies show that while good foreign language skills play an increasingly important role in the workplace, every situation is different.

Read more...

Why aren't languages a more popular choice at university?

15 January 2013 (The Independent)

It seems as if languages are not a popular choice of course at university nowadays. Once upon a time, learning a language and studying its literature was considered a solid choice of degree, but now there's a perception that they might be a bit of a waste of time.

Read more...

Modern Languages Newsletter – January 2013

14 January 2013 (Glasgow City Council)

To read about all the latest language events and activities within Glasgow schools, download the January newsletter.

Languages drive is crucial for Scotland's future, MSPs told

10 January 2013 (STV News)

Children as young as nine will be taught three languages amid rising immigration, tourism and increasing demand for workers that speak more than just English, MSPs have heard.

The Scottish Government has set aside £4m for a pilot project to ensure Scotland's economy does not suffer as a result of its citizens' relatively poor language skills.

Read more...

French films on the GFT player!

10 January 2013 (Alliance française)

The GFT Player offers specially curated films at home and on the move. Programmed alongside the cinema schedule, the player offers an exciting and unique range of films, including French comedy 'The Women on the 6th Floor.'

Selected films screen simultaneously online and in the cinema, and you can also catch up with films you may have missed at GFT, and take advantage of Player-only exclusive content.

Please visit the website for more details.

Read more...

Additional beginners Chinese class now available

9 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Due to high demand we have now arranged an additional beginners Chinese class on Thursday evenings starting from 14 January for ten weeks.

This class is suitable for absolute beginners and over the course of the term students will learn the basics of Chinese pronunciation, practice basic conversations and be taught Pinyin.

Read more...

£750,000 help Scots study in mainland Europe

9 January 2013 (The Herald)

Scottish students studying in mainland Europe will be eligible for a full package of financial support for the first time under a £750,000 pilot scheme.
Under the initiative, the Scottish Government will offer 250 students bursary payments of up to £1750 and a student loan of up to £5500.

Michael Russell, the Education Secretary, said officials would assess the demand for funding to ensure all Scottish students studying in the EU in future years would benefit. He said: "I want to ensure our young people have the opportunity to reap the cultural and career benefits of living and studying abroad.”

Read more...

Related Links

Support for Scottish students in Europe (Scottish Parliament, 9 January 2013)

Scotland-Russia Forum news

9 January 2013 (SRF)

The latest round-up of news and events from the SRF is now available to download.

This edition includes a request from a casting agency seeking Russian-speaking actors, including children/teens, for a film to be shot in the UK between March and July 2013. 

If you need to brush up on your Russian first, the next Чай н Чат (tea and chat) at the Scotland-Russia Institute in Edinburgh is on 31 January.

Related Files

“Take Away China 2013”

8 January 2013 (Ricefield Arts Centre)

James Thomson, director of Ricefield Arts Centre, would like to offer an opportunity to schools to take part in the launch of “Take Away China 2013” on 12 February, the beginning of the Year of the Snake. This is the third year of “Take Away China” – the notion being to take a small part of China away with you from each event. Schools are invited to participate in forming a long snake. The idea is to form a snake made of twenty willow lantern sections with each section being supported by 4 or 6 pupils from each school or hub.  Download the attached file for more information.

If you feel your hub or school might be interested in this opportunity, please contact jamesthomson188@btinternet.com

The Times Stephen Spender Prize for poetry translation 2013

8 January 2013 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Times Stephen Spender Prize for poetry translation 2013 has been launched. Entrants should translate a poem from any language, classical or modern, into English to enter this competition. Winning entries will be published in a booklet and cash prizes will be awarded. The closing date for entries is Friday 24th May 2013.

Read more...

Why study languages calendar 2013

7 January 2013 (Language Box)

The why study languages calendar has been produced by LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies and includes a variety of languages, beginning in January with Italian. This is the first of a 12-month series lasting until December 2013.  The calendar can be downloaded or printable versions can be ordered.

Read more...

Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit.

The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football.

But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

Read more...

Recent reports stress the importance of language skills for business

17 December 2012 (European Commission)

Communication and languages are crucial to business in a globalised economy. New evidence found in two reports published in the UK and in Ireland.

Read more...

Watch languages on Euronews!

17 December 2012 (European Commission)

Euronews, the multilingual TV broadcaster, proposes TV reports and news on languages in several sections devoted to education, business, culture and learning.

Read more...

Wirkin Wi Wirds – Modren Scots Grammar

13 December 2012 (Engage for Education)

Modren Scots Grammar: Wirkin Wi Wirds is one of the recent projects undertaken by Scottish Language Dictionaries to celebrate their first ten years.
The book accords with Curriculum for Excellence in that it seeks to give readers an understanding of how language works and to give them the tools with which to discuss Scots, English and other modern languages.

Read more...

A few Christmas activities for the second week of Advent

12 December 2012 (ALL)

Here are some ideas for celebrating Christmas with your class, from ALL.  They cover different languages and different levels.

Language Rich Europe in the Netherlands – Multilingualism in Business and Education

11 November 2012 (Language Rich Europe blog)

As part of the Language Rich Europe project, we are holding workshops across Europe to discuss the findings and plan the next steps. In this blog post, Lorcan Murray, an intern at British Council Netherlands, writes about the workshop held in Utrecht in November.

Read more...

School partnerships improve pupils' and teachers' language skills

11 December 2012 (European Commission)

A new study on the impact of partnerships between schools in different countries has found that pupils significantly improved their skills, including foreign languages.

Read more...

'Speak a foreign language and secure a job here'

7 December 2012 (TESS)

The ability to speak foreign languages is not only important in finding work abroad - it is becoming ever more crucial for getting a job in Scotland.  That was one of the most compelling messages from businesswoman Rebecca Trengove, guest speaker at a languages conference in Stirling.

Read more...

Christmas websites

7 December 2012 (SCILT)

We have pulled together a list of our favourite Christmas websites for teachers to use in class. These websites cover Christmas in France, Germany, Spain and around the world.

Read more...

Difficulties in expanding language provision

7 December 2012 (The Herald)

Expanding the study of languages at Scottish universities is proving difficult to achieve, a report by funding chiefs says.

Read more...

Foreign languages: the 10 easiest to learn

5 December 2012 (The Telegraph)

We English speakers have a bad reputation in the world of language. According to a European Commission survey in 2012, 61 per cent of British respondents could not speak a second language. However, with growing foreign economies and more global communication than ever before, languages are becoming a crucial skill for professionals.

The related article below outlines the languages rated most useful to business by UK firm managers.  Ironically, whilst not listed as one of the easiest to learn, German language skills are the most highly sought after by UK businesses.

Read more...

Related Links

Graduate jobs: Best languages to study (The Telegraph, 2012)

Foreign languages - the 10 easiest to learn (in pictures) (The Telegraph, 5 December 2012)

Coffee Break Spanish Magazine (Episode 107)

5 December 2012 (Radio Lingua)

The latest edition of the Coffee Break Spanish Magazine is now available. Join the team and improve your Spanish! In this edition: 

  • Alba asks her interviewees, ¿ayer hiciste algo especial? Answers cover a range of topics – and accents!; 
  • Laura teaches us what hablar por los codos means; 
  • and JP and Nahyeli discuss medical Spanish in response to a listener’s question.

The free version of the audio programme for this episode is available through the links and audio players.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2013

3 December 2012 (Education Scotland)

Nominations for the 2013 awards are now open. Categories include the Global Citizenship Award, which recognises the achievements of schools and pre-schools that have adopted a whole school approach to global citizenship, and the Gaelic Awareness Award in recognition of schools and pre-schools who are providing opportunities for all children to develop fluency in the Gaelic language and culture. Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Read more...

Record numbers for HSK exam in 2012

3 December 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The growing importance of China and Chinese language is shown by the significant increase in the number of HSK candidates registered with the Confucius Institute for Scotland in 2012.  The HSK exam which was significantly revised in 2010 to be more appropriate for non-immersive learners drew a pool of 101 candidates, up from 34 in 2011.

Read more...

New National Qualifications – November 2012 update

30 November 2012 (SQA)

The latest progress on the new national qualifications from the SQA, including a reminder of the CfE subject implementation dates being run throughout Scotland. Modern Language events are taking place in February 2013 and places can be booked via the SQA website.

Read more...

Annual Canning House Essay Competition in Spanish and Portuguese

27 November 2012 (ALL)

Every year, Canning House runs an essay prize competition challenging language students from all over the UK to submit an essay 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. This year the essay (of 750-1000 words in Spanish or Portuguese) is on the topic "What particular contribution does Latin America or Iberia make to the modern world?" Students of Spanish or Portuguese aged 17-19 are eligible, with prizes of £500, £200 and £100. Deadline: 31 January 2013. Further details are on the Canning House website.

Read more...

Improving language opportunities for Scotland’s young people

27 November 2012 (Engage for Education)

Sarah Breslin, Director of SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages at the University of Strathclyde, talks about the importance of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 languages policy.

Read more...

Foreign language skills 'cost Scottish businesses'

27 November 2012 (BBC News)

A widespread lack of language skills could be damaging Scotland's ability to trade abroad, a report has suggested.  The British Council study warned there was a tendency among Scottish firms to limit their export markets to English-speaking countries.

Read more...

Related Links

Fears raised for overseas trade as young Scots shy away from studying foreign languages (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)
A crisis in foreign language teaching across Scottish education is damaging overseas trade, the British Council warns today.

Analysis: Speaking the lingo goes to prove that it’s not only travel that broadens the mind (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Leaders: Greater language skills key to breaking trade barriers (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Crisis in study of languages a risk to trade (The Herald, 27 November 2012)
A lack of foreign language skills is limiting the ability of Scottish companies to tap into lucrative overseas export markets, according to a new report.

Kaye asks why Scots are so bad at learning foreign languages (Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 November 2012) - programme available until 3 December 2012.

Trade danger of language teaching cuts (Scottish Daily Express, 27 November 2012)

Language cuts 'will hit Scottish economy' (Morning Star, 27 November 2012)

Language Rich Europe - Scotland (British Council, 2012)

Free courses – now that's a language students understand

27 November 2012 (The Guardian)

Languages may be in decline at A-level and degree; but more young people are taking classes in their spare time – especially if they don't have to pay.

Read more...

Related Links

University students: How to learn a language for free (The Guardian, 27 November 2012).
See what's on offer at your university and find alternative ways to brush up on a foreign language.

Booking now open for Jan-Mar 2013 classes

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Bookings are now being taken for language classes at the Confucius Institute for Scotland for the winter term starting from week beginning 14 January 2013.

Visit the website for full details of all the classes on offer.

Read more...

Report on SCEN China Youth Summit

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles on 12 November, known as the G50 after the 50 schools, universities and other organisations represented and in memory of the famous G8 Summit held at Gleneagles in 2005 was an inspiring day for all those who attended the event.

Read more...

HSK Examinations 01 December

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

A record number of candidates will present for the December 2012 HSK exams organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland. In total in 2012, 101 candidates have registered to test their Chinese in this global examination.

Read more...

DELF/DALF Examinations UK 2012

23 November 2012 (Institut français)

The Institut français in Edinburgh and the Alliance Française in Glasgow are the two official examination centres that give French learners the opportunity to obtain the official French diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education and are recognised internationally.

  • The DELF, Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française(Level A1, A2, B1, B2) 
  • The DALF, Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française, (C1, C2)

Anyone who is not of French nationality and who wishes to validate his skills in French may sit the examination. If not simply for your own personal benefit, the diplomas can be an asset to your CV as they are internationally recognized for both professional applications and university studies. If you wish to register for the examination before 15 December 2012 for the examination session in January 2013, please contact the Alliance Française in Glasgow or the Institut français in Edinburgh.

Read more...

New report published on Sustainable International School Partnerships

23 November 2012 (Education Scotland)

British Council Scotland and Education Scotland have recently published ‘Sustainable International School Partnerships – Make the Difference’.

Effective practices, challenges, opportunities and a framework for reflection combine to illustrate how the development of sustainable international school partnerships can ‘make the difference’ within Curriculum for Excellence. This new publication draws on the experience of practitioners who have been closely involved in developing international school partnerships.

Read more...

DELF/DALF Examinations UK 2012

23 November 2012 (Institut français)

The Institut français in Edinburgh and the Alliance Française in Glasgow are the two official examination centres that give French learners the opportunity to obtain the official French diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education and are recognised internationally.

  • The DELF, Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française(Level A1, A2, B1, B2) 
  • The DALF, Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française, (C1, C2)

Anyone who is not of French nationality and who wishes to validate his skills in French may sit the examination. If not simply for your own personal benefit, the diplomas can be an asset to your CV as they are internationally recognized for both professional applications and university studies. If you wish to register for the examination before 15 December 2012 for the examination session in January 2013, please contact the Alliance française in Glasgow or the Institut Français in Edinburgh.

Read more...

Languages and Entrepreneurship. A Guide for Students

21 November 2012 (Higher Education Academy)

The time spent studying, working or volunteering abroad during a degree programme is an excellent opportunity to identify and start up a new business. However, too few students are aware of entrepreneurship before or during their international placement.

This report shows that students who speak foreign languages, travel and understand other cultures have a unique entrepreneurial opportunity. It encourages students to look at placements abroad in a more critical and innovative way, to be aware of business opportunities and to make use of the start-up support, networks and services available when starting a business.

Read more...

GCU and OU partnership provides free language lessons for staff

20 November 2012 (Open University)

In a unique partnership arrangement with the Open University (OU), Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have provided their postgraduate students and their staff with the opportunity to study an OU language module in French, German, Spanish or Chinese. 82 GCU students and staff began beginners’ language modules in October, and more will sign up for higher level language modules starting in February. The face-to-face element of the OU tuition programme is being delivered on GCU’s Glasgow campus at times that fit with GCU’s timetable.

Glasgow Caledonian University places importance on the fact that language competence enhances employability and international mobility and values the Open University’s proven track record in language teaching.

Read more...

Videominute International Contest (2012-2013)

19 November 2012 (Consejería de Educación)

The Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, is pleased to announce details of the Videominute International Contest 2012-13 with 1000 Euros on offer for the winner. The competition is open to all ages and requires individuals or groups to submit a video lasting no longer than one minute. Any submissions in a language other than Spanish must be subtitled in Spanish or English. A maximum of 5 entries are permitted. For further information and how to apply visit the Videominute website, where you can also view previous competition entries.

Read more...

Modern languages lost for words over low intake

15 November 2012 (THE)

Two UK language departments may be forced to close their degree programmes because they recruited too few students for 2012-13, a lecturers' association has claimed.

Read more...

Feature: Chinese learning flourishes in Scotland

13 November 2012 (Xinhuanet)

Gleneagles, Britain, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- It used to be the place where the G8 summit was held in July 2005, and on Monday another event, dubbed G50, was staged at the same venue.
But this time the participants are 50 high school students from across Scotland who were exchanging their joys and hardships in learning the Chinese language.

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Saltire scholarships for Scots

12 November 2012 (Scottish Government)

The first government funded projects giving Scottish students overseas study opportunities have been announced by Education Secretary Michael Russell.
The projects at 10 universities, which will receive a share of £115,000, are designed to give students the chance to live and learn overseas as part of their studies and include opportunities in India, China, Canada, the United States and Europe.

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Pedagogy unplugged – understanding how children learn

8 November 2012 (SecEd)

From teacher collaboration to how children learn, the work of Professor Bill Lucas is providing a blueprint for 21st century education.

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The joys of being bilingual

8 November 2012 (The Independent)

Learning another language has many benefits apart from aiding research.

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Clipbank MFL learning resources

8 November 2012 (Channel 4)

Follow the links to see previews of Channel 4’s learning portal, Clipbank.  Clips are available for learners of French, German and Spanish, all addressing a particular topic, or area of grammar in the target language:

French 

Spanish 

German 

Please note this is a preview only.  To access the resources you will need to subscribe to the service.

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QR codes for language learning

7 November 2012 (eTwinning)

eTwinning Ambassador Joe Dale shares his fantastic ideas on using QR codes to improve students language skills in today's article 'Bringing Language Learning to Life: teaching tips, tech and ideas' on the Guardian Teacher Network.

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Related Links

If you are a language teacher looking to reenergise your lessons and make language learning more meaningful to a 21st century learner check out the full range of innovative ideas on the Guardian Teacher Network.

Teaching in multicultural classrooms: tips, challenges and opportunities

7 November 2012 (The Guardian Teacher Network)

What does a range of nationalities in class bring to the teaching and learning experience? A collection of teachers give us a glimpse into their multicultural classrooms.

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New SCEN website launched

7 November 2012 (SCEN)

The Scotland China Education Network invites you to visit its new website and discover how it is promoting the learning of Chinese and about China in Scottish schools.

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A foreign language is the best way to stand out in tough job market

7 November 2012 (Business Insider)

Looking for another way to stand out in a tough job market, plus increase your competitiveness and versatility down the road in your career? If you can commit to adding one or more languages to your resume, you’ll instantly stand out from the crowd.

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Memrise vocabulary learning resource

7 November 2012 (Memrise)

Do you have trouble learning new words in a foreign language?  Memrise makes vocabulary learning fast, fun and effective.  Memrise improves your ability to learn vocabulary by adding three powerful ingredients to normal flashcards…what’s more, it’s free to use!

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Related Links

Language Apps

6 November 2012 (Linguascope)

A range of Linguascope apps for individual learners are available from the Apple app store (vocabulary, verbs, word of the day, news, Linguatrivia, Talking Dice...). If you would like to advertise the apps to your students, we have a new colourful A2 poster for you to display in the classroom. If you would like to receive some posters free of charge, simply drop us an e-mail (www.linguascope.com/contact.php) with your name, school, school address and the number of posters required.

For more information about the apps, visit our website.

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Teaching and Learning in the Global Classroom

5 November 2012 (eTwinning)

This week the Guardian Teachers Network are exploring issues around global awareness and understanding in schools. Various articles and blog posts will be available to explore throughout the week.

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Interview: Sarah Breslin

2 November 2012 (TESS)

The director of SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages based at the University of Strathclyde, talks about the 1+2 policy, the benefits of CfE and how to persuade pupils to stick with languages.

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Related Links

A reader's response to the TESS Interview: Sarah Breslin (2 November)

"This has been a most interesting article to read. Many thanks to Sarah for all her hard work and support of the MFL teachers in Scotland. We are lucky to have such a fantastic professional with great personality. The 1+2 is an ambitious but not impossible goal to achieve - if all stakeholders are willing to work together for the benefit of generations to come."  (rosered27, TES Letters, 9 November 2012)

Free CPD workshops for teachers of Chinese

24 October 2012 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT/CISS are offering two workshops for teachers of Chinese on 9 November 2012 at the University of Strathclyde. These workshops are free and are open to anyone involved in the delivery of Chinese in Scottish schools (teachers, probationer teachers, Tianjin teachers, CLAs etc).

For more information download the flyer.

To book email Katie Hawkins

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Funded In-Service Training Courses for teachers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain (2013)

23 October 2012 (Language Education And Partnerships (LEAP))

Language Education And Partnerships (LEAP) offer a range of in-service training courses for existing and aspiring teachers in primary, secondary, further and adult education, designed to develop your understanding of the teaching and learning of language and culture. These courses, which can be funded through a Comenius or Grundtvig In-service-training grant, are available throughout 2013. They provide an excellent opportunity for you to enhance your teaching methodology while improving your language skills and cultural knowledge. Next deadline for funding applications: 16 January 2013.

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Baroness Coussins speaks about MFL and Erasmus scheme in House of Lords

12th October 2012 (LLAS news blog)

My Lords, I shall focus on what the report says about student mobility in relation to the Erasmus scheme and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages.

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