Russian


Russian

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

28 October 2017 (SRF)

The latest Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin has been published. Download and find out about forthcoming opportunities to improve your Russian and experience Russian culture.

Related Files

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.

Read more...

SRF Russian classes

11 September 2017 (SRF)

The Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) will resume Russian language classes in Edinburgh on 18 September. 

Visit the website for more details and to enrol. For those unable to travel to Edinburgh, tuition via Skype can also be arranged.

Read more...

Bilingual story book readings

1 September 2017 (The Language Hub)

The Language Hub in Glasgow provides regular bilingual story book sessions at Hillhead Library. The sessions are free to attend and, whilst aimed at pre-school children, everyone is welcome.

The next event takes place on 5 September with a Spanish/English reading of 'The Gruffalo'.

Further readings of different stories in a range of languages will take place during the Autumn. For details of all the available sessions from September to November visit the Language Hub's website.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum Bulletin

31 August 2017 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

The latest round up of news, events and resources from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) is now available. If you want to brush up on your conversational skills, Чай н Чат (Chai n Chat) resumes after the summer break on 7 September and in time to celebrate the European Day of Languages, schools can sign up for the 'Look East' workshop in Glasgow on 15 September for an introduction to Eastern European languages and culture.

Read more...

Russian ambassador confronts Sturgeon over Scottish curriculum

30 August 2017 (The Courier)

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the UK, expressed his disappointment to Nicola Sturgeon over the Scottish Qualifications Authority dropping the language from the curriculum.

In a letter, which has been published under freedom of information laws, Mr Yakovenko called on Ms Sturgeon to intervene.

The correspondence also revealed the FM has declined invitations to official Russian functions in Edinburgh and London on four occasions since June 2016.

Mr Yakovenko, who was previously deputy minister of foreign affairs, said: “The cancellation of the exams seriously affected the resources available for cultural and business links, for people-to-people contacts and the personal development of individuals.”

He added: “I believe there may be ways for the Scottish Government to have the above decisions revisited, and I would hugely appreciate your attention to the matter.”

However, he did highlight Dundee Russian School for its valuable work in teaching children and adults the language, which is the fifth most prevalent in the world.

The First Minster left it to her deputy John Swinney to reply, which he did about two months after the original letter was sent in December 2016.

Mr Swinney, who is also Education Secretary, said: “The decision to remove courses was made entirely on practical grounds, reflecting difficulties in maintaining standards in subjects experiencing consistently low uptake.”

He added: “I would assure you that SQA’s decision bore no reflection on the relative merit or value of Russian language or literature – which are considerable.”

Mr Swinney said Scots could learn the language through modern languages for work purposes units and the Language for Life and Work Award.

Read more...

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2017: Open Word - Open World

28 August 2017 (Michael Kerins)

This exciting new project will run from 20 to 31 October 2017. The idea is to create new writing using vocabulary that differs by the addition of only one letter - one single letter and the meaning changes. Not only in English - but in a wide variety of languages.  

To find out more about the project and how you can participate, visit the website or contact michael.kerins@gmail.com.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Which language would ease our way in the post-Brexit world?

24 May 2017 (The Guardian)

We Brits are pretty settled in our role as monoglots. Our default tactic of “speak English slowly and loudly so others can understand you” served us well enough – and then Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, put the boot in by claiming recently that “English is losing importance.”

Is this really the case? Experts are divided.

Read more...

Language Perfect World Championships 2017

12 May 2017 (ALL)

This year's Language Perfect World Championships take place from 15 - 25 May.

Students participate in the world's largest online languages event over 10 days with the chance to earn certificates and qualify for awards and prizes by translating between their target language and English. The competition is relevant for everyone, whatever their ability.

The first 500 schools to register will receive 50 free entries. (ALL members can register all students for free).

Find out more about the competition via the ALL webpage and the competition website.

Read more...

Leaving Certificate language students ‘learning off’ exam answers

11 May 2017 (Irish Examiner)

(Relates to Ireland) In a series of reports on student performance in language exams last June, chief examiners say students must learn how to adapt, instead of using learned-off answers.

The issues were most acute in the 2016 Leaving Certificate exams in Spanish, French, and Italian.

There are many positive aspects, particularly about the competencies of more able students of the six languages, which also included German, Japanese, and Russian.

But in oral exams, which are worth between 20% and 25% of marks in language subjects, a common concern is that students have prepared answers.

The Spanish Leaving Certificate examiner reported, for example, that a number of students had been taught in a “rote-learning” manner that prevented the natural flow of conversation.

“Many candidates had prepared a range of topics in the general conversation, but, when gently disengaged from rote-learned topics, found it difficult to communicate effectively in the target language,” the reports said.

The reports are published today by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), whose chief examiner in Leaving Certificate French said most students were well-prepared for the orals and had a high degree of proficiency and fluency.

However, at the other end of the scale, some of the 25,758 students examined in the subject had difficulty answering even simple questions.

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Dearth of Foreign Office expertise on Russia

3 March 2017 (The Times)

(Extract from letters to the Editor) Sir, The Foreign Office’s shortage of competent Russian-language speakers affects its ability to interact not just with Russia but across a much wider region where Russian remains the lingua franca A more serious related problem is the lack of knowledge of Russian political culture and statecraft at mid and senior levels. The Foreign Office currently has no policy makers who have served in Russia. Not surprisingly, this deficiency is impacting the UK’s ability to read Russian intentions and respond to them.

Read more...

Latest issue of the SRF's Forum magazine

16 February 2017 (SRF)

The January 2017 edition of the Scotland-Russia Forum's magazine 'The Forum' is now available. It covers a range of topics, including the 1917 anniversary through Scottish eyes, a description of travels in the Altay, Soviet mapping of places nearer home, and the Edinburgh
Makar’s first impressions of Moscow as well as her wonderful translations of Russian
poems into Shetlandic.

Read these articles and more SRF news online now!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

New STEM job profile on SCILT's website

20 January 2017 (SCILT)

If you're looking for relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace, read the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from John Barry, a former petroleum engineer and manager with Shell, who explains how his language skills helped him to develop his career with the company.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

11 January 2017 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF can be found in their January news bulletin. You can practise your Russian language at the next Чай н Чат (Chai n Chat) in Edinburgh on 2 February.

Read more...

News from Scotland-Russia Forum

21 November 2016 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF can be found online in their November bulletin.

If you want to practise your Russian language skills, the next Chai n Chat (Tea and Chat) takes place in Edinburgh on 1 December.

Read more...

£3.9 million modern languages research project launched in Manchester

11 October 2016 (University of Manchester)

A consortium led by The University of Manchester has launched a four-year language research project which aims to demonstrate the UK’s critical need for modern languages research and teaching. The project will collaborate with schools and universities to develop curriculum innovations, and strengthen university commitments to local community heritage.

The launch of ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’, which is funded by an AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) grant, took place at The University of Manchester. They are leading a consortium which includes 11 other universities, city councils, the Royal Opera House, Tyneside Cinema, political think tank Chatham House, and a sixth-form college known for its strengths in modern languages.

Read more...

The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news

21 September 2016 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the SRF is now available to view online. If you want to learn Russian there may still be a few spaces left on this term's courses. Check out the bulletin for details.

Read more...

Ralph Fiennes on why he learnt Russian in two months for a role

15 September 2016 (Radio 4 in Four)

Listen to Ralph Fiennes talking about his most challenging role yet - learning Russian in two months to star alongside a Russian cast for the film Two Women.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

1 September 2016 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

Read more...

SRF Russian classes for adults 2016-17

26 August 2016 (SRF)

Scotland-Russia Forum's new session classes commence on 19 September 2016. Enjoy learning Russian in small groups with a professional Russian language tutor.

Visit the SRF website for details of all the available courses and to enrol.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

20 June 2016 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

11 May 2016 (SRF)

The Scotland-Russia Forum has issued their May newsletter outlining all the latest news, events and opportunities in Scotland and beyond.

This edition includes news of volunteering opportunities in Russia this summer and an internship in Astana.

Access all the information in the bulletin online.

Read more...

Study a language at LSE this summer

25 April 2016 (LSE careers blog)

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

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

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum newsletter

2 April 2016 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF are now available in their April bulletin.

This edition includes information about a new Russian course for primary schools being offered by Early Start. It's a short course which would give Scottish schools the opportunity to offer Russian as their L3. Find out more in the SRF bulletin.

Read more...

Employ a language assistant in Scottish schools

26 February 2016 (British Council)

Employing a British Council language assistant is a unique way to broaden your students understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Language assistants are dynamic, enthusiastic native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, and are usually undergraduates or recent graduates. As we recruit language assistants directly from their home countries, their language is up-to-date, the classroom resources they provide are relevant and authentic, and they will be well placed to connect with students on their own level . Simply put, employing a language assistant provides the kind of learning experience that cannot be found elsewhere.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2016. Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply. Follow the relevant section on the webpage to find out specifically about employing a Chinese language assistant.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum Bulletin

18 February 2016 (SRF)

The latest edition of the SRF news bulletin is now available online.

Their website for children 'Find out about Russia' has been updated, so take a look at the new layout. They will also be at Language Show Live next month and will be offering a 'Try Russian' language taster - don't miss out!

Read more...

Eddie Izzard will make you laugh in four languages

8 February 2016 (PRI / The World in Words)

Eddie Izzard has often joked about language from the silliness of Latin to why English speakers are so stubbornly monolingual. However, in late ‘90’s, Eddie decided that it wasn’t enough to joke about language; he wanted to joke in other languages. So in 1997 he took the stage and did his first set in France in French. It wasn't funny, he admits, but it was the start of a career goal to do stand-up in as many languages as possible. Eventually he did feel funny (and fluent) in French. Now, nearly two decades after that first French show, he has toured in not only French but German and Spanish. He intends to learn Russian and Arabic next.

The World in Words sat down with Izzard to find out why he’s decided to take his humor around the globe and how he’s managed to learn all these languages. (Warning: Parts of this podcast are definitely NSFW.).

Read more...

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

20 January 2016 (Oxford University)

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

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

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

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

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...

Scotland Russia Forum bulletin

9 January 2015 (Scotland Russia Forum)

The latest edition of the Scotland Russia Forum bulltin has been published, This edition includes news about the relaunch of their website for children, Find out about Russia, and their presence at Language Show Live Scotland in March 2016.

Related Files

British astronaut Tim Peake is tested on his Russian skills (video)

13 December 2015 (BBC)

British astronaut Tim Peake has spent six years training for his mission to the International Space Station which blasts off on Tuesday 15 December.

He's said that the hardest bit was learning Russian - the language is needed to operate the Soyuz rocket and the Russian parts of the ISS.

We tested Tim's vocabulary and pronunciation with the help of two BBC Russian staff, Famil Ismailov and Anya Dorodeyko.

Read more...

A healthy obsession

25 November 2015 (Post Primary Languages Initiative blog)

My name is Bláithín Macken Smith and I am eighteen years old. If you could see sixteen year old me it would be as if you were looking at two entirely different people. I suppose that could be true for a lot of people, but for me the reason behind my big transition was my study of languages.

Until my fourth year of school I utterly despised everything about school, every morning it was more difficult to drag myself out of bed, so much so that I very often didn’t. I was convinced that after my fourth year of school that was it. I was going to drop out. So desperately did I want to leave school and become a tattoo artist. I spent much of transition year on work experience in various parlours around Dublin. Many of my family members and teachers thought that the war was lost and that my mind was made up, and then something happened.

All through transition year I was given the opportunity to try subjects I had never tried before. Russian, Japanese, Latin and Spanish, which I had studied since first year but which I now saw the fun in. I took part in language aptitude tests and the DATS tests which showed my abilities in linguistic subjects. Unfortunately for me I didn’t listen to these signs until fifth year. When I finally discovered my love for languages the course of my life changed entirely.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

25 November 2015 (SRF)

See the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum in their November bulletin.

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Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

26 October 2015 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF have just been published.

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Understanding the Kremlin: it’s the words, stupid

22 October 2015 (The Guardian)

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin have both had their moments of mistranslation – and sadly, teaching of the Russian language is dwindling in the UK.

Read more...

Latest bulletin from Scotland Russia Forum published

29 August 2015 (SRF)

The latest bulletin from the Scotland Russia Forum has information on their new term of language classes in Russian and Ukrainian, as well as details of their Languages Open Day.

Related Files

Vocab Express League of Champions 2015

14 August 2015 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

Read more...

Language study bounces back after a decade of decline

10 August 2015 (The Herald)

A long-term decline in the number of pupils studying languages at Higher appears to have been reversed.

New figures show most modern languages have seen an increase in entries in 2015 after years where numbers have fallen.

Statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show French has seen a 10 per cent increase with entries rising to 4,572.

Spanish continues a remarkable rise over the past decade with entries rising 28 per cent to 2413.

Read more...

Insight: Why Scots face a language barrier

8 August 2015 (The Scotsman)

Our children’s lack of foreign language skills cry out for a shake-up in education policy, and yet constant upheaval in our schools may be one of the problems, writes Dani Garavelli.

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Forget French and Mandarin - Arabic is the language to learn

12 July 2015 (The Independent)

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

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

Read more...

Getting children interested in Russia - new website and competition!

19 May 2015 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

Find out about Russia – website and competition for 5-12 year olds

The Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF), an independent voluntary organisation based in Edinburgh, has launched a new website and competition to promote Russian in Scottish schools. 

Find out about Russia is a new website for children with sections on the Russian language, space, history, science, ballet, food and others. Each section has been written by SRF volunteers, some specialist in their chosen subject, others students and even one school pupil. 

To launch the website, SRF have announced a competition for primary school children aged 5-12: children are invited to illustrate a folk tale, to write their own version of other Russian tales, or to suggest activities for the website. There will be prizes for all categories and all age groups – and some of the competitors’ material may be included in the website. The deadline for entries is 1 July 2015.

SRF offer taster language / culture presentations in schools, particularly primary schools, in line with the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy, which creates the opportunity for Russian to be made available as L3 from P5.  The tasters are very popular with children who are always delighted to find they can decipher words in the Russian alphabet.

SRF believes it is important that children growing up in Scotland are aware of Russia’s rich cultural heritage, its huge contribution to space exploration, wonderful folk tales, dramatic history, beautiful language, and other aspects of Russian life. With this knowledge they, and the adults they will become, will be able to make sense of current affairs in Russia and seek to do business there in later life.

For more information contact Jenny Carr from Scotland-Russia Forum, tel: 0131 560 1486.

Related Links

Read about when Jenny Carr from SRF visited Sciennes Primary School to promote the new website and competition.

Call for Mandarin and Arabic to be taught from primary school

9 April 2015 (Holyrood Magazine)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Scotland Russia Forum – new website is worth a look

5 April 2015 (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Which country sent the first human into space? Who was Pavlov (and what happened to his dog?) Was Ivan the Terrible really such a baddie? Where can you take a train journey that lasts 8 days (and not because you’re waiting for a connection…)? Where is the ‘Venice of the North’? And which famous author cried when he had to do Maths?

The country is of course Russia, and you can find the answers to all these questions on a new website created by the Scotland-Russia Forum, primarily for children aged 5-12 (though I must say I found it very interesting too). Realising that few schools currently teach the Russian language, the Forum decided to introduce children to aspects of the country’s culture in a new way; the website Find Out About RUSSIA covers topics such as Russian food, space travel, folk stories and the ballet – plus a guide to deciphering the Russian alphabet.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

21 March 2015 (SRF)

The latest news from the SRF is now available in their February bulletin.

Read more...

Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

16 March 2015 (British Council)

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

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

Application deadline is 30 April 2015.

Read more...

BBC Radio 4 Today programme - Foreign Office cuts

27 February 2015 (BBC Radio 4)

The next government must protect the Foreign Office from spending cuts or risk Britain's global influence, according to a committee of MPs. Their report also recommends increasing the pay of diplomats, which they say has fallen behind other civil servants. It also highlights the lack of trained Russian and Arabic speakers, and says the loss of expertise is affecting crucial analysis and information gathering. Listen from 54 minutes.  Replay available until 28 March 2015.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

12 February 2015 (SRF)

The latest news from the SRF is now available in their February bulletin.

Read more...

Ashton Kutcher learning Russian so he can speak to his baby

10 February 2015 (SF Gate)

Ashton Kutcher is learning to speak Russian so he can understand what his fiancee Mila Kunis is saying to their baby daughter.

The Black Swan star was born in the Ukraine, and Russian is her first tongue, so she uses that to speak to little Wyatt.

Read more...

Russian ambassador calls for exam U-turn on language Higher

26 January 2015 (The Herald)

Moves to scrap the Russian language Higher in Scotland's schools have been attacked by the Kremlin's most senior envoy to the United Kingdom.

Dr Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, urged ministers to protect the qualification, describing it as culturally significant and vital to our future economic competitiveness.

The intervention comes after the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) decided to axe Higher Russian after 2015 because too few pupils were sitting it.

However, figures published last summer show there was a 44 per cent increase in entries in 2014, with number rising from 36 to 52. Although the number is still relatively small, there are now more entries for Russian Higher than at any time since 1992.

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

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

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

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

Read more...

Employ a Language Assistant

13 January 2015 (British Council)

Language assistants help bring culture alive in schools across the country and are an ideal way to improve language learning for students and to increase their global awareness, as well as support the implementation of a 1+2 approach to language learning.

Applications to the latest round of the language assistant programme open on January 26 and bids from schools are encouraged to be submitted by the end of March. To help spread the cost, each language assistant can be shared between three schools.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

12 January 2015 (SRF)

Read the latest news from the SRF in their January newsletter.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2014

31 October 2014 (Language Perfect)

The search is on for the top language student and languages department in the northern hemisphere... The Northern Championships, taking place from 3-13 November 2014 , pitches students and schools in the northern hemisphere against one another, ONLINE and LIVE, from computers and iPod/Android apps. Teachers can watch the scoreboards for up-to-the-minute updates on how their school and students are going. Maybe your school will become the champions in 2014?

Visit the Language Perfect website for more information.

Read more...

Motivating the demotivated: SCILT job profiles

21 October 2014 (SCILT)

Show your pupils that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

NEW to the job profiles section:

  • Susan Young shows us her unusual office, and tells us how she turned her passion in life into her job.
  • Amy Baxter shares her story with us in a new video interview just added to her job profile.

Read more...

A series of blogs from the British Council on important languages for the UK’s future

10 October 2014 (British Council)

The final post in the British Council's weekly series on the ten most important languages for the UK’s future, as identified by the British Council’s Languages for the Future report, is about Mandarin Chinese. Here, the British Council’s Asmaa Ibrahim explains the characters, tonal differences, and sound similarities that make the language so fascinating.

Related Links

Read the other blogs in the series:

  • Arabic is in great demand and there’s a shortage of well-qualified speakers
  • Russian: beautiful, complex, and a window onto the unknown
  • Turkish: a fascinating structure and huge influence
  • The French language: romantic, precise, close to English
  • German and hipsters: the perfect match?
  • Single Japanese words can contain whole worlds of experience
  • How good is Italian for business?
  • Spanish: learning to speak the language of 400 million people
  • Which languages the UK needs and why

Introduction to European Cinema 2014

7 October 2014 (The Little Black Book Edinburgh)

Introduction to European Cinema is now in its tenth year and returns with another fantastic selection of classic films curated by specialists in European cinema at the University of Edinburgh. Each film screening is preceded by a brief introduction by Dr Leanne Dawson (Lecturer in German and Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and IEC Course Organiser) or another University of Edinburgh academic.

The event runs from 1 October to 26 November and offers some screenings in French, German and Russian.

Read more...

SRF Bulletin

4 October 2014 (Scotland Russia Forum)

The latest bulletin from the Scotland Russia Forum has been published.

Read more...

Learn languages to boost your MBA

4 September 2014 (The Guardian)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

Stephen Spender Prize 2014

28 August 2014 (Stephen Spender Trust)

Entries are now open for the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize 2014 for the translation of Russian poetry into English in association with The London Magazine.

For more information and the entry criteria visit the website.  Please note there is a £5 entry fee.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum News Bulletin

26 August 2014 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum is now available.

Read more...

Russian Higher to be scrapped

18 August 2014 (Herald)

The number of pupils studying Russian at Higher level has risen sharply just a year before the national examinations body intends to scrap the qualification.

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter - June 2014

17 June 2014 (SRF)

See the latest news and events from the SRF in their June 2014 news bulletin.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum News

4 May 2014 (SRF)

For the latest news, information and events from the SRF see their May Bulletin online.

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Apply now for a Language Assistant. Bring language and culture alive with a native speaker in the classroom

20 March 2014 (British Council)

Support implementation of the 1 + 2 languages policy by hosting a Language Assistant in your school.

The British Council team is on hand at every step and our dedicated online support offers everything you need to get your pupils’ learning experience off to a great start. Our free service includes careful selection of the best candidate to suit your school, guidance on administration and training courses for Language Assistants.

How can Language Assistants help?

Their responsibilities can be tailored to suit your school’s requirements. Assistants can support the teaching of a first (L2) or a second (L3) modern language by:

  • supporting teachers’ language acquisition and improving their cultural knowledge
  • developing lesson plans and delivering classes on topics to complement different subject areas
  • running extra-curricular activities for additional support (e.g. lunch time clubs)
  • working across different areas of the Curriculum for Excellence to develop projects based on cultural themes
  • setting up an international partnership with a school overseas.

Where are they from?

Assistants are native-level speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. They come from 15 countries in Europe and beyond.

You can also apply for a Chinese Language Assistant for free (by 31 January) or at a heavily subsidised rate (by 28 March). They  work from mid-September 2014 to 26 June 2015.

What do I do next?

Visit our website to find out more about the programme and apply. If you are a local authority school, your local authority should apply on your behalf.

Contact the Languags Assistants programme directly: assistants.uk@britishcouncil.org.

You can also read an assistant’s blog on her experience of teaching French in an Angus primary school.

Audio Lingua

12 March 2014 (Audio Lingua)

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

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Scotland-Russia Forum News Bulletin

12 March 2014 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

The latest news and events from the SRF are now available.

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Learning Russian via Skype is click easy ... as long as you keep still

4 March 2014 (The Guardian)

After trawling the online 'wanted' ads for a tutor to teach her Russian, Anna Parkin settled on Skype specialist Olga.

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Forget French, Russian is the language of love

24 February 2014 (The Guardian)

After meeting her French fiance during her degree year abroad, Anna Parkin decided to learn Russian for their honeymoon in St Petersburg. Anna Parkin is a fashion journalist based in Paris, she is learning Russian via Skype for six weeks as part of the Guardian online language learning challenge.

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...

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter

12 February 2014 (SRF)

Find all the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum in their February newsletter.

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Learning a language: five tips

7 February 2014 (Guardian)

Apps, films, friends and Skype can all help you learn languages.

Read more...

Related Links

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...

Scotland Russian Forum Newsletter

18 January 2014 (Scotland Russia Forum)

The latest newsletter from the Scotland-Russia Forum has been published. It contains information on 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture.

Related Files

Apply now for a Language Assistant - Bring language and culture alive with a native speaker in the classroom

17 January 2014 (British Council)

Support implementation of the 1 + 2 languages policy by hosting a Language Assistant in your school.

The British Council team is on hand at every step and our dedicated online support offers everything you need to get your pupils’ learning experience off to a great start. Our free service includes careful selection of the best candidate to suit your school, guidance on administration and training courses for Language Assistants.

How can Language Assistants help?

Their responsibilities can be tailored to suit your school’s requirements. Assistants can support the teaching of a first (L2) or a second (L3) modern language by: 

  • supporting teachers’ language acquisition and improving their cultural knowledge
  • developing lesson plans and delivering classes on topics to complement different subject areas 
  • running extra-curricular activities for additional support (eg lunch time clubs) 
  • working across different areas of the Curriculum for Excellence to develop projects based on cultural themes 
  • setting up an international partnership with a school overseas.

Where are they from?

Assistants are native-level speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. They come from 15 countries in Europe and beyond.

You can also apply for a Chinese Language Assistant for free (by 31 January) or at a heavily subsidised rate (by 28 March). They work from mid-September 2014 to 26 June 2015.

What do I do next?

Visit our website to find out more about the programme and apply. If you are a local authority school, your local authority should apply on your behalf.

You can also read an assistant’s blog on her experience of teaching French in an Angus primary school.

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.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter

21 November 2013 (SRF)

For all the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum, see the November newsletter.

Read more...

Shortfall in the languages the UK needs the most

20 November 2013 (The Guardian)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

Read the British Council report here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GrowStoryGrow

1 November 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

GrowStoryGrow is launching 50 new bite-sized stories in 6 different languages in summer 2014.

Find out more on the GrowStoryGrow website. 

Read more...

Related Links

On the website you will also find a story for Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day, available for free until the end of November.   Visit GrowStoryGrow.

Trend of Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5

01 November 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have produced a document with statistics on Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5 from 2009-2013. This is in addition to the statistics previously published:
 
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in French, German and Spanish
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in the lesser studied languages (Italian, Gaelic for Learners, Mandarin, Urdu and Russian)

Visit our Statistics on languages in Scotland page to download the PDFs.

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter - October 2013

23 October 2013 (SRF)

For all the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum please download the attached pdf.

We would highlight that the SRF has recently recruited volunteers keen to offer Russian tasters in schools. If you know of a school, primary or secondary, in or near Edinburgh that might be interested please contact the SRF directly.  Contact details are on the attached newsletter.

Related Files

Discovery Film Festival 2013 - language films for schools

10 October 2013 (Dundee Contemporary Arts)

The Discovery Film Festival 2013 takes place between 19 October and 3 November and offers a variety of foreign language films for all ages.

Opening this year's festival is the UK premiere of 'Victor and the Secret of Crocodile Mansion' – a hugely enjoyable mystery thriller that will have all the family guessing as to exactly what lies behind the secrets of Crocodile Mansion. Suspenseful and atmospheric, it’s a classic Hitchcockian mystery for thrill seekers aged eight upwards. Screening is in German with English subtitles and open to the public.

For schools, there is a programme of events running from 22 - 31 October, with screenings suitable for primary and secondary students in a variety of languages including French, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese.

See the DCA website for full programme details.

The schools programme and booking information can also be accessed directly via the link below.

Read more...

Foreign Office beefs up diplomats' language training

30 September 2013 (The Guardian)

Language centre provides a permanent location where staff undergo intensive training to prepare for overseas postings.

Read more...

We speak your language, English clubs tell foreign fans

26 September 2013 (Reuters)

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

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

Read more...

Caroline Wyatt: my career in languages

12 September 2013 (The Guardian)

The BBC defence correspondent's language skills have taken her around the world on assignment.

Read more...

Russian classes for adults

18 August 2013 (SRF)

The new term at the Scotland-Russia Forum in Edinburgh begins on 23 September 2013 offering a variety of courses for adult learners of Russian.

There will be 6 levels this year, from complete beginners (Level 1) to an advanced discussion group (Level 6).

If you are not sure which level to apply for please contact the course organiser Natalia Samoilova.

Full details and an enrolment form are available on the Scotland-Russia Forum website.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter - August 2013

12 August 2013 (SRF)

For all the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum, please download the attached pdf file.

Related Files

SRF News Bulletin

17 July 2013 (SRF)

For the latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum download the attached pdf file.

Related Files

Glasgow secondary leading way in modern languages

24 June 2013 (Evening Times)

THE kids at All Saints don't need to be convinced that foreign languages are important.  Because they hear them every day.

Scots-born pupils at this Glasgow comprehensive – thanks to a decade of steady immigration – are now routinely exposed to the chat in an estimated 30 languages.

And, say teachers, it is starting to rub off on them.

So much so that the school is expanding its capacity to teach languages amid solid demand.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum Newsletter

19 June 2013 (SRF)

For the latest news and events from the SRF download their June newsletter.

Related Files

Bucking the languages trend

13 June 2013 (SecEd)

In the midst of a decline in foreign language learning in Scotland, some schools are inspiring young people to buck the trend. Sam Phipps finds out how.

 

Read more...

Russian Language Day

6 June 2013 (The Voice of Russia)

June 6 marks International Russian Language Day. Introduced by the United Nations on June 6, 2010, Russian Language Day is designed to popularize Russian as one of the top ten most spoken languages and one of the six languages of the UN. In addition, all members of international space missions should know Russian.

The United Nations picked June 6 for Russian Language Day because June 6 celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Russia’s most beloved poet Alexander Pushkin, who was born in Moscow on June 6, 1799. Recognized all over the world as the father of Russian literature, Pushkin's works having been translated in dozens of languages uniting people of all ages, religions and nationalities.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

22 May 2013 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the Scotland-Russia Forum has been published.

Related Files

Mumiy Troll in Glasgow - Thursday 23 May

9 May 2013 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

Russia's most musically influential cult rockers are touring the UK in May. They will be singing in both Russian and English. A rare opportunity to find out about the rock music scene in Russia!
Their performance is for over 14s only (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, photo ID required for under 25s).

23 May, 6.30pm, O2 ABC2, 300 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JA
Tickets - www.02abcglasgow.co.uk

Visit the Mumiy Troll website for more information about the band.

Read more...

Language Summer School

9 May 2013 (London School of Economics)

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Asos launches ventures in Russia and China as profits leap 19%

30 April 2013 (The Guardian)

Online clothing retailer Asos is launching businesses in Russia and China and planning a new £40m "tax efficient" pay deal for its top 24 staff.  The retailer – which has six million customers in the UK, US, France, Germany and Australia – announced the expansion as it reported a 19% rise in interim profits and a 33% jump in sales to £360m.

The new Chinese-language website, due in October, will cost up to £6m to launch, including a distribution hub with 10% of Asos's current stock.  A new website is launching in Russia on Wednesday.

Read more...

Comedy without borders: Eddie Izzard and the language of standup

24 April 2013 (The Guardian)

British comedian aims to deliver his show in French, German, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.

Read more...

Plea to teach Mandarin and Russian in schools

17 April 2013 (John O'Groat Journal)

Scotland is "a dinosaur when it comes to modern languages" according to far north Highland councillor Deirdre Mackay. She believes more people should take a greater interest in learning a foreign language and has given her full support to a pilot project to look at best practice.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum News Bulletin

5 April 2013 (SRF)

For all the latest news and events in Scotland download the April news bulletin from the SRF.

Related Files

Bilingualism Steps Into a Leading Role - Viggo Mortensen and Other Actors Take Roles in Foreign Films

29 March 2013 (New York Times)

Viggo Mortensen, who speaks fluent Spanish, plays two roles in the Argentine movie “Everybody Has a Plan,” directed by Ana Piterbarg.

Read more...

Russian language second most popular on the internet

22 March 2013 (Moscow Times)

Russian became the second most frequently used language on the Internet in 2013, having passed Germany by a narrow margin, according to a report by analytical company W3 Techs. The company counted the number of sites in each language regardless of the number of hits the sites get, Vedomosti reported Friday.

 

Read more...

SRF news bulletin

1 March 2013 (Scotland Russia Forum)

The latest news bulletin from the Scotland Russia Forum has been published. It includes an update on Russian language teaching in Scottish schools.

Related Files

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

19 February 2013 (TED blog)

Economist Keith Chen starts today’s talk with an observation: to say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. “All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.” This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news

1 February 2013 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

The latest round-up of news and events from the SRF is now available to download. This includes information on an intensive Russian weekend course for beginners, Russian taster sessions in Edinburgh schools, information on Rossica Young Translators Prize and details of the next Чай н Чат at the Scotland-Russia Institute in Edinburgh.

Related Files

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

Primary adds success by teaching 1+5

14 December 2012 (TESS)

The prospect of teaching 1+2 languages from P1 is a daunting one for many in the primary sector.

But today, the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee will launch an inquiry into the teaching of languages in primary - at a school where 1+5 is the norm.

At Dalmarnock Primary, in the east end of Glasgow, pupils have access to French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Greek, in addition to their home language of English.

Read more...

Latest SRF bulletin published

8 December 2012 (Scotland Russia Forum)

The latest bulletin from the Scotland Russia Forum has been pubished. It includes information on the next Чай н Чат (Tea and Chat) on 20th December and the Booklovers Christmas Sale on 15th December.

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Even the boys wore woolly tights

17 November 2012 (Guardian)

After two memorable years I can say with certainty that no reading or even language lessons can prepare anyone adequately for a family move to a country as wonderful, complex and sometimes dark as Russia, and also marvel that we were so ready to take such a leap with our children.

Read more...

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