Language Learning Resources

Current awareness for language teachers and students provided by the University of Sussex Language Learning Centre

Archive for the ‘schools’ Category

Reports and reviews on languages in HE

Posted by Matthew Platts on June 29, 2009

British Academy raises new concerns over decline in language learning – position paper and full text of the Languages Matter report are available on the BA site. The minister for HE, David Lammy, spoke at the launch for the report and will attend a seminar to discuss it.
Also covered by BBC News : Languages call for all degrees

This follows hot on the heels of HEFCE’s 22 May announcement that it has commissioned a review of languages provision to be led by UCL Vice-Provost Prof Michael Worton.  This is consulting now, with an interim report due at the end of July (2009!). See also BBC News: Language degree review announced.


Posted in languages, modern languages, multilingualism, schools, universities | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Future of languages: petition

Posted by Tom Roper on January 14, 2008

Following the closure of their MA in Translation and Interpreting, members of the languages department at the University of Bradford have started a petition calling for the government to address the current crisis in language learning in the UK, and make a foreign language compulsory again at GCSE level. Although it is too late for
Bradford, it might help other language departments across the country.
Please find the petition at the following link:

Posted in GCSEs, modern languages, schools | 4 Comments »

Mary Beard on GCSE results

Posted by Tom Roper on August 24, 2007

GCSE results were out yesterday, and A levels the week before, and Mary Beard comments on the former and on the future of language learning in schools in her excellent Don’s Diary, Sprechen Sie what?

As well as the examination results, GCSEs here (pdf), A levels here (pdf), CILT, the National Centre for Languages, have some useful analysis of trends in modern languages at university level:

Posted in Alevels, GCSEs, modern languages, schools, universities | Leave a Comment »

Conference: integrating ICT in the ML classroom

Posted by Tom Roper on August 3, 2007

Joe Dale asks me to publicise a forthcoming conference on the Isle of Wight on integrating ICT in the ML classroom to be held on 13 October on the Isle of Wight.  His blog, though aimed at schools rather than universities, is also worth a look: 

Posted in ICT, modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »

Languages for work day: 26 September

Posted by Tom Roper on July 20, 2007

Hove Park School will hold a languages for work promotion event on Wednesday 26 September, the European Day of Languages.
It’s organised by the Brighton and Hove Learning Partnership, but there’s nothing on their website yet.

Posted in modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »

Language Learning no Luxury

Posted by Tom Roper on April 24, 2007

The British Academy is holding a discussion on 14 May, to be followed by a drinks reception , on language learning  after the Dearing review, with Professor Dick Hudson, FBA, University College London, Professor Mike Kelly, University of Southampton and Professor Haun Saussy, Yale University, with Professor Marian Hobson, FBA, Queen Mary, University of London, in the Chair.

From the poster:

“Both from the point of view of business and of scholarship, the decline in language learning at school, and of the take-up of A levels in languages, is disastrous. It is likely to have consequences that are with us for years. The implementation of the Dearing report may help matters somewhat, but the basic problem is likely not to dissipate quickly.
The discussion will cover:
• the relation of language-learning to other parts of the syllabus in schools and universities
• the role of languages in life-long learning
• the experience of other countries in creating policy for language learning
• the relation of language learning to understanding linguistic relativity”

Posted in dearing, modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »

Dearing plenary session at Language World

Posted by Tom Roper on March 13, 2007

Language World, the Association for Langauge Learning’s conference and exhibition will include a plenary session at which Lord Dearing and Lid King will speak about the Dearing Review. The ALL site doesn’t let me link directly to the conference pages. The best I can find is the events page:
Lord Dearing and Lid King will outline the major recommendations and changes which
spring from the Review and also answer questions from delegates about the
issues which preoccupy them.
The conference takes place in Oxford from 30-31 March.

Posted in dearing, modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »

Dearing review: press coverage

Posted by Tom Roper on March 12, 2007

Times: Call for easier exams as GCSE pupils shun ‘difficult’ languages
Independent: Languages are the hardest GCSEs, research finds
Guardian: ‘Too hard’ modern language GCSEs may be made easier

Posted in dearing, modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »

Dearing review: recommendations

Posted by Tom Roper on March 12, 2007

Here are the recommendations of the Dearing review of modern languages teaching, filleted from the text of the report, and enhanced with links where possible:

  • “We confirm our earlier recommendation to increase the number of schools having languages as a specialism to 400″
  • “…we recommend that the additional financial support for specialist language colleges to support key elements of the National Languages Strategy should be continued (currently some £8m a year) with appropriate increase as the number of colleges increases”
  • “We recommend that you closely monitor the plans made by schools to achieve this” [increasing numbers taking languages in year 10 to 50 per cent to 90 per cent-TR]
  • “We further recommend you make clear that you are prepared, if the decline is not halted and turned around within a reasonable timeframe, to return languages to the statutory curriculum”
  • “We are advised by the HEFC(E) that for an additional £3m over four years the scheme could be given national coverage. We recommend that this additional funding is provided for this scheme and invite the HEFC(E) to undertake it”
  • “In our consultation report we accordingly proposed that the Department for Education and Skills should develop a continuing programme to promote languages focussing on events like the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the 2012 London Olympic Games and other major international events such as the Rugby World Cup in France in 2007 and the European Football Cup in 2008. At local level, Local Authorities could be encouraged to promote interest in local schools in towns overseas with which they have twinning arrangements, and promote contact at school level through communication technology and exchange visits. […] We now confirm those recommendations”

  • “Some substantial expenditure is a matter that goes beyond our competence to recommend, but we tentatively suggest a budget of £2m a year to support a sustained effort through events, articles, languages days, publications, and for material for use in schools, to raise public awareness of the importance of languages.”
  • “… we recommend that languages become part of the statutory curriculum for Key Stage 2 in primary schools, when it is next reviewed”
  • “We recommend that the provision for teacher support in primary schools should be continued, and where necessary, extended to take schools through the first two years of a statutory curriculum for languages and to help them widen the range of languages offered”
  • “…we think it important to widen the range of languages that can be offered, and we recommend that attention is given to how that can best be achieved”
  • “There should be informal classroom assessment of every child’s learning near the end of Key Stage 2 by reference to the Languages Ladder
  • “…clusters of primary and secondary schools in a local authority area should link up to seek to achieve agreement on the languages to be taught in primary schools and arrangements for progression to the secondary schools”
  • “We recommend that the review [the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) review of the GCSE-TR] proceeds as a priority in consultation with the Awarding Bodies, and language teachers. We also invite consideration of a more flexible “languages in use” GCSE”

  • “We do not propose any reduction in the demands of the Curriculum but we confirm the proposal that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible and we so recommend”

  • “Schools need to be better informed about these alternative routes to learning languages [NVQ language units, the Certificate in Business Language Competence, and an Applied French GCSE-TR], and we recommend that the Department finds means of addressing this need, particularly in relation to the Languages Ladder”

  • ”We also propose that some assessment of pupils’ progress should be available at the end of Key Stage 3…We therefore recommend that a qualification associated with the Languages Ladder (currently Asset Languages) is made available for all pupils at the end of Key Stage 3 at a subsidised cost for schools, and that consideration is given to achievement through the Languages Ladder being recognised through the award of GCSE”
  • “We recommend that the Department working in partnership with its key partners provides more systematic guidance to schools about these possibilities [greater flexibility in adding other languages-TR]”

  • ”We recommend that the Department increases its support for initiatives in this area [languages across the curriculum, including bilingual “teaching and learning (or CLIL5), embedding languages with subjects such as Sport, Performing Arts, and Enterprise-TR] and ensures that existing experience is disseminated more widely”

  • “[Discussing community languages-TR] We recommend that the DfES in collaboration with key partners develop clear guidelines and support for a more appropriate and varied content to the secondary languages curriculum. Crucially this should be promoted though a range of opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)”

  • “…we recommend the provision of retraining modules for secondary teachers wishing either to support Primary developments or to develop skills as Leading Teachers. These modules should be at no cost to schools and we further recommend that they attract a bursary for teachers recommended by their schools”

  • [On professional development-TR] “we recommend:

    1.The launch of a National Teacher Research Scholarship (NTRS) scheme for languages, enabling teachers to work together and with universities, advisers and other national agencies to develop their pedagogy and find solutions to the challenges of secondary language learning. This could be a development of the current National Secondary training programme for languages which involves face to face meetings, distance learning and coaching and is based on local networks of teachers”

    2. The targeting of Heads of Department who are key to in school change through regional training programmes coordinated by Comenius Centres and SLCs

    3. More systematic provision of on-line distance training resources for secondary teachers, perhaps linked to the proposed Open School for Languages

    4. Provision of model teaching programmes for the range of qualifications outlined in this chapter

  • “…we recommend that the Department continues its provision of information on languages and ICT – for example through CILT and BECTA – and finds ways to support and disseminate innovations in this area.”

  • “We recommend that the DfES should now scope a detailed project with a view to inviting tenders from suitable institutions or consortia to establish an “Open School for Languages” over the next three years”

  • “We recommend support for the expansion of such provision [immersion courses-TR] on a local and regional basis. Such activity should be underpinned by our proposals for an Open School For Languages”

  • “We also recommend additional action to make such experiences [international and intercultural experience-TR] more widespread and easier to organise. This will involve:
    · Advice to LAs on supporting such visits by looked after children and for schools that have a high proportion of pupils on free school meals;
    · Promotion of existing national and European opportunities to schools in challenging circumstances;
    · Financial support for the organisation of work experience, in collaboration with the main Embassies;
    · Support and guidance on overcoming administrative and legal issues associated with visits”
    “We now recommend that the impact of this additional funding [extra funding for specialist language colleges-TR] is reviewed, and that on this basis the funding is continued in the most effective way. Consideration should also be given to whether such funding could be extended beyond the Language Colleges to other good schools with successful languages departments. We further recommend that concerted efforts are made to increase the numbers of second specialisms in languages. We also recommend offering a further or annual opportunity to specialist schools to take up languages as a second specialism ‘out of cycle’ with special attention being given to improving geographical spread”

  • “We recommend that public support for these bodies [British Council, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and its networks supporting specialist schools, CILT, The National Centre for Languages and ALL-TR] is maintained and where possible refocused to address specific concerns relating to languages post 14”

  • “We therefore recommend that as a matter of some urgency the Department reviews the range of support available [local and regional support through Languages Advisers, Specialist Language Colleges and the CILT network of Comenius Centres-TR] and develops a more coherent model for supporting change which it funds for an initial three year period”

  • “We […] confirm our recommendation that the Secretary of State should identify languages as one of his priorities in his annual grant letter to the LSC [Leach Review of Skills-=TR]”

  • “…[in league tables-TR]we recommend two performance indicators: one measuring attainment at GCSE level and one measuring participation and attainment at more modest levels we recommend that the [OFSTED-TR] languages subject survey is expanded to cover more schools and that an interim report is made available to the Secretary of State mid cycle to monitor the impact of the measures that we are proposing “

  • “…we recommend that the take up of languages at Key Stage 4 is added to the list of specific issues that they [School Improvement Partners-TR] must discuss with schools”

  • “…we have been encouraged by that [the introduction of languages into primary schools-TR] to recommend they become a mandatory part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum”

  • Posted in dearing, modern languages, schools | 4 Comments »

    Dearing review published

    Posted by Tom Roper on March 12, 2007

    The Dearing review is out at :
    There doesn’t seem to be an executive summary or summary of the recommendations, but it is only 44 pages. I’ll put up a summary soon.
    For comment, try this Technorati search

    Posted in modern languages, schools | Leave a Comment »