We have a new Twitter account: https://twitter.com/TLC_Languages
Please follow us and let your contacts know. We’ll be tweeting about activities and matters of language policy.
The Languages Company’s new address is:
The Languages Company
11 Merlins Court,
30 Margery Street,
London, WC1X 0JG
Tel: +44 20 8980 3550
The LUCIDE project, which TLC has been leading on, came to a close this September with a two-day conference hosted at the London School of Economics, looking at ‘The Future of the Multilingual City’.
The LUCIDE project (Languages in Urban Communities Integration and Diversity for Europe) has been looking at the impact of multilingualism in the urban environment and its implications for education, the economy, civil society and urban planning.
Speakers included Prof Joe Lo Bianco and Dr David Little from the LUCIDE project, and all the project partners led sessions or presented. Other speakers included Dr Suzi Hall from LSE, and Dr Paul Kerswill of the University of York.
In an ambitious programme, we covered the project’s main findings and publications including the new City Reports – due to be published soon – and the Tookits in a series of themes: the Cosmopolis; Landscapes; Identities; and Education.
We were joined by two groups of young people from London schools who shared their experiences of growing up as bilingual or multilingual children in the UK capital in work carried out by Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic at the Insitute of Education.
Nick Byrne, Director of the LSE Language Centre, who hosted the conference, also presented an interactive art project commissioned especially for the project, created by the artist and urbanist Tom Keeley, featuring an interactive map with two walks across London. (Note: The two-walks website has now closed.)
The conference was attended by 200 people and was a fitting end to the project, sparking many discussions and questions for the future. Full details about the project can be found at www.urbanlanguages.eu
2014 GCSE results
In August, the 2014 GCSE results were published. The main point to note with regard to languages was that there was a decline in both French and German, and last year’s gains (attributed to the introduction of the Ebacc measure of success) was not sustained.
The JCQ said, in a statement: “Spanish continues to grow in popularity, with the number of entries continuing to grow year-on-year. French and German both declined in entries. However, these dips do not wipe out the significant growth seen last year (16.9 per cent across the three languages) and are in line with the decline in the national cohort and the number of candidates taking GCSEs.”
Full results are available at the JCQ website on http://www.jcq.org.uk/media-centre/news-releases
The Speak to the Future campaign has published an analysis of the trends at http://www.speaktothefuture.org/what-is-happening-to-languages-at-gcse/
The 2014 A Level results were published in August. In a context where the recent “first results count” reforms have led to large numbers of students deferring entry for a year, the JCQ said about A Level language entries:
“Although French, German and Spanish all had fewer entries than last year (down 7.4, 0.1, and 0.6 per cent respectively), as a proportion of all UK entries there is stability. The proportion of candidates awarded A* in these modern foreign languages increased.”
Full results are available at http://www.jcq.org.uk/examination-results/a-levels and the JCQ’s press statements are available at http://www.jcq.org.uk/media-centre/news-releases
The Speak to the Future campaign has issued an analysis of the trends at A Level at http://www.speaktothefuture.org/what-is-happening-to-languages-at-a-level/
The International Federation of Language Teacher Associations, who work closely with The Languages Company including as Association Partners on the LUCIDE project, will be holding their World Congress at Niagara Falls next year: 26-28 March 2015.
The Call for Papers is now open, and closes soon: 1 May 2014. Find out more at http://fiplv.com
The European Commission’s Erasmus programme of funding for cultural and work exchange between institutions and individuals has been relaunched with an increase of over 40% in its budget. It is called Erasmus+
Institutions & individuals can get funding for work, study or training abroad, and the money is available now.
Any individual or institution interested in study, training, work experience or volunteering abroad; or in organising a transnational partnership for their education, training or youth organisation, may be eligible for funding from Erasmus+.
Erasmus+ is the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. Funding has been increased by 40% and we encourage everyone in the UK who is eligible to apply.
The UK national agency for Erasmus+ is the British Council and they have a specially-developed web portal for anyone in the UK who is interested in accessing this funding. Interested parties should:
- Visit the Erasmus+ UK website: The website includes information, advice, webinars and guidance.
- It is also possible to follow Erasmus+ UK for the latest news via Twitter: #erasmusplusuk
For information about Erasmus+ from the European Commission itself, visit http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm
The British Academy and the Guardian are holding a national Language Festival throughout November 2013 to celebrate the UK’s diverse cultural richness and raise the profile of language learning among learners of all ages.
The Language Festival website, hosted by the Guardian, provides a platform for schools, higher education institutions, policy makers and businesses from across the UK to debate and explore all the benefits of language learning.
It also includes useful resources, such as a series of downloadable packs for primary and secondary schools, and businesses, to provide ideas for organising events to celebrate languages.
The British Academy will also be hosting a series of public events.
Everyone is invited to get involved, and join the debate on Twitter using #languagesdebate
The British Council is promoting the importance of building an international dimension into the education of young people in the UK at primary and secondary levels. The IEW section on the British Council website has lots of information on how to get involved and how to promote language learning. For details see: http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org