November 2011 : e-bulletin

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Welcome to the LLAS e-bulletin for November 2011. 

Message from the Director

This year's London Language Show at the Olympia was full of energy. An extraordinary array of activities, publications, tools and toys offered help to teachers, and to learners of all ages, with dozens of languages. The languages industries fielded an array of organisations trying to tempt people into working as interpreters, translators, teachers and other language professionals. And then came the language advocates: embassies, associations and the spanking new Speak to the Future campaign. Languages continue to generate excitement and innovation, though the demand for English-speaking linguists clearly outstrips the supply. There’s still plenty of work for educators and language ambassadors to do.

Mike Kelly
Director, LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies

This month's e-bulletin in brief

In the news

The Higher Education Academy
The latest funding opportunities from the Higher Education Academy can be found at :

UK Professional Standards Framework
The Higher Education Academy has published the new edition of the UK Professional Standards Framework.  To view, please go to :

UK cuts 253,000 Euros in funding for international collaboration on language teaching
With effect from January 1st 2012 the UK is withdrawing from the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz. The ECML was established through an agreement of the Council of Europe in 1994 in order to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and to help Europeans learn languages better. 

This was issued by Speak to the future – the campaign for languages in the UK.  For more information visit

Debut - Autumn 2011

The Undergraduate Journal of Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies is an online peer-reviewed journal for students.  Download the latest edition HERE.

Ab initio Reports
Report 1.  This report consists of a mapping survey of ab initio degree provision in England Scotland.  To download a copy, please click HERE.
Report 2.  This report focuses on motivation in ab initio language learning.  To download a copy, please click HERE.

SPEAQ Project (Sharing Practice in Enhancing and Assuring Quality)
LLAS is leading on a new EU-funded project which will be using the LanQua Toolkit developed by our previous EU-funded language and quality network. The aim of this project is to connect three key quality circles: teacher, student and quality manager in order to share and enhance in higher education. This project sets out to address a real concern that quality assurance can become ritualised rather than embedded in learning and teaching practice. The outcomes from this project will seed new ideas on how to quality assurance practice within the institution providing evidence of how bringing together stakeholders in the quality process can lead to a wider and more meaningful interpretation of quality assurance. It will collect data on different stakeholder perspectives on quality assurance and undertake small projects at institutional level which will explore ways in which a more shared vision of quality assurance can be fostered at institutional and disciplinary level.  For more information, please visit:

The FAVOR Project
LLAS has been funded by JISC to lead The FAVOR (Find a Voice through Open Resources) project. The Project will showcase the excellent and often unrecognised work of part-time, hourly-paid language teachers in HE, and engage them in activities which will enhance the student experience. Tutors will publish teaching resources as open content, and create a suite of new Open Educational Resources designed to assist prospective students in understanding the nature of language study at HE level. Outputs will be disseminated to schools and evaluated by prospective and existing students and will contribute to the national agenda for the promotion and support of language learning.  For more information, visit :

Open Lives Project (OpenLIVES (Learning Insights from the Voices of Emigrés from Spain)
LLAS has been funded by the JISC to lead the OpenLIVES project (Learning Insights from the Voices of Emigres from Spain). This project will digitise resources documenting the migration experiences of Spanish emigrés. Once released as open content, the raw data will be developed as open educational resources for a range of teaching and learning contexts in humanities and social sciences on topics such as migration, life history, employability skills, research skills, language learning. The project will use a tested process model for sharing expertise and teaching ideas to create reusable and innovative teaching resources. A key element of this project will be to involve students at all stages of resource development: using the original data, evaluating the teaching resources and creating/peer-reviewing their own learning resources.  For more information, please visit :

The METIKOS Project
LLAS has been invited to be a partner in a project to promote the social inclusion of immigrants in EU's societies by improving their skills in the language of their host country. This project will be exploring a number of models of achieving this from café-style learning groups to tandem learning arrangements. It will also look at virtual modes of support for language learning for this target group. The main aim of the project is to develop a methodology of informal language learning for immigrants by adapting existing informal language learning methodologies (language cafe, TANDEM, cyber language café) to the specific needs of the immigrants. For further information, please visit :

LLAS blog 

Discard the irrelevant: statistics don't bleed, but our students do. John Canning, LLAS

Some rise by sin and others by virtue fall. William Shakespeare Measure for Measure

Statistics are everywhere in education. We have the National Student Survey (NSS), the First Destinations Survey, newspaper league tables, and the Times World University rankings among others. Universities are now required to publish ‘Key Information Sets’ (KIS) for all courses starting 2012. The KIS has data from the NSS (the higher the agreeing percentages the better), the cost of university accommodation (presumably the lower the better), fees (the lower the better), graduate employment rates (the higher the better), percentage of assessment which is written exams (depends on the student) and number of ‘contact’ hours (again, depends on the student). In short if it can be measured the data is out there. And if it can’t be measured, we’ll find a way to measure it anyway, (research impact anyone?).  Add to all this the information that students get from visit days, Facebook, twitter, the online student forums, friends and the phrase ‘information overload’ comes to mind. In his report Dimensions of Quality Graham Gibbs warns us about that immeasurable factor, reputation, which can override any real measure of quality. I suspect that all this information only serves to make reputation all the more important. Click here for the full post

The LLAS brochure

Please find a brochure detailing LLAS events for the coming academic year 2011-2012 hereThis brochure contains details of all of our events for 2011/12 which include:

  • Practical workshops providing skills development and training in a range of fields such as the use of new technologies, pedagogic research, language teaching, relating theory to practice
  • Conferences on a range of themes including languages in higher education, e-learning and languages of the wider world
  • Professional development events aimed at early career lecturers, senior managers, subject specialists in LLAS disciplines, postgraduate students and language teachers
  • Bespoke events for departments on any of the themes covered in this brochure

Call for papers

Sustaining a Global Society : Languages of the Wider WorldCALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 30 November 2011
29-30 March 2012 – School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education conference 2012 - CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 9 January 2012
5-6 July 2012 -  Edinburgh

LLAS Why study languages? calendar FREE download 

This calendar, for the month of November 2011, in Gujarati, was produced by LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. It was created with help from teachers working on the JISC-funded Community Cafe project. Look out for another language next month Quiz questions and answers are also included. This is the third of a 16-month series lasting until Dec 2012.  Please visit :  can find all months so far at

Forthcoming events 


Training teachers of interpreting
9 November 2011 – University of Leeds

Developing materials for English for Specific Academic Purposes

11 November 2011 – University of Southampton

Speed Coaching – Experiential coaching
16 November 2011 – Birmingham

Foundations in Language Testing and Assessment 2011
19 November 2011 – University of Leicester

Introducing social science research methods in languages, linguistics and area studies
24-25 November 2011 – London


The LOC tool for teachers : authoring your own online learning materials
19 December 2011 - University of Southampton


Theory and Practice in Vocabulary Learning and Teaching
20 January 2012 – University of Reading

Blended learning for languages.  How to successfully integrate technology into everyday teaching
23 January 2012 – University of Bristol

E-Learning Symposium 2012
26-27 January 2012 - University of Southampton


Maximising the use of your VLE for language learning and teaching
8 February 2012 – Coventry University

Using facebook for (language) teaching

14 February 2012 – University College London

MARCH 2012

Effective language teaching in the virtual classroom
1 March 2012 – The Open University and 9 March 2012 – online

Revolution and Revolt : Understanding the Forms and Causes of Change – BRISMES Annual Conference 2012

26–28 March 2012 – London School of Economics and Political Science

Sustaining a Global Society : Languages of the Wider World – CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 30 November 2011
29-30 March 2012 – School of Oriental and African Studies, London

APRIL 2012

Life and work in academia : event for new and aspiring lecturers in languages, linguistics and area studies
12 April 2011 - Aston University Conference Centre, Birmingham

The LOC tool for teachers : authoring your own online learning materials
17 April 2012 - University College London

JULY 2012

The LOC tool for teachers : authoring your own online learning materials
4 July  - University of Southampton

Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education conference 2012 - CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 9 January 2012
5-6 July 2012 -  University of Edinburgh

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