April 2012 e-bulletin - LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

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News Bulletin

Dear colleague,  

Welcome to the LLAS e-bulletin for April 2012. Click here to see this email on the LLAS website.

Message from the Director 

The declared support of policy makers for languages continues. It was affirmed earlier this month by Michael Gove, who declared that he would ‘pull every lever’ to promote languages in schools. And it was repeated by a series of spokespeople at the very good British Academy/UCML event on 27th March, on valuing the year abroad. The question is whether there will be appropriate action to back up the warm words. Chris Millward, from HEFCE, had a very welcome announcement that the funding council was committed to continuing initiatives to help increase the take up of languages. Baroness Garden, chief whip in BIS and herself a languages graduate, reiterated the importance of languages but emphasised that the primary responsibility for promoting them lay with individual institutions. She also reported that the funding of the year abroad was still under review. One striking point was that non-UK speakers appeared puzzled by the fact that in major strategic issues, such as increasing students’ mobility, the British seem fixated on questions of who will pay. Sometimes perhaps we need reminding that we are a nation of shopkeepers. At all events, the big picture is really that British graduates are not going to be global leaders unless they get out into the world. And to do that they need to be able to cope with other languages and other cultures, whatever subject they are studying.

Mike Kelly (follow Mike on Twitter at @ProfMikeKelly)
Director, LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies

This month's e-bulletin in brief

In the news

We are very happy to report that HEFCE has agreed to fund the Routes into Languages  programme next academic year at the same level as this year.  Routes is a national scheme to increase the take up of languages and to widen participation.  It involves around 77 universities across England & Wales, and is coordinated at Southampton by LLAS.  We are delighted that HEFCE continues to support languages and recognises the important contribution that Routes makes.

The 3rd edition of the Languages of the Wider World Conference opens at SOAS today!
The conference aims to bring together scholars, teachers and postgraduate students working with or having an interest in languages which are under-represented in the education system in the UK, including minority, endangered and heritage languages as well as languages of countries with emerging economies. The presentations will be uploaded to the website next week: www.llas.ac.uk/events/6408.

Researchml blog :

Spreading the word on Modern Language learning and teaching research
Researchml is a new blog which aims to share information and to encourage dialogue about research in teaching and learning of modern and community languages (other than English) in schools, colleges and universities.

Blogposts will include:

  • Discussions about research in progress
  • Abstracts from conference papers
  • Questions about research problems, issues and methodology
  • Reflections on interesting research studies
  • Problems in practice needing research solutions

We are interested in hearing from researchers and teachers. Please contact us if you have something that you would like to share or contribute.

Louise Courtney and Angela Gallagher-Brett University of Southampton

HEFCE’s new policy on Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects (SIVs)

HEFCE has now published its new policy approach to SIVs which includes modern languages.  The funding council is inviting views on its approach through its consultation on teaching funding.  Go to http://www.hefce.ac.uk/aboutus/sis/ to find out more.  The deadline for responses to the consultation is 25 May 2012. 

LLAS blog 

Language Cafés. Liz Hudswell, LLAS

Recently, LLAS team has been reviewing models of informal language learning or ‘language cafes’. A few years ago LLAS led the EU funded Language Café project to set up language cafes across the UK and Europe (www.languagecafe.eu). The model of the language café caught the attention of a company in Athens who are leading an EU project to set up informal language learning opportunities for immigrants (http://www.llas.ac.uk/projects/METIKOS).

Click here for the full post

The LLAS brochure

Please find a brochure detailing LLAS events for the coming academic year 2011-2012 here. This 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

A downloadable flier about LLAS activity is available here, which you might like to forward to colleagues.

LLAS Why study languages? calendar 

FREE calendar download: This calendar, for the month of April 2012, in Spanish, 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 seventh of a 16-month series lasting until Dec 2012. Please visit : http://languagebox.ac.uk/2419/. You can find all months so far at http://languagebox.ac.uk/1991/

Hard copies available to purchase: This is the fourth year that the popular ‘Why Study Languages?’ calendar has been produced. The January-December 2012 calendar features 12 languages, one per month. Languages featured this year include: Icelandic, Gaelic, Urdu, Spanish, Persian, French, Punjabi, Estonian, Malay, Hungarian, Welsh and German.

The calendar is available for FREE, with a charge of £3.50 for postage and packing. Funding from JISC has made this possible. For more information, please go to http://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk/calendar.

Forthcoming events 

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

APRIL OFFER - Developing Materials for English for Specific Academic Purposes
17 April 2012 - University of Nottingham
SPECIAL TUTOR RATE £75 (standard rate £125)

APRIL OFFER - The Translation Classroom: Technology, Strategies and Employability
20 April 2012 - University of Salford
SPECIAL RATE – STAFF £95 / PG STUDENT £35 (standard rate £125)

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

Nature and the natural in the humanities: Teaching for environmental sustainability
27 April 2012 - University of Birmingham

Research in and for Languages
27 April 2012 - University of Strathclyde

MAY 2012

Essential e-Learning Skills for Teachers of Non-Latin Languages
8 May 2012 - Manchester Metropolitan University

Unleashing the Creative Spirit : Integrating Film making into Literature Teaching
11 May 2012 - University of Sheffield

Collaborative working using open research data to create Open Educational Resources in the humanities
23 May 2012 - University of Southampton

The Year Abroad: Maximising and promoting its real value
23 May 2012 - University of Strathclyde

JUNE 2012

Teaching in higher education through the medium of English
18 - 22 June 2012 - University of Southampton

NEW - Open Educational Resources as a vehicle for digital literacy in the humanities
29 June 2012 - University of Southampton

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
5-6 July 2012 -  University of Edinburgh

Remember that you can apply for the HEA UK travel fund to attend this event. To find out more, visit the
HEA website or download the application form here

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We would be grateful if you would forward this bulletin to colleagues and relevant mailing lists. Please do not hesitate to contact LLAS if you have any queries regarding this bulletin.

LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies 
University of Southampton | Avenue Campus | Southampton | SO17 1BJ 
p: +44 (0) 23 8059 4814 | f: +44 (0) 23 8059 4815 | llas@soton.ac.uk


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