February 2013 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 February 2013. Click here to see this email on the LLAS website.

Message from the Director 

Great changes are afoot in all sectors of education in England. The other three parts of the UK are conspicuously distancing themselves from the changes introduced into English education, but are also experiencing a good deal of change and uncertainty. Much of the change is creating a difficult climate for languages.

In English primary schools, the government has confirmed that all children will be obliged to learn a language from the age of 7. This is a very welcome development, which emphasises the importance of languages for the future prospects of young people. Naturally, there are many questions about how this will happen in practice, including the difficulty of finding teachers with language skills, providing enough training and support, and offering more than one or two languages. Schools will be working very hard to rise to these challenges.

In the secondary schools, the Secretary of State’s decisions about qualifications and league tables seem likely to water down the importance of languages in the 11-16 age group, though there is a long way to go before the practical implications become clear.

And in higher education, it looks as if languages are the worst hit subject area in student applications to university for October 2013. While all other subjects have started to recover from the sharp fall in numbers applying last year, languages have fallen by another 6% or so again this year, probably a combined result of higher tuition fees and the earlier fall in take up of GCSE.

So there is a lot of work to do if we are to maintain or improve the country’s capacity in languages. The need for a programme like Routes into Languages is more acute than ever. And there is a clear need for national campaigning on behalf of languages, where Speak to the future is working to provide momentum. At LLAS, we are proud of what we have done to help, over a dozen or more years, in collaboration with many other organisations and individuals. We shall continue to bring our energy and expertise to these partnerships.

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
  • NEW Meet the LLAS team: John Canning and Erika Corradini
  • LLAS services
  • LLAS events : Our events programme in full can be found at www.llas.ac.uk/events  
    IN FOCUS : Teaching in higher education through the medium of English, 18-22 March 2013, University of Southampton

In the news

Bon voyage to Liz Hudswell
We are very sorry to be losing Liz, who has been with us for the last 13 years, first as Subject Centre Manager and more recently as Assistant Director of LLAS. During that time, she has endeared herself to everyone who has worked with her as a trusted and supportive colleague, with a very wide network of friends and contacts in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, who look to her for help and advice. She has built up a well-deserved reputation for her (seemingly effortless) ability to be on top of everything and ability to get things done (without fuss). In typical fashion, she has tied up all the loose ends and made sure that the LLAS team is well organised to take over all the responsibilities she is leaving.
Liz is leaving us for a senior post, managing the academic programmes at the Warsash Maritime Academy, part of Southampton Solent University, which provides professional training for the merchant navy. Warsash is not so far from Southampton, and we shall look forward to keeping in contact, and perhaps occasionally seeking her wise advice. We know they are lucky to be getting her, and that they will soon realise their good fortune. We wish her clear skies and a fair wind in her new post.

LLAS E-learning symposium 2013 - Presentations available to download!
The 8th annual e-learning symposium took place on 24 and 25 January at the University of Southampton. The two-day event was packed with inspiring talks and practical tips to help delegates integrate e-learning into their practice. Lots of presentations are already available online at www.llas.ac.uk/events/archive/6636. Read more about the symposium on our scoop.it page at http://www.scoop.it/t/e-learning-symposium.

LLAS/Routes into Languages 'Why study languages?' new 2013 calendar !! We still have some calendars left!
This calendar was produced by LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies as part of the Routes into Languages programme. For only £2.50 you can order your printed copy at https://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk/calendar . Alternatively, you can download all months for free at the beginning of each month at http://languagebox.ac.uk/3126 
This year, languages featured include Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Tigrinya and more! 

Gove announces A level policy Jan 2013
Following Ofqual's consultation on A level reform in 2012, Michael Gove has written to announce his policy decisions. These clearly will have an impact on languages, as on other subjects and on recruitment and admissions into HE. UCML responded to the Ofqual consultation on behalf of the HE languages community. Read more at http://www.ucml.ac.uk/news/158

UCAS application statistics for 2013: languages still in decline
UCAS has published the applications statistics for the 2013 round showing an increase on last year overall. However there is a continued (though slightly reduced) decrease in applications for languages. read more at http://www.ucml.ac.uk/news/163

Languages mapped: what do people speak where you live?
The 2011 census reveals the main language spoken in 34,753 'output areas' across England Wales, each of 1,500 people. While only 0.3% of the population cannot speak English, 4m people do not speak it as their main language. This shows the country's patchwork quilt of languages. Click here to find out more. 

Read more news items on our Scoop.it page at www.scoop.it/u/llas-centre#curatedTopicsTabSelected

Meet the LLAS team

John Canning
John studied geography at the universities of Aberystwyth and Bristol. His PhD thesis examined nationalism and identity in rural Quebec and he came to LLAS in 2003 to manage the interdisciplinary area studies project. He has led projects in various areas including employability, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, the National Student Survey and Islamic Studies. He also led the organisation of the 2012 LLAS Higher Education conference and organises the annual workshop for heads of department. He now oversees the higher education work of LLAS and is writing an introductory book on statistics for humanities students (funded by the British Academy). He is also leading a project on feedback as part of the EU-funded Sharing Practice in Enhancing and Assuring Quality (SPEAQ) project. 
In the Faculty of Humanities John also teaches research skills to doctoral students and contributes to an interdisciplinary sustainable development module for undergraduates. He is also a member of the University of Southampton’s Green Academy team. You can follow John on twitter at @johngcanning 

Erika Corradini 
I am a linguist, a teacher and a researcher. My areas of interest are languages across history, the pedagogy of modern languages including community and less widely taught languages, and the use of interactive technology in language learning. Aside of these areas, I enjoy researching languages by focussing on their literatures, histories and interactions in various types of texts.
At LLAS I am an educational developer. In this role, I coordinate a number of projects in support of language teaching and learning in the secondary school and higher education sectors. Most recently, I have overseen coordination of the National Networks for Interpreting and Translation, interpreting and translation for the Public Service, both funded through the programme Routes into Languages, and projects involving multilingualism and languages of the wider world. Follow me on twitter @eri_llas !

LLAS services 

LLAS is a research and enterprise group specialising in educational projects and professional development in the area of languages and related studies. We have been providing high quality professional development, resources and information to the higher education sector since 2000, first as part of the Higher Education Academy Subject Network and since 2011 as an independent group. We also engage in research and projects at the level of government policy and activities which promote greater public engagement with languages and related studies. The Centre’s activities extend to working across sectors and internationally. It is led by Professor Mike Kelly and a team of experienced education developers with academic and pedagogic expertise.

Our mission is to foster world-class education in our subject areas. We work in partnership with the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors and provide the following services:

  • Professional development
  • Event management
  • Project management
  • Research and evaluation

Download our services brochure

Forthcoming events in the LLAS community

March 2013

IN FOCUS Teaching in higher education through the medium of English
18 - 22 March, 2013 - University of Southampton

This is a five-day course designed for academics in universities across the world whose first language is not English and who are delivering degree programmes and presenting research through the medium of English.

Key areas to be covered during the course are :

Using English in the lecture theatre and the seminar room
Supporting the language needs of your international students
Giving papers and presentations at conferences
Raising your profile through English
Building your confidence to deliver through English

For more information, visit www.llas.ac.uk/events/6686 

April 2013

Residence Abroad, Social Networks and Second Language Learning
11 April - 12 April, 2013 - University of Southampton

May 2013

Language Partnerships across Sectors: Seminar and Discussion Workshop
1 May, 2013 - University of Strathclyde

June 2013

Teaching in higher education through the medium of English
10 - 14 June, 2013 - University of Southampton

Remember that you can apply for the HEA UK travel fund to cover travel, subsistence or conference fees for these events. To find out more, visit the
HEA website or download the application form here


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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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