Papers and articles with this keyword

How can key skills "sell" Linguistics to students and employers?

In this article Richard Hudson argues that an undergraduate course in Linguistics is an exceptionally good source of important life skills, given the right input from both the student and the teacher. He distinguishes three kinds of learning experience: application of a given system of categories (e.g. the IPA), understanding of how language works, and self-reflection; and for each of these general categories he comments on the educational benefits and illustrates a range of more specific sub-categories. He also list some specific life-skills that these educational experiences should develop, e.g. respect for evidence, tolerance, self-understanding. He concludes with a few preliminary remarks on how these benefits can be "sold" to students and employers.

Academic and professional skills for language learning

This section of the web guide provides an overview of what Academic and Professional Skills (APS) are and why they should be integrated in degree courses involving languages. It illustrates the rationale behind the introduction of APS, the logic behind making them compulsory, the way in which their integration impacts on curriculum and assessment. It also highlights the issues to address to make the embedding of APS into the languages curriculum effective. It finally provides suggestions on how to integrate APS, using the European Language Portfolio and networked-based learning.

Portfolio assessments

Portfolios have been around for a long time, either as collections of artefacts in an artist's portfolio or as documentation of teaching practice and staff development in a teaching or professional portfolio. However portfolios are finding a wider application as a form of educational assessment, especially in the USA. Even though they may vary in format, educational portfolios distinguish themselves from other portfolios by including reflective elements. They are therefore not merely a collection of best practice or artefacts but are also intended to document the learning process and involve students in actively reflecting on their learning. This article begins with a brief introductory overview of portfolios, followed by a look at the portfolio model which emerged from the TransLang project. We conclude with a summary of some findings which were common to our individual case studies elsewhere in this volume.

Knowing What You're Doing: the skills agenda and the language degree

This article examines the proposition that one can use the discourse and concepts of the skills agenda to foster better learning of languages and related studies on degree courses at British universities. By skills agenda we mean the political and intellectual pressures which government agencies exert on universities to ensure that their students emerge equipped with skills useful to a knowledge-based economy. As we shall see below, skills agenda is a fuzzy term which can only be made meaningful by a teaching force as they review the curriculum. In so doing they will encourage more conscious, strategic behaviour by learners: knowing what you're doing. But our main proposition is that the skills agenda contains the seeds of something better than itself: social and intellectual exchanges by which everybody benefits. We begin by reviewing some social and economic as well as academic aspects of the study of languages and related subjects in Britain today; we go on to suggest pointers towards construing the skills agenda intelligently and humanely; and we conclude by suggesting that there is a tension between the fundamentally intercultural nature of the languages degree and our usual habits of organisation.

Portfolio of independent learning at the University of Central England (UCE)

A portfolio of independent learning has been introduced to post A-level students at various levels in the three languages of Spanish, French and German at UCE. The Translang Approach has been chosen as a framework for development of transferable skills.

Hidden merits of the translation class

This paper discusses a unit of a BA course at Birkbeck College, London in 'translation from and into French’. It considers what transferable skills and knowledge can be developed through such a course, as well as the many issues that translators have to deal with.

Empty-headed linguists? French undergraduates and learning transfer

This study describes an attempt to encourage some advanced learners of French as a foreign language (A-level plus two years) at Anglia Polytechnic University (APU) to develop some strategies and skills applicable both to language learning and to other knowledge domains. We examine what happened during a three-week learning and teaching sequence; we re-examine the principles and assumptions on which the teaching was based; and we draw conclusions pertinent to attempts to achieve similar ends, at APU and perhaps elsewhere. Our title is a wry reference to the stereotype, common within British Higher Education, of foreign language proficiency as a mere skill requiring only low-level cognitive activity.

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