Subject Centre Report 2002-03

Author: Liz Hudswell


This document serves to provide a brief update on the key areas of activity for the Subject Centre in 2002-3. You may wish to forward this to Subject Associations, colleagues in your department or other parties interested in the work of the Subject Centre.

This article was added to our website on 03/09/03 at which time all links were checked. However, we cannot guarantee that the links are still valid.

Table of contents


We have held a considerable number of workshops across all our subject areas this year. The events pages of this website provide more detail about the programme and in many cases an event report.

  • European Day of Languages Symposium organised jointly with the School of Modern Languages at Southampton
  • Reception to launch the Languages box
  • Subject Centre Open day
  • Curriculum 2000 and the implications for HE
  • Institutional visit to Coventry University attended by staff from Coventry, Aston, Warwick, Birmingham, Staffordshire.
  • Postgraduate Information Day at CILT
  • Using Virtual learning Environment for Languages
  • Personal Development Planning in Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies
  • Open meeting: postgraduate training issues in Linguistics
  • Area Studies Network meeting
  • Intercultural learning and the role of visual media
  • Interactive Whiteboards for Language Teaching
  • Computer Assisted Assessment
  • Pedagogical Research workshop
  • Teaching on less commonly taught Area Studies programmes
  • Interdisciplinarity & inter-cultural learning in Area Studies curricula
  • Implications of the White Paper and the National Languages Strategy
  • Key Skills and Assessment in Linguistics
  • Set texts? New approaches to the teaching of literature in languages and related studies/area studies
  • Resources and Techniques for Teaching Linguistics


We are now involved in such a broad array of projects that we have devoted an edition of our newsletter Liaison light to them. Copies of the newsletter are available from the Subject Centre. Liaison light can also be viewed online.

List of projects included in the newsletter:

  • Materials Bank
  • Good practice guide
  • Extending good practice in less widely used less taught (LWULT) languages
  • Pedagogical Research
  • Area Studies project
  • Lingua: Opening the door to language learning
  • Lingua: Join the Club
  • Collaboration Programme in Modern Languages in Higher Education
  • The forthcoming Learning Technologies project

Several of these projects also contain mini-projects – a good way of involving a wider range of expertise and sharing out funding amongst the community.

Other resources


The new Subject Centre website was launched in January 2003. It is database driven, resource rich and, we hope, easy to navigate. The website continues to be well received and is being updated constantly. The next project involves working with the website consultant at Southampton to integrate into the website the software database previously managed by the Subject Centre team at the University of Hull.

Marketing Languages update

Contents of the Languages Box

Over one hundred Language Boxes have been sent out to HE modern languages departments across the UK. There has been a lot of interest in the ‘Why Study Languages?’ presentation from secondary school teachers who have seen it advertised on the CILT and ALL websites. We have had at least 50 enquiries from schools asking to be put into contact with somebody in their local university and we have had very positive feedback from schools who have had a visiting speaker giving the presentation. The Subject Centre Web Editor, Becky Jennings, has modified the page in the Languages box section which gives a list of schools liaison officers in 50 UK HE departments. The page now includes an interactive map. There were articles on the Languages Box in the Times Educational Supplement in October 2002 and January 2003.

Revised PowerPoint presentation

We have produced another version of the ‘Why study languages?’ CD which includes updated statistics from Keith Marshall and additional slides. Also on the CD are resources for promoting Linguistics and Area Studies. This can be obtained from the Subject Centre with LLAS notes (see below)

LLAS Notes

We have produced a book of useful facts and figures on student numbers in our subject areas (GCSE, A Level, university applications etc). This will be sent free of charge to those who complete the LLAS Notes online order form.

LLAS Notes

Area Studies Bulletin: Atlas

We have recently published the first issue of ‘Atlas: the bulletin of the Area Studies projects’. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of this, contact Marie Weaver at the Subject Centre (

Visitors and Enquiries to the HE resources collection at CILT (January to March 2003)

The information does not include shorter enquiries.

  Enquiries Visitors
January 32 27
February 29 57
March 25 31

Information sheets

The following information sheets have been produced/updated since January 2003 by Dawn Ebbrell, Subject Centre/CILT HE Information officer

  • Information sheets: 26, 28 and 31 on subject associations updated - to feed into contribution on Subject Associations to web guide.
  • NEW: information sheet on ‘Key documents about Higher Education and Languages’ in progress.
  • NEW: Studying Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies at University – three new Fact Sheets which can be downloaded from the Subject Centre website

Conference publication

An editorial team with representatives from the Subject Centre, CILT, UCML and SCHML has produced a publication covering the policy strand of the 2002 conference. The book has been published by CILT and is now available.

Languages: work project

This project has received funding from the DfES for a two-year period to create promotional materials for languages for school pupils and careers advisers. Subject Centre staff are represented on the Steering Group of this project.

Other activities

Postgraduate training in Linguistics

Ali Dickens has organised three meetings to discuss the issues for postgraduate training in linguistics.

Foundation Degrees

The Subject Centre convened an informal meeting held immediately before the UCML plenary in July to discuss the implications of foundation degrees for our subject areas.


The partnership with Scottish CILT is now well established and the second meeting of the Scottish Advisory Group took place on 16 May. The Chair of the Scottish Advisory Group is John Joseph, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh.


The Subject Centre is working with Keith Marshall, Director of CILT Cymru, to set up a partnership to support colleagues in Wales following the SCILT model. In addition to this we have, in partnership with Alison Allan at HEFCW, convened a meeting of those involved in the teaching of Welsh in HE in January 2003. At present, we are in discussion with HEFCW about the future role and remit of this group. The Subject Centre has been invited to participate in discussions on the implementation of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Modern Foreign Languages Strategy for Higher Education.

Learning Technologies

The Learning Technologies Special Interest Group met in February. Additional members were added to the group. The group provided useful advice to the Subject Centre on the shaping of the call for bids for the learning technologies project on ‘Rethinking pedagogical models for e learning’. Eight bids were submitted. The University of Sheffield was awarded the project. This will be led by Danielle Barbereau, Director of the Language Centre at Sheffield.

2004 Conference

The Subject Centre and CILT are starting to plan a conference for July 2004. The focus will be languages and related studies with strands on policy as well as pedagogy. Partners in the conference are UCML, SCHML and AULC. The conference will take place from 30 June to 1 July at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Management issues

The University of Hull withdrew from its partnership with the Subject Centre at the end of December 2002 following the departure of Janet Bartle, the full-time Learning Technology Advisor.

Higher Education Academy

The Report of the Teaching Quality Enhancement Committee published in January 2003 recommended that a new Higher Education Academy be established. The Academy would bring together the functions of ILTHE, HESDA and LTSN and develop new functions to better support the enhancement needs and interests of higher education communities. At present, the functions and remit of the academy are being developed in detail. Subject Centres should be fully integrated into the Academy by August 2004.