Khafi Kareem, the winner of our Languages Speak Up Competition, has been shortlisted for a Shell Livewire Award. If successful, she stands to win £1000 towards her start up Language Experience UK (www.LangExpUK.com), which delivers interactive language immersion workshops for young people using theatre in education.
A polyglot who speaks five languages (French, Italian, Yoruba British Sign Language, as well as her native English), Khafi has had the opportunity to live, work and volunteer in Italy, France, China and America, which accelerated her language learning. Having grown up in a family who could not afford school trips abroad, she understands that not all young people have the opportunity to travel. She believes that this should not be a barrier to language learning and wants to give young people the opportunity to actively experience the language and culture of the language they are learning through the Language Experience UK workshops.
Good intentions alone will not help us introduce languages such as Chinese and Arabic into the curriculum. If we want to thrive in a global society, we need to take firm action now, says the British Council’s Vicky Gough.
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Last year, the British Academy awarded a total of £60,000 to schools, colleges and other providers, including supplementary schools, to encourage excellence in language learning.
In 2014, the British Academy is again offering a series of Awards throughout the UK for projects that encourage larger numbers of students to take languages to advanced and degree level.
London has a proud tradition of embracing its many different cultures and languages. Within neighbourhoods, schools often fulfil the role of “community hubs”, engaging families across cultures, supporting newly-arrived families and those with English as an additional language to overcome barriers, and encourage their children to achieve and contribute their skills and talents.
The numbers of students studying languages degrees is at its lowest in a decade – universities must make their academic study more pertinent, argues Professor Katrin Kohl, vice-chair of the Faculty of Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.
Learning a language is not only tough but may be dull unless it involves intellectual challenges, cultural attractions, and communicative rewards.
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The real significance of Language Trends
Bernardette Holmes, Speak to the Future’s Campaign Director, comments on research published on 25 March, 2014.
The publication of the 12th in the series of annual research exercises, Language Trends 2013-2014 carried out under the joint direction of CfBT and the British Council provides us with an up-to-date appraisal of language provision in English schools. The benefit of this report is in its longevity. It is the only survey which has collated annual data drawn from a sample of state maintained and independent secondary schools over this critical period in the development of language policy.
Primary and secondary schools in England are worried they will not meet new requirements to effectively teach languages, a report from the British Council and CfBT Education Trust has found.
The Guardian online – English schools not ready for language curriculum change– http://bit.ly/1j2tmHY