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Languages in the news - Archive

The Landscape for Languages in the UK - Jocelyn Wyburd

10 November 2018

This talk given at the Language Show in London, explores the implications of Brexit for both language learning and the supply of language teachers, while also reflecting on the wider landscape for languages across the sectors. (Presentation available for download)

Unlocking the secret of how the brain encodes speech

26 September 2018

New research has moved science closer by unlocking new information about how the brain encodes speech. They discovered the brain controls speech in a similar way to how it controls arm movements.

Bilingualism: How we turn on and off languages

10 September 2018

A team of researchers has uncovered the distinct computations that occur when we switch between different languages, a finding that provides new insights into the nature of bilingualism.

Languages boost to deliver skilled workforce for UK's businesses

03 August 2018

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb unveils new drive to deliver a nation of confident linguists and ensure businesses have the skilled workers they need.

EU students get post-Brexit fees promise

02 July 2018

EU students at universities in England, Wales and Scotland will continue to be treated the same as home students in the first intake after Brexit.

Why are teenagers in England becoming less likely to learn languages?

27 June 2018

'Just over a third of state schools reported that leaving the EU is having a negative impact on student motivation and/or parental attitudes towards language learning.'

Can you lose your native language?

08 June 2018

It’s possible to forget your first language, even as an adult. But how, and why, this happens is complex and counter-intuitive.

New research shows how Indo-European languages spread across Asia

10 May 2018

The research sheds new light on the long-standing 'steppe theory' on the origin and movement of Indo-European languages made possible by the domestication of the horse.

Vice-chancellors urge action to stop predicted 60% fall in EU students

24 April 2018

UK university leaders demand government rethink post-Brexit fees of up to £20,000 for those from Europe.

How bilinguals process language

09 April 2018

Research led by a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, shows that bilinguals regulate, or suppress, their native language when reading in a second language.

International Mother Language Day

21 February 2018

Linguistic diversity and multilingualism: keystones of sustainability and peace.

Breaking the Silence

20 February 2018

Cambridge speaks out against sexual misconduct.

Language is learned in brain circuits that predate humans

30 January 2018

It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose.

Only by speaking European languages will Britain rebuild the bridges burned by Brexit

26 January 2018

We will need to rethink our laissez-faire approach to “foreign” languages, and learn to speak to our potential partners in their own first languages.

About Modern Languages: All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)

10 January 2018

Watch Baroness Coussins speech in Lords debate on need for MFL skills in the Government's Industrial Strategy.

Studying languages in post-Brexit Britain will become even less accessible

29 November 2017

Galaxy Henry talks about the problem of underprivilege in learning languages other than English, and why we should appreciate them enough to keep them alive.

BT and Huawei announce five year collaboration with Cambridge

16 November 2017

"By working with BT and Huawei we will be able to demonstrate that the insights delivered through our research have broad impact" ̶  Prof Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor.

'Languages after Brexit - How the UK Speaks to the World'

06 November 2017

New topical book including a chapter from our Director Jocelyn Wyburd: 'Building Capacity in UK Higher Education', pp 173-183. Represents the definitive assessment of the UK’s language needs and capabilities as the country faces up to Brexit.

University of Cambridge launches campaign to promote zero tolerance of sexual misconduct

24 October 2017

Today the University and Colleges of Cambridge and CUSU are launching a zero tolerance campaign around sexual misconduct.

Cambridge launches student vlog

03 October 2017

Cambridge is on the hunt for its best student vlogger with £200 of video kit and expert mentoring up for grabs.

New Vice-Chancellor for Cambridge

02 October 2017

Professor Stephen Toope became the 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, succeeding Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

Students tips on getting started at Cambridge University

17 August 2017

We met up with some Cambridge University vloggers to find out what it's really like to study at Cambridge, and also get some insiders’ advice for students starting next term.

Cambridge libraries are key to success in TEF Gold Award

24 July 2017

The University of Cambridge has recently been awarded the Gold Award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The Next Generation of Linguists is Buzzing

03 July 2017

On Friday 30 June and Monday 3 July, MML and the University of Cambridge were proud to hold two very exciting events for language lovers.

The Vice-Chancellor discusses Brexit

30 June 2017

As Brexit negotiations begin, the University of Cambridge's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, discusses the University's priorities in any future Brexit deal.

Year Two results of the Teaching Excellence Framework ('TEF2')

22 June 2017

The University of Cambridge has been given a Gold Award for its performance in TEF2, the highest award available to participating universities.

The linguist exploring questions of love and loss

15 June 2017

Emma Wilson remembers waiting in an icy corridor for her admissions interview at Newnham College, a place she describes as “exactly right for me”.

The boy who dared to take the chalk from the teacher’s hand

09 June 2017

He revised for GCSEs with his course books in one hand and a Persian-English dictionary in the other.

Innovative language teaching and learning at university: enhancing employability

23 May 2017

The second volume in this series of papers dedicated to innovative language teaching and learning at university focuses on enhancing employability.

The Hebrew teacher who opens doors to learning

28 April 2017

She loves the silence of libraries and believes that modesty is key to learning. Hagar Ben-Zion teaches Hebrew at the Language Centre and catalogues Hebrew books at the University Library.

EU offers more language choice to hopeful recruits

24 April 2017

The EU has changed the language requirements for its recruitment process, with prospective candidates now able to select from a wider pool of languages and no longer limited to English, French or German.

School of Arts and Humanities appoints next Head of School

04 April 2017

Professor Chris Young will succeed Professor Martin Millet in January 2019.

A Map of Lexical Distances Between Europe's Languages

07 March 2017

A Finn and a Spaniard walk into a bar. How do they strike up a conversation? It would be exceptional for either to speak each other's language. And it would be rare for both to be fluent enough in French, German, Esperanto or Russian – all languages which once had the ambition to become Europe's lingua franca.

On language and defiance: a Q & A with Ilan Stavans

02 March 2017

We caught up with Ilan Stavans, Editor in Chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, to discuss his recent New York Times editorial, the use of the Spanish language in the United States, and why Spanish isn’t a foreign language in the US.

Don’t be ‘angst-ridden’ over Brexit divide with communities: v-c

24 February 2017

But Cambridge head warns that perceived isolation from neighbours is ‘biggest challenge’.

Vice-Chancellor's statement on anti-semitic leaflets

07 February 2017

"The University of Cambridge is an inclusive, diverse and welcoming community." says Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

Vice-Chancellor's statement on US travel ban

30 January 2017

"The executive order issued by the United States government is an affront to one of the most fundamental human freedoms," says Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

'Brits should learn Polish or Urdu to help encourage integration'

17 January 2017

Professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett said a 'basic understanding' in other community languages would help social cohesion in the UK.

University people recognised in 2017 New Year Honours list

30 December 2016

Distinguished members of the University of Cambridge have been named in the 2017 New Year Honours list, announced today.

Learning a second language still matters

13 December 2016

Speaking a foreign language remains vitally important in the Brexit era, says Wendy Ayres-Bennett.

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #5

01 November 2016

In the fifth of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Dr John Gallagher, historian of early modern Europe, argues that Britain should look to its past to rediscover the importance of language learning.

Cambridge support for MPs' position on the importance of language skills

19 October 2016

Professor Graham Virgo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at The University of Cambridge "strongly support[s] the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages' appeal to Government to ensure that improving the UK's language skills is treated as an urgent policy issue."

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #4

19 October 2016

In the fourth of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Wendy Ayres-Bennett, Professor of French Philology and Linguistics, argues that the UK Government needs a coherent policy on languages as the country prepares to leave the EU.

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #3

13 October 2016

Jocelyn Wyburd, our Director, argues that Brexit poses an additional threat to language learning in Britain which must be overcome.

The Linguist: Learning without EU (pp 11-13)

07 October 2016

Jocelyn Wyburd, our Director, warns us about our attitude towards languages in the wake of Brexit, and expresses the need for a national policy on multilingualism!

A message from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. October 2016

01 October 2016

A message from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, at the start of the Academic Year, October 2016.

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain#2

26 September 2016

In the first of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Sarah Colvin, Schröder Professor of German and Head of the Department of German and Dutch, argues that learning languages is key to understanding how people think and plays a major role in social cohesion.

Festival of Ideas: African Film Screening

09 September 2016

We are delighted to announce the screening of the African Film (Life is Waiting 2015, 59mins) we are sponsoring (free viewing) as part of the Cambridge African Film Festival on Monday 24 October: 7:30pm - 9:30pm.

World University Rankings 2015-2016

15 August 2016

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016 list the best global universities and are the only international university performance tables to judge world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Students try to revive language-learning

08 July 2016

Ten high-achieving students from Alec Hunter Academy in Braintree visited Cambridge University, trying to revive language learning.

Post-Brexit, Studying Language and Culture Is More Urgent Than Ever

28 June 2016

Statement from the Board of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages (MML).

Pilkington Prizewinners 2016

23 June 2016

Last night we raised our glasses in toast to the Class of 2016: the biochemist, clinicians, computer scientist, engineer, geographer, historian, linguist, material scientist, philosopher, neuroscientist and social anthropologist – all of whom were being honoured by the University for their teaching.

Sponsoring CAFF 2016

10 June 2016

The University of Cambridge Language Centre is delighted to be sponsoring the Cambridge African Film Festival 2016, and in particular the screening of 'Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara' on 25th October 2016 in association with the Festival of Ideas.

Urgent action needed to close UK languages gap

24 May 2016

The UK Government needs to urgently adopt a new, comprehensive languages strategy if it is to keep pace with its international competitors and reduce a skills deficit that has wide-reaching economic, political, and military effects.

What is the value of languages to the UK?

23 May 2016

A new report by Cambridge Public Policy draws on discussions held at a workshop in Cambridge in October 2015 to discuss strategic issues in which languages play a part: national security, diplomacy and conflict resolution, community and social cohesion, migration and identity.

Strong demand for Cambridge English exams

05 May 2016

The number of institutions choosing to recognise Cambridge English exams has continued to grow over the last two months, with over 180 new organisations joining the list of those accepting our qualifications.

Modern foreign languages exam entries decline

18 April 2016

Language experts have warned about a shortage of language skills among young people, as new figures show a decline in take-up.

Languages Project with Cambridge University

11 April 2016

As part of a nationwide drive to encourage the uptake of languages at GCSE and A-level, Xaverian college teamed up with Cambridge University to offer pupils from schools in and around Manchester the chance to spend a day with language experts.

Key advance: Neuroscientists get a new look into how we read

07 April 2016

Brain scans show activity during normal reading.

Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Society

21 March 2016

Cambridge to explore the benefits of multilingualism in major AHRC research project.

How Do We Learn Languages?

29 February 2016

Nowadays, scientists and doctors are discovering the important brain zones involved in the processing of language information.

Pilkington Prize 2016

09 February 2016

Two members of teaching staff within the School of Arts and Humanities have been awarded this year's Pilkington Prize by the University.

The Language Centre receives £50,000 to support Sri Lankan languages

04 February 2016

The donation to the Language Centre will enable the University of Cambridge to establish a dedicated Sri Lankan language scheme for a five-year period. The scheme will include intensive full-time summer language courses as well as part-time “in-session” programmes.

English as a Lingua Franca

22 January 2016

Jocelyn Wyburd, our Director, describes the use of English as a lingua franca and explains why it's important to learn languages.

Exclusive: language GCSEs at risk of being too easy and too dull, universities warn

15 January 2016

New language GCSEs are at risk of being seen as too easy and too dull, universities have said, dubbing one draft exam question about grocery shopping as “Year 7 material”.

Does the rise of English mean losing knowledge?

13 January 2016

Are we "losing knowledge" because of the growing dominance of English as the language of higher education and research?

How short films are encouraging more pupils to study languages

13 December 2015

Despite huge demand for employees who speak multiple languages [...], fewer students are choosing to pursue MFL subjects at A-level or degree level. How can we turn this around?

Languages are fighting back

12 November 2015

The number of young people studying languages in the UK is falling. Determined to change this, the University is running an increasing number of events to highlight the life-changing power of languages.

The roots of language: what makes us different from other animals?

06 November 2015

At the heart of our unique language ability lie other forms of cognition and cooperation, argue Paul Ibbotson and Michael Tomasello.

Myth: young people have abandoned language learning

02 November 2015

Fact: applications to language degrees have plummeted – but students are finding novel ways to learn.

Tech’s ability to close language gaps deserves cautious support

28 October 2015

Machine translation and apps that try to ease language-learning are flourishing. But whether tech will save or kill off endangered tongues is hard to foresee.

Only a change in the national mindset will save language learning

01 October 2015

The decline in languages affects independent schools and state schools alike. We must work together to fix it.

Why does the European Day of Languages matter?

26 September 2015

To celebrate the European Day of Languages 2015, the FMLS subject editors in French, German, Russian, and Spanish wrote a piece for the OUPblog on the importance and value of studying modern European languages.

People worldwide -- even nomads in Tanzania -- think of colors the same way

10 September 2015

Assigning names to colors combines nature and nurture.

Finding iconicity in spoken languages

09 September 2015

New research shows that for Indo-European languages, like English and Spanish, iconicity is more common than previously believed.

Unusual ‘relic language’ comes from small group of farmers isolated for thousands of years

07 September 2015

These Basque people from northern Spain have preserved their traditions and their unique language.

Modern languages ‘sold short by REF’

26 August 2015

The merger of seven subpanels into a single one for modern languages and linguistics has skewed results, claim scholars.

How diplomats learn so many new languages in a short amount of time

16 August 2015

The U.S. Department of State runs its own mini-university for diplomats known as the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and the largest section is reserved for foreign language instruction.

GCSE students discover the wonders of German

18 June 2015

COGS German Translation Day at Murray Edwards College was attended by 115 GCSE and A-level students from 30 UK schools.

Valuing Languages

02 June 2015

[L]ocal communities, national governments, and the international community need to value language diversity.

How to learn 30 languages

29 May 2015

Some people can speak a seemingly impossible number of tongues. How do they manage it, asks David Robson, and what can we learn from them?

Australia developing first ever school curriculum for Indigenous languages

26 May 2015

Curriculum set to be finalised in October and be available as an online resource to primary and high schools.

University modern language courses easier to get on than five years ago

08 May 2015

In 2010, students had a 15.9% chance of winning a place at one of the 24 Russell Group universities, rising to 17.4% in 2014 due to dwindling interest.

Multilingualism and the EU - Babelicious

30 April 2015

Why the EU has to stick to its multilingual goal.

Think your world view is fixed? Learn another language and you’ll think differently

27 April 2015

New research says that a German speaker and an English speaker perceive the world in different ways – thanks to the grammatical toolkit they’re using.

French exams kick out les cliches

13 April 2015

An exam board wants GCSEs in modern languages to escape outdated vocabulary and implausible conversations about holidays, the weather and zoo visits.

Is learning on the job the best way to master a language?

31 March 2015

From au pairing to serving ice cream, getting a job abroad can help language students improve their skills. But how do you know which job to choose?

'Difficult climate' for language teaching, study finds

18 March 2015

Language teaching is facing a "difficult climate" in England's schools, researchers say.

Secrets of learning a language — quickly

03 March 2015

Can you learn even complex languages quickly?

Lots of users mean languages gain more words

23 February 2015

While small populations of speakers lose words faster.

On Mother Language Day, UN spotlights role of native tongue in education

21 February 2015

Mother tongue education is not only a force for quality learning, it is also essential to bolster multilingualism and respect for linguistic and cultural diversity at a time when societies are transforming quickly and many languages are under threat, the United Nations agency mandated with promoting education said today.

Top 10 podcasts to help you learn a language

09 February 2015

From videos in Japanese to news in German, language blogger Lindsay Dow recommends her favourite podcasts to keep you motivated and inspired while improving your skills.

Language learning in the UK: 'can't, won't, don't'

27 January 2015

In terms of language learning, we’re a nation of committed non-swimmers faced with a swimming pool – anxious about diving in and not convinced of the joys of taking the plunge, writes John Worne.

Universities worry about fallout from research ranking

20 January 2015

As universities congratulate themselves on their ratings in the Research Excellence Framework, there are fears that subjects such as modern languages may end up losing out.

A Point of View: Why do some people dislike hearing foreign languages in the street?

16 January 2015

Unfamiliar words can make people feel uneasy, but embracing new languages is good for us, writes AL Kennedy.

Meet Cambridge University linguist Dr Bert Vaux - the Sherlock Holmes of languages...

02 January 2015

The most-read story in the history of the New York Times isn’t news-related: it’s actually a quiz that predicts where Americans are from by the words that they use. And the man who wrote it – linguist Dr Bert Vaux – has plans to launch it here too.

How to survive the worst moments of learning a language

17 December 201402

From talking on the phone for the first time to using local slang and being faced with a wall of laughter, Erica Buist on how to get over some of the most painful language mistakes.

How information moves between cultures

16 December 2014

Networks that map strength of connections between languages predict global influence of their speakers.

Why Save a Language?

5 December 2014

“TELL me, why should we care?” he asks.

Ten ways to support community languages in the UK

2 December 2014

How can schools and communities better value and develop the skills of bilingual children? Our experts share their thoughts .

Community languages not supported in UK education system, survey suggests

28 November 2014

Despite the fact almost one in five young people have a first language other than English, research reveals their skills go unsupported and unrecognised by exam system.

Adoptees' 'lost language' from infancy triggers brain response

17 November 2014

Children don't consciously remember Chinese, but their brains still react to it, fMRI shows.

Learning languages is a workout for brains, both young and old

13 November 2014

Researchers might be able to predict how easily you can learn a new language by observing your brain network.

Live Q&A: how can we better support community languages?

12 November 2014

There are hundreds of languages spoken across the UK. How can we capitalise on their educational, economic and cultural value? Join us on 14 November, 1-3pm BST, to discuss.

Learning the local language made my year abroad unforgettable

03 November 2014

Understanding German opened up a new world of under-the-radar flea markets and student nights.

Languages in schools: put down the textbook and pick up a drum

03 November 2014

Recent event for language teachers and pupils explored how music and sport could help increase student engagement.

Learning a language – 10 things you need to know

30 October 2014

Thinking about learning a foreign language? From ignoring your age to avoiding the F-word, our multilingual experts share their tips.

London Language Festival - the highlights

21 October 2014

Last weekend language enthusiasts descended on Olympia conference centre in London to celebrate linguistic diversity. Here are some of the highlights.

Paddy Ashdown: ‘Learning six languages has changed my life’

14 October 2014

From speaking Malay as a young marine, to offending his Chinese teacher with unfortunate translations, Paddy shares the twists and turns of his language adventures.

"Kernel" lexicon of languages remains stable in the long run

07 October 2014

The frequency with which we use different words changes all the time, new words are invented or fall out of use.

The Secret to Learning a Foreign Language as an Adult

02 October 2014

CEO David Bailey describes how he taught himself French in only 17 days.

Massive Study Shows How Languages Change

01 October 2014

Why Russian is harder to learn than English.

Get your tongue around German to master speaking English

26 September 2014

It has become commonplace to hear that English is now a sort of “global” language, or lingua franca.

Most Europeans can speak multiple languages. UK and Ireland not so much

26 September 2014

Over half of people in the EU can speak at least two languages with 38% able to speak English.

Share your language skills: help us create a picture dictionary of Europe

23 September 2014

To mark European Day of Languages, submit a picture of an everyday item and tell us what it’s called in your home language.

Exchange students '40% go on to live and work abroad'

22 September 2014

Going overseas to study as a university student seems to have a big impact on making people want to work abroad in later life, suggests research.

Professor examines convergence of languages, cultures in Chinese Inner Asia

18 September 2014

There's no such thing as a pure language or a pure culture, but the degree to which they mix varies.

Am I too old to learn a new language?

13 September 2014

The brain's neuroplasticity decreases with age, but this shouldn't put off older learners – they do have some advantages.

Give languages a fair shout

04 September 2014

We need policy to foster foreign language study at all levels of education, says Jocelyn Wyburd.

Economic success 'drives language extinction'

03 September 2014

Economic development is driving the extinction of some languages, scientists believe.

Primary school language lessons not translating to secondaries

02 September 2014

Lack of co-ordination between primary schools means secondary pupils can start with totally different linguistic skills.

Alliances overseas can ‘secure future’ for languages

28 August 2014

Lack of succession planning is eroding research base, says head of Institute of Modern Languages Research.

Why language learners don't have to miss the punchline

20 August 2014

Humour can help you get to grips with another language – even if this just means laughing at your own mispronunciations.

Steven Pinker: 10 'grammar rules' it's OK to break (sometimes)

15 August 2014

You shudder at a split infinitive, know when to use 'that' or 'which' and would never confuse 'less' with 'fewer' – but are these rules always right, elegant or sensible, asks linguist Steven Pinker.

Congratulations, you've got the job – as long as you can master a new language

13 August 2014

Is it realistic to learn a language for a job? Louise Tickle, who attempted Welsh, looks at what it takes to master a new tongue. 

My languages guilt: am I making the most of my degree?

31 July 2014

The government complains about a modern languages skills gap, but graduates often find they have to retrain to get a job. 

Are drugs the answer to language learning? – video highlights

24 July 2014

Could smart drugs be the future for language learning? What are the moral and ethical implications of medically enhanced education? ... 

Trying harder makes it more difficult to learn certain aspects of language, shows study

22 July 2014

When it comes to learning languages, adults and children have different strengths. 

New modern language A Levels could reinvigorate passion for French, German and Spanish

21 July 2014

As part of its revamp of the A Level curriculum, the government has launched a consultation on the way modern languages are taught at sixth form.). 

What makes a language attractive – its sound, national identity or familiarity?

17 July 2014

The allure of a language may have more to do with perceptions of that country's status and social values than its actual sound.

Academics propose changes to modern languages A levels

16 July 2014

Universities have proposed wide-ranging changes to modern languages A levels as “serious deficiencies” mean they are seen as “dull and uninspiring”.

University role ‘crucial’ for languages recovery

14 July 2014

Universities have a crucial role to play in “a national recovery programme” to improve the level of Britain’s linguistic skills.

Modern languages 'recovery programme' urged by MPs

14 July 2014

Not enough people in the UK have ability and skill in crucial foreign languages, argues a report.

Languages in Wales deserve a fighting chance

11 July 2014

Reflecting on his redundancy, former director for the national languages centre shares his hope for the future of language education in Wales.

Lack of languages stifles Brits and Americans

08 July 2014

Why learn a second language if everyone speaks English? To better understand a culture, or boost your employability in the global economy, finds a Guardian roundtable.

What Language Should I Learn?

07 July 2014

Learning a new language is an enriching and rewarding experience. It opens so many doors, professionally and personally.

Ethnos Project - Technology and Language Revitalization: A Conspectus

04 July 2014

Increasingly the world’s indigenous people are recognizing the value of using digital environments in the battle against the extinction of their languages and cultures (Hermes & King 2013). 

A promiscuous language learner

03 July 2014

Ever met someone with a backpfeifengesicht (a face in need of a slap)? Untranslatable words are just one reason that Eleanor Muffitt can't get enough of language learning.

Muscovites learn Central Asian languages to improve ties with migrants

02 July 2014

Organisers of new Tajik, Uzbek, Kazakh and Moldovan language classes say they hope to ease tensions between Muscovites and migrant workers from Central Asia.

Drop the negative spin on kids who start school bilingual

01 July 2014

– they are a rich resource for the future.

We can learn new languages while we sleep

30 June 2014

Listening to other languages while you sleep help reinforce learning, a team of Swiss psychologists has found.

Scots and Gaelic to be recorded for 'Wikipedia of languages'

29 June 2014

Gaelic and Scots is to be added to a pioneering website set to become the Wikipedia of languages.

Wanting it enough: why motivation is the key to language learning

26 June 2014

The reasons for learning a second language can be endless but the secret to success is rooted in the science of motivation.

Are employers really worried about Britain's language skills?

24 June 2014

The small print of the CBI's survey suggests that employers may not be so worried as their lobby group would like to suggest.

Can I have p please Bob? Using 80s gameshows to teach languages

23 June 2014

Family Fortunes, Blockbuster and Blankety Blank aren't the most obvious teaching tools, but they they can be great for encouraging students to learn vocabulary.

Foreign languages 'shortfall' for business, CBI says

22 June 2014

The UK's education system is failing to produce enough people with foreign-language skills to meet a growing need from business, the CBI has said.

Schools drop languages for being too difficult, says Coventry University expert

18 June 2014

Only private schools and very best state schools are teaching A-level modern languages, it is claimed .

£1.6m boost for the Welsh language

17 June 2014

A total of £1.6m is to be spent on measures to strengthen the Welsh language over the next two years, said First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Speak It, Keep It, Tweet It: Reaffirming the Pride and Place of African Languages

13 June 2014

From governments elevating local languages in classrooms, to internet-users chatting in their mother tongues, Africa's indigenous languages are on the up.

Prospero: The future of language

11 June 2014

Johnson: English against the machine.

African Wikipedia aims to create online legacy of traditions and languages

10 June 2014

Internet encyclopedia will be first port of call for information on customs, oral storytelling and arts and crafts at risk of extinction.

As forests are cleared and species vanish, there's one other loss: a world of languages

08 June 2014

A new report shows a direct link between disappearing habitats and the loss of languages. One in four of the world's 7,000 spoken tongues is now at risk of falling silent for ever as the threat to cultural biodiversity grows.

Mandarin on the school curriculum under languages shake-up

06 June 2014

The Department for Education signals a major expansion of Mandarin lessons in state schools with plans to train more than a thousand teachers to deliver the subject .

University guide 2015: league table for modern languages and linguistics

03 June 2014

Includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, south Asian, African, Australasian, modern Middle Eastern languages, and literature and linguistics.

Cambridge vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz attacks immigration curbs

02 June 2014

Welsh-born son of Polish refugees says he abhors migration target, arguing 'crude limits hide potential benefit' of migrants.

Bilingualism offers 'huge advantages', claims Cambridge University head

02 June 2014

Vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz wants education system to allow children to strive to become as bilingual as they can be.

Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

02 June 2014

Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests.

TES Languages Week

30 May 2014

Between 2 and 6 June, we'll be bringing you Languages Week, celebrating all things MFL...

Sweeping changes to language education underway

28 May 2014

Could We Possibly Start with English?

How languages evolve - Alex Gendler

27 May 2014

Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all?

The Science of Learning a New Language (and How to Use It)

20 May 2014

Learning new languages is a natural instinct for children, and yet it becomes more difficult as we age. We might be at a disadvantage as adults, but with a few learning methods, you can still give yourself the best chance for learning a new language.

How I became a UN interpreter

15 May 2014

From an early interest in French sparked at an after-school club to a chance to learn Russian, Helen Reynolds-Brown talks about her career as a UN interpreter.

How important is differentiation in language teaching?

14 May 2014

While differentiation isn't essential for primary students, teachers need a more holistic approach for secondary pupils, who learn as much about culture as language.

Teaching languages with technology: tools that help students become fluent

13 May 2014

From Padlets to Popplets, languages consultant Joe Dale shares the tools modern foreign languages teachers are turning to in their classroom.

Is technology a silver bullet for language teaching and learning?

12 May 2014

Technology such as Twitter and videos does support language learning, but teachers will only see the benefits if it goes hand-in-hand with a change of pedagogy.

I learned a language the old-fashioned way – with a pen pal

09 May 2014

Learning a language through letters to a pen friend means sometimes forgiving the odd grammatical mistake.

How big data is changing how we study languages

07 May 2014

Big data is enriching the field of language study, but data access needs to be opened up more for academics to scrunitise the figures properly.

Language learning influences critical reflection on self

07 May 2014

Language, identity and global citizenship were all on the table when prestigious speaker Virginia Scott spoke in Viking Theater on Thursday, April 24.

The importance of languages

30 April 2014

I am a prospective Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures major with planned certificates in creative writing and Latin American studies.

Cultural vocabularies: how many words do the Inuits have for snow?

29 April 2014

The Inuits are not alone in having many words to describe a thing that preoccupies them, patterns occur in the vocabularies of many cultures.

UK Youth Employment to Worsen on Lack of Language Skills

22 April 2014

The fall in modern language course applications really highlights that now is the time to act.

Learning A Language Is For Life, Not Just For Business

17 April 2014

The ability to speak another language is seen as crucial to success in a globalized economy but advocating learning languages based on their usefulness is flawed.

The Antarctic tour guide: my career in languages

17 April 2014

Multilinguist Nikki Rickett leads groups around Antarctica, a job she wouldn't be able to do without her background in languages.

Universities must make languages relevant

16 April 2014

The numbers of students studying languages degrees is at its lowest in a decade – universities must make their academic study more pertinent, argues Katrin Kohl.

11 Things Modern Languages Students Know To Be True

15 April 2014

Students choose to study Modern Languages for a variety of reasons: because it combines learning a language with literature, because it is an opportunity to travel, or maybe just because they are passionate about a certain country.

UK students taking languages degrees at record low

10 April 2014

Number of undergraduates on full-time modern foreign language courses at lowest point in a decade, new report concludes.

Studying abroad could give you an edge in the job market

26 March 2014

Studying abroad could make recent graduates more marketable while job hunting.

At risk of digital extinction: Europe's smaller languages fight to survive

26 March 2014

The internet and its technologies are eroding many languages, especially in the Baltic countries. What can be done about it?

Many primary school teachers 'ill-equipped' to teach languages

25 March 2014

Schools in England are falling behind their European counterparts, the report says.

Lost in translation? Adventures in another language

21 March 2014

Many language enthusiasts go to El Barco de Ávila to improve English.

If making embarrassing mistakes help you learn a language, I'm doing great

21 March 2014

After a fortnight's sulk, our writer is spurred into action when he watches an American actor being interviewed – in French.

Are 'grammar Nazis' ruining the English language?

19 March 2014

Split infinitives make them shudder and they’d never end a sentence with a preposition. But linguist Geoffrey Pullum has a message for all grammar pedants: you're wrong.

Language learning: what motivates us?

19 March 2014

What happens in the brain when we try to learn a language can tell us a lot about what drives us to learn it in the first place. Lauren Razavi unpacks the science.

A second language spurs learning centers in the brain

14 March 2014

Language Stars stimulates language learning with games, toys and lots of fun.

Johnson: What is a foreign language worth?

11 March 2014

Is learning a foreign language really worth it?

Language is better learned in "casual study"

6 March 2014

International scholars at a conference held in Shanghai on the science of learning suggest an easier, more active way for children to learn a second language than traditional rote memorization in a classroom.

How schools are breaking down the language barrier for EAL students

5 March 2014

The number of students who speak foreign languages at home has risen by 20% in five years. Nick Morrison explores the integration and teaching strategies being used in schools.

There has never been a better time to learn a language

5 March 2014

Language tools, Johnson: A few favourite things.

Are musicians better language learners?

27 February 2014

Children who learn music from a young age find it easier to learn languages even in adulthood, research has found.

Forget French, Russian is the language of love

24 February 2014

After meeting her French fiance during her degree year abroad, Anna Parkin decided to learn Russian for their honeymoon in St Petersburg.

Can I successfully learn a language online?

21 February 2014

Technology has changed the way people learn and access education, particularly languages. But can you successfully master a language only using online tools?

How can minority languages survive in the digital age?

17 February 2014

As technology permeates culture and society becomes ever more reliant on it, minority languages struggle to find their place in the digital world.

ThirdYearAbroad: careers for global graduates

11 February 2014

A panel discussion held at the British Academy addressed issues round languages, the year abroad and graduate employment.

Lost for Words: the need for languages in UK diplomacy and security

11 February 2014

Evidence in a report by the British Academy found the foreign language skills deficit poses a threat to the UK's security.

Learning a language: five tips

7 February 2014

Apps, films, friends and Skype can all help you learn languages.

Duolingo: The future of language learning that puts a personal tutor in everyone's pocket.

5 February 2014

Seth Stevenson tries out the new app that everyone's talking about, which won't even cost you a penny – or a peso

The ten skills students really need when they graduate

4 February 2014

Graduate vacancies are predicted to rise by 10% this year – here are some skills you'll need to make sure you're one of the lucky ones.

Does English still borrow words from other languages?

3 February 2014

English language has "borrowed" words for centuries. But is it now lending more than it's taking, asks Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Why the drop in university applications for languages is worrying

31 January 2014

Ucas figures showing falling applications for modern language degrees pose a real problem for Britain, says Nigel Vincent.

Employers struggle to fill vacancies because of lack of languages

30 January 2014

Employers said they find it difficult to fill 17% of their vacancies because of a lack of foreign language skills, according a recent survey.

School Talk: Learning a second language should begin in reception

29 January 2014

At five children do not feel the same inhibitions as a secondary school student might.

Mandarin for Dr Doom, Arabic apps and rare tongues - language news

24 January 2014

This week in languages: the famous NYU professor, Dr Doom, takes up Mandarin, Canada preserves its rare languages and funding for Israeli startups.

Primary schools in Wales 'should teach foreign languages'

23 January 2014

Primary school children in Wales should be taught foreign languages to boost the number studying them later, the National Centre for Languages has said.

Reel students: 'You don't have to be a toff or Einstein to get into Cambridge

17 January 2014

Four first year undergraduates in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages have been taking part in a video diary project led by Dr Andy Martin.

Languages are in vogue in the fashion industry

17 January 2014

International brands and overseas supply chains make languages essential for a career in fashion.

Are women really better at learning languages?

13 January 2014

It's dangerous to proclaim any characteristic as sweepingly male or female, but is there any truth behind this theory, asks Anne Merritt.

Drop these ugly Anglicisms ASAP, urge French language police

08 January 2014

Académie Française condemns use of abbreviation of as soon as possible, and adoption of score as a verb.

Languages to be compulsory in English primary schools

07 January 2014

It will be compulsory for primary school children aged seven and above to learn another language, from September 2014 in England.

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