UK universities face cash black hole amid coronavirus crisis | Education

British universities face a black hole of hundreds of millions of pounds in tuition fees from the impact of coronavirus as international students from China and other severely affected countries are forced to cancel or postpone enrolments. Sources told the Guardian that most universities are planning for new students from China to delay entry until January next year, with online teaching offered. Exams, including English language tests required for visas and university admissions, have been cancelled in China, where 80,000…

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No habla español? How Netflix could transform the way we learn languages | Education

For years people around the world have learned English by watching Hollywood movies and costume dramas on the BBC. Now British monoglots have one less excuse for not returning the favour: a new online tool that turns the streaming service Netflix into a sofa-based language lab. Language Learning With Netflix (LLN), a tool that allows viewers to watch foreign language shows with subtitles both in the original language and English, and pauses automatically to allow the learner to absorb what…

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Why we should learn German | John le Carré | Education

I began learning German at the age of 13, and I’m still trying to explain to myself why it was love at first sound. The answer must surely be: the excellence of my teacher. At an English public school not famed for its cultural generosity, Mr King was that rare thing: a kindly and intelligent man who, in the thick of the second world war, determinedly loved the Germany that he knew was still there somewhere. Rather than join the…

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‘Too much risk’: why Erasmus students are shunning Brexit Britain | Education

When Julia Quirós Rodríguez, from Cadiz, in Spain, dreamed about doing a student exchange under the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme she always imagined coming to the UK. But her university warned her off Brexit Britain, and she is studying at the University of Galway, in Ireland, instead. Last year Rodríguez had to choose eight European universities where she would like to do her Erasmus+ exchange. As she is studying English, her choices were all in Britain. However, her university asked…

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Learning foreign languages should be compulsory, says report | Education

Learning a new language should be compulsory for pupils up to the age of 16, according to a new report highlighting the UK’s recent abysmal record in encouraging young people to study languages other than English. The report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) cites an EU-wide survey showing that just 32% of young people in the UK say they are able to read or write in more than one language, compared with 79% of their peers in…

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‘Victor Hugo becomes a sex god in my mind’ – how to get better at French | Education

I used to think I was pretty great at French: I could handle a subjunctive and disdained the myriad mangled pronunciations of “millefeuille” on Masterchef. I lived in French-speaking Brussels for 12 years and have a French husband who still tolerates me misgendering the dishwasher after 24 years. My inflated sense of my abilities was bolstered over the years by compliments from surprised French people. Admittedly, the bar is pitifully low for Brits speaking a foreign language: like Samuel Johnson’s…

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The pedants’ pedant: why the Apostrophe Protection Society has closed in disgust | Education

Name: The Apostrophe Protection Society. Age: 18. Appearance: Hands in the air, white flag clutched in its fingers. What’s happened? After a long and brave battle against apostrophe abuse and other common English usage errors, the APS has disbanded. Its a sad day for pedants everywhere. It’s. And it is indeed. “At 96, I am cutting back on my commitments,” said the APS chairman and driving force John Richards, a retired journalist from Boston, Lincolnshire. Fair enough. I am glad…

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French and German GCSEs to be marked less harshly, Ofqual rules | Education

French and German GCSEs are to be marked less severely from next year amid concerns that students are being put off studying modern foreign languages (MFL) because it is more difficult to get top grades in these than in other subjects. The qualifications regulator Ofqual has ruled there should be an adjustment to grading standards in French and German GCSEs – entries for which have declined dramatically – but not in Spanish where numbers have been more buoyant. The government…

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A language family tree – in pictures

Minna Sundberg’s illustration maps the relationships between Indo-European and Uralic languages. The creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, put the illustration together to show why some of the characters in her comic were able to understand each other despite speaking different languages. She wanted to show how closely related Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic were to each other, and how Finnish came from distinct linguistic roots Continue reading… Source link

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The ultimate guide to Cockney rhyming slang | Education

Many of us know that “brown bread” is Cockney rhyming slang for dead, “china plate” for mate, and “bubble bath” for laugh. But how many know the meaning of the phrases? The historic native wit of this east end community (and its followers from around the world) often has an interesting logic to its phrases. Rather than simply a rhyming association, the slang reflects meaning in the expressions themselves. Here’s a guide to the most commonly-used Cockney rhyming slang: “Apples…

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Oromo children’s books keep once-banned Ethiopian language alive | Education

Toltu Tufa grew up in Australia, so she couldn’t understand why her father insisted on teaching her Oromo, a macrolanguage spoken in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Egypt. But what she went on to discover about the language prompted her to launch the first publishing company to print children’s books entirely in Oromo, which she exports from her home in Footscray, 5km west of Melbourne, to schools and families throughout the world. Tufa’s father is from Ethiopia where Amharic,…

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Science and language teachers to get £9,000 ‘staying on’ bonus | Education

New science and modern languages teachers in England will receive “staying on” bonuses of up to £9,000 from next year, as the government announced a fresh round of trainee bursaries and scholarships on the heels of pre-election pay rises and increased school funding. The Department for Education (DfE) said that from 2020, new teachers with degrees in physics or chemistry, or in languages such as French or Spanish, would join those with maths degrees in being eligible for “early-career payments”…

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Philip Holmes obituary | Education

My friend and colleague Philip Holmes, who has died aged 74, dedicated most of his life to the study of Scandinavian languages and cultures, in particular Swedish. His 630-page book, Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar, co-authored with Ian Hinchliffe, was published in 1993 and ran to three editions as well as several shorter spin-offs. But Swedish was not enough – an equally voluminous Danish: A Comprehensive Grammar followed in 1995 (co-authors Bob Allen and Tom Lundskær-Nielsen), and a Norwegian book of…

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Foreign language learning more vital than ever in post-Brexit world | Letters | Education

The fall in the number of pupils studying modern foreign languages (MFL) is concerning and continues a trend started when the government of the day removed the compulsion for our young people to study a language to age 16 back in the 90s (Learn a language? No need for them once we quit the EU, parents tell schools, 3 May). Languages are an essential part of a broad, balanced curriculum. Not only do they provide an opportunity to communicate more…

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Brexit ‘putting pupils off modern foreign languages’ | Education

The aftermath of Brexit and the difficulty of new GCSE and A-level exams have combined to put off young people from studying modern foreign languages (MFL) at school, according to a new report by the British Council. While more than two-thirds of teachers surveyed by the British Council said the difficulty of the exams was causing concern, one in four said Brexit had “cast a pall” over pupils learning any foreign languages, with some parents actively discouraging their children. Teachers…

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