Foreign Language

The Importance Of Young People Studying Languages

B.J. Epstein | Posted 29.08.2017 | UK Parents
B.J. Epstein

Though English is my native language, I speak and read some Swedish every day to my young daughter. I do this not just because I have a passion for Swedish language and literature, but also because I know how useful language skills are.

Language Learning Through Immersion - How Do Children Cope?

Cassie Pearse | Posted 17.01.2017 | UK Parents
Cassie Pearse

For a variety of reasons, my family is currently in Merida, Mexico and our small kids (two and four) are in a local school where they are expected to learn and play in Spanish. Below, I document our journey from monolingual children to being in a position where we feel secure enough to leave our kids in an entirely Spanish environment.

Landing And Leaving Expat Life In Dubai

Susan Devaney | Posted 29.11.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Susan Devaney

I'm standing on the cobbled streets of Rome, surrounded by politely pink pastel walls. It's my final stop. I had moved to Dubai shortly after my 2...

'Now More Than Ever' - Why The UK Needs To Make More Time For Language Learning In The Run Up To Brexit

Vicky Gough | Posted 17.11.2016 | UK Politics
Vicky Gough

That said, what is clear, from this new research at least, is that the will to improve our language skills is there, among the British public. For teachers, pupils and parents, this week is certainly a good time to start taking advantage of that but if we are to ensure languages get the place they deserve more widely, we need to make language learning a national and personal priority going forward.

Learning Portuguese: An Olympic Hurdle Too Far for Britons?

Vicky Gough | Posted 05.08.2017 | UK
Vicky Gough

With the eyes of the world soon to be set on sporting glory at Rio 2016, practice certainly makes perfect when it comes to winning gold for Olympic athletes. So, as millions of us get ready to be glued to a summer of physical prowess, in addition to being inspired on the fitness front, can we also use the upcoming buzz as a reason to practice something else - Portuguese, the official language of this year's Games' host-country, Brazil?

Language Learning in the UK: Let's Make Sure We're Not Lost for Words

Vicky Gough | Posted 18.04.2017 | UK
Vicky Gough

While of course speaking English is a huge asset for us, other languages are absolutely vital for the UK's future prosperity. In fact speaking only English might be considered as much as a disadvantage as speaking no English at all when it comes to young people hoping to compete in an increasingly global jobs market.

You Thought Spanish Was Hard? Discovering the Complexity of Indigenous Languages in Mexico

Lucy Bell | Posted 23.06.2016 | UK
Lucy Bell

The case of inflectional classes in Oto-Manguean languages, however, is just one small example of the vital role indigenous languages play in informing our understanding of language. Not all indigenous languages enjoy the same status as those of Mexico, yet each one is as valuable as the next.

Falling in Love with a Foreign Language: The Risks of a Metaphor

Lucy Bell | Posted 01.06.2016 | UK
Lucy Bell

Unless you are brought up in a bilingual environment, a relationship with a second language is something you work to achieve and strive to maintain. It is not something you can buy.

The Many Faces of Bilingualism: Busting the Myth of the 'Perfect' Bilingual

Lucy Bell | Posted 21.05.2016 | UK
Lucy Bell

The blog I posted a few days ago on bilingualism generated some lively debate - not only on Twitter, but also around the Languages staff kitchen table...

Stop Telling Students Their Languages Degrees Are Useless

Josie Miller | Posted 29.05.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Josie Miller

"But why not do a degree in French and Business?" was the favourite from people my parents' age, who have decided that everyone in the world can now communicate through gestures and Google Translate. "Business is useful. Business will help you get a job."

Learning a Foreign Language: The Comfort Zone

Elena Barbiero | Posted 05.09.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Elena Barbiero

It's all a matter of 'comfort zone': the native language is the supreme example of 'comfort zone'... Well known vocabulary, well integrated grammar structures and all the unspoken cultural rules that accompany communication. All of the above disappears when faced with learning a new language.

Six Tips for Learning Japanese

Yumiko Sato | Posted 31.08.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Yumiko Sato

After many trials and errors I began to realize some essential knowledge that applied to acquiring English that no one had taught me. And then I realized that the same principle applied to learning Japanese, while teaching Japanese to Americans. Here are 6 tips for learning Japanese:

Are Nations United or Divided by a Common Business Language?

Joanna Dodd | Posted 05.04.2014 | UK
Joanna Dodd

Having been born in Germany, lived in Moscow and Kuwait, and studied languages at university, I believe that learning a language is a powerful launchpad for understanding a different culture. It helped me develop a curiosity about other people and an interest in being understood by others that still stands me in good stead today.

Chinese Whispers: The Art of Communicating as a Foreigner China

Jane Mountain | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Jane Mountain

The policeman comes into our room. It's almost 10pm, and we have been at the hotel for five hours, but it is clear that there is something he needs urgently. He says a few things to us in Chinese. We give him our now well-practiced blank stares of incomprehension.

Going to School in Spain - What's It Really Like?

Kate Gunn | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Kate Gunn

Just 5 weeks ago I wrote about how hard it was to watch them struggling each day. Since then they have moved with unexpected ease from a 9 - 1.30pm day (summer hours) to a 9 - 4.30pm day. Even the 5 year old who had only ever been to playschool in Ireland until 12.30 has been thrown in the deep end. But they have coped admirably.

Foreign Language Learning in Babies and Toddlers Boosts Academic Results.

Jasmine Dotiwala | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Jasmine Dotiwala

On all my travels I note that children globally can speak up to four languages as their norm. Why are the UK's youth the worst at wanting to and being able to speak not only good English, but any other language?

Being Successful in a Foreign Language Environment

Maria Shopova | Posted 13.11.2013 | UK
Maria Shopova

Apart from distinguishing between substance and style and respecting different modes of communication, the piece offers many practical tips on how companies can boost employees' confidence through building language education into the working day.

Most European Languages Face 'Digital Extinction'

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 26.09.2012 | UK Tech

A staggering 21 European languages are facing 'digital extinction', according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Manchester’s Nat...

Mange Tout! Two In Three Brits Can't Speak A Single Foreign Word

Huffington Post UK | Felicity Morse | Posted 18.11.2011 | UK

It’s not just Del Boy who has trouble with speaking French it seems, as two in three Brits have admitted they can't speak a single world of a foreig...

Parlez vous, er, English?

Walter Ellis | Posted 06.11.2011 | UK Lifestyle
Walter Ellis

Education and class have nothing to do with fluency. There are waiters across Europe who speak English infinitely better than most British university professors speak French, German or Italian.