ALL Briefing No. 17 Date : January 2020
Theme: Current initiatives concerning Languages
This is an overview of initiatives ALL members are aware of currently; some emerge from the several papers published in March 2019 (as reported in Briefing 7: ‘Live language learning issues’).
APPG (All Party Political Group for Languages)
Update from an ALL delegate to a Conference:
Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Vice-Chair, APPG on Modern Languages: Outlining The National Recovery Programme for Languages
As a former languages teacher and leader, Tonia enthused the room with her drive for the languages recovery programme and her reasons for making this a reality. She challenged teachers to familiarise themselves with the Languages Recovery Programme and to spread the word of the National Languages Recovery Programme through their networks, and shared the five objectives of the programme which are:
Objective 1: Schools – develop and implement an inclusive language policy from 5 – 18 with clear pathways to qualifications in a wide range of languages.
Objective 2: Further & Higher Education – protect and expand language courses in colleges and universities – both at degree level and in Institution-Wide Language Programmes and introduce language accreditation into the Apprenticeship Programme.
Objective 3: Business – business and government to work together on role modelling in schools and on language and cultural skills training for exporters.
Objective 4: Government – ensure the machinery of government reflects and is accountable for the strategy on languages.
Objective 5: Society – challenge the view that English is enough and encourage more young people, parents and employers to recognise the value of languages skills.
(See Briefing : Live language learning issues .. for more detail).
(See Briefing : Live language learning issues .. for more detail).
Discussions are proceeding.
ELAPSE is an Erasmus+ funded project in which ALL is a partner. The ELAPSE team is compiling a suite of resources, including ready-made lesson plans and accompanying assets for language teachers to use (or adapt and use) with classes in upper Primary and lower Secondary; the intention is to support progression at this key point. Readers considering how to add more ambitious aspects to their languages curriculum might be especially interested to consider including a CLIL approach at some level.
The launch of the ELAPSE resources is at Language World Conference in March 2020.
The European Commission Representation in the UK at Europe House in London will be succeeded by an EU Delegation in the UK, also to be based at Europe House in London:
In January 2020 the Higher Education Policy Institute published Report 123: A Languages Crisis? which highlights a drop in demand for learning languages and makes a set of recommendations for reversing the fall, including:
- ensuring more varied GCSE and A-Level courses;
- making a foreign language compulsory at Key Stage 4 (KS4), with accreditation (either a GCSE / National or alternative vocational or community language qualification) encouraged but optional.
- increasing teaching staff numbers through new measures, such as conditional financial incentives and including all language teachers on the Shortage Occupations List; and
- where tuition fees exist, supplementing fee income with additional government funding to safeguard minority languages and facilitate free additional language-learning for students and staff.
NCELP (National Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy) was set up in 2018 as a Centre with hub schools (each with spoke schools) to implement the recommendations of the Languages Pedagogy Review (2017?)
NCELP has a Resources website which is open access; its resources focus on the key pillars of its activity: Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar and Meaningful Practice.
In 2019-20 the Centre is developing schemes of work.
The Open World Research Initiative has several groups based in Universities with a focus on key contemporary issues.
- Creative Multilingualism
- Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS)
- Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community
- Language Acts and Worldmaking
These four initiatives have research strands, host events and offer articles and resources of different kinds on their websites.
Creative Multilingualism events include Linguamania – a multilingual performance project – at venues around the country in 2019-2020.
Their website also includes a section of teaching resources around poetry, drama and film.
MEITS holds conferences (e.g. on Multilingual Identity, and on Early Language Learning) and posts articles, blogs and podcasts on its website (www.meits.org) .
MEITS is currently hosting a travelling pop-up museum of languages :
WAM (We are multilingual) is a project emerging from MEITS ‘to encourage everyone to recognise the languages they have and be able to say: “WE ARE MULTILINGUAL” ‘. It provides resources on this website:
The MEITS World of Languages pop-up museum travelling the UK contains a range of research-informed, interactive, hands-on activities organised into three zones. In ‘Languages and me’ visitors discover why they should learn languages and try activities showing how languages can boost their brain power. The ‘Languages around me’ zone challenges visitors to translate the untranslatable and invites them to take a dip in our ‘word pool’ where they can fish out commonly used words loaned to English such emoji, rucksack and graffiti. In the ‘Languages in the world’ zone you can discover different writing systems and find out whether some languages really are trickier than others. There are also films, quizzes and listening challenges that appeal to all ages.
Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community
Is focussing on developing research paradigms capable of re-conceptualising the relationship between language and community for the benefit of a more open world.
Language Acts and Worldmaking offers a range of online information with a focus on exploring the vast multilingual and multicultural terrain constituted by the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, with their global empires and contact zones in Europe, the Americas, and Africa, and includes theatrical narrative, the effects of digital, mobile and networked technology upon the concept of ‘global’ culture, and outreach work.
RIPL (Research into Primary Languages) published a ‘White Paper’ in March 2019
Since then they have held a Webinar on 2nd July 2019 – details can be found on the website: http://www.ripl.uk/
And an open meeting Call to Action on 9 November 2019 as in their newsletter
(See Briefing 7 : Live language learning issues .. for more detail).
Key messages :
ALL is a broad church. Its members work in a wide variety of contexts with a variety of languages and have a variety of philosophies and attitudes to approach. Professional development and updating makes a valuable contribution to teachers’ own motivation, resilience and cultural / professional updating, as well as to their thinking about pedagogy.
ALL’s role is in providing information about these projects and their outcomes for members and others to make their own professional decisions about.
Please share your professional views with your colleagues if you can – in conversations, at meetings or via ALL.
Points for reflection / action:
You may wish to investigate these themes with colleagues in order to enhance your own plans.
These various initiatives may be of interest to other colleagues in your institutions, so you may wish to raise awareness of at least some of them with Governors, Parents, or Senior Leaders in order to support your work.
If you, or your students, have had a positive involvement in any of the projects, you may like to write a brief report to inform other ALL members and language teachers. Send it to info@ALL-languages.org.uk
ALL Briefing 7 : Live language learning issues in the media.
This Briefing has been prepared by volunteers from the ALL Council and is for the benefit of ALL members.
Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily constitute the policy of the Association for Language Learning.
This Briefing should not be copied or circulated without permission.
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