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#376 Tortellini

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 17:54

 

 

It seems very harsh to write off language degrees as a waste of time. 

I don't think they are a waste of time - I teach on one!  :lol:  I do, however, think that these days (especially with the cost of fees - something which I didn't have to contend with) students (unfortunately) have to look at the bigger picture and what can actually be of use in the job market. That's not to say that no-one should study, say, 17th century Italian poetry - they should if they want to, but also be aware that they are going to probably have to do something else to make themselves marketable. When I look at my contemporaries from school, with very few exceptions, my female friends are doing relatively low-paid jobs compared to my male friends (despite doing better academically  :P ). This is only in part due to their choice of course at university, but it is a part!


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#377 Aeolienne

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:55

One bit of advice I received recently on how to use my languages was to get a penpal. Seriously?!


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#378 linda.ff

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 13:28

 

 

 

It seems very harsh to write off language degrees as a waste of time. 

I don't think they are a waste of time - I teach on one!  :lol:  I do, however, think that these days (especially with the cost of fees - something which I didn't have to contend with) students (unfortunately) have to look at the bigger picture and what can actually be of use in the job market. That's not to say that no-one should study, say, 17th century Italian poetry - they should if they want to, but also be aware that they are going to probably have to do something else to make themselves marketable. When I look at my contemporaries from school, with very few exceptions, my female friends are doing relatively low-paid jobs compared to my male friends (despite doing better academically  :P ). This is only in part due to their choice of course at university, but it is a part!

 

I can't see how it's any less "useful" than a degree in English. Or history for that matter. Most English or History graduates get jobs because their degrees are looked upon as receipts for a good general education.

 

My #2 daughter did Biblical Studies at Sheffield (actually combined with philosophy to begin with, but she dropped the philosophy modules after a couple of terms). Her grandmother thought it was a waste of time, especially as she was and still is an unbeliever. "Surely the only job open to her would be a vicar?" said Grandma. But although her employment history is a bit chequered, most work she has got has been on the basis of being a quick and flexible thinker.


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#379 Aeolienne

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 13:16

The last foreign-language film I saw was Frantz, which is in both French and German. There was a bit where the line "Vouz parlez bien français?" was subtitled as "Do you speak French fluently?" Surely the French for "fluently" is "couramment" which is considerably more advanced than "bien".


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#380 Aeolienne

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 14:14

Check out this new initiative from Aston University (in Birmingham)...
 
• National centre set up to promote learning all kinds of subjects in a foreign language
• Year 10s at one school make a grade-and-a-half more progress after learning their usual school subjects in French
 
A national centre dedicated to the teaching of school subjects in a foreign language has been launched.
 
The scheme, led by Aston University and Bordesley Green Girls’ School with input from Birmingham City Council, forms part of efforts to increase uptake of students deciding to continue studying modern languages, and to raise achievement levels across all subjects.
 
Learning Through Languages UK will connect the existing community of teachers and lecturers that deliver lessons in a foreign language, known as CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning).
 
The ultimate aim is to develop a ‘golden thread’ of language learning from primary school through to university.
 
Dr Emmanuelle Labeau, Co-Director of the Centre for Language Research (CLaRA) at Aston University and one of the lead academics, said: “Across the country there are pockets of activity in CLIL, but these remain fragmented and lack sustainability. Evidence of CLIL’s application in other countries has shown how a national centre can spread the word and use of CLIL and consequently the improvement in both language acquisition and achievement. We believe that language is a skill that can be accessed by all, and given the right approach, children from any context and at any level can achieve success.”
 
Bordesley Green Girls’ School has seen a rise in all key stage three subjects thanks to the adoption of CLIL.
89% of students at the school study languages at GCSE and 81% of those girls said that they enjoy the subject.
 
Judith Woodfield Head Teacher said: “Year 10 students who have studied geography, business and science in French in years 7 and 8 are making over a grade-and-a-half more progress in humanities subjects, a grade higher in French and two-thirds of a grade higher in other Ebacc subjects.
 
“We believe that our international curriculum is developing the problem solving skills needed to access the more challenging GCSEs. Nationally modern foreign languages are not being taken up by all students as they are perceived as being harder. Our students enter the school well below the national average, but their tremendous motivation towards languages and learning subjects through languages is ensuring that that they have the best possible chance of reaching higher levels of attainment.”
 
The centre was launched at the school on Friday April 27th, with representatives from the Department for Education, teachers’ associations and distinguished scholars due to attend.
 

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#381 Sylvette

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 13:16

I would have loved that!  The idea of learning physics or history in French is really appealing.  Learning Russian via the medium of French would have been interesting...


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#382 Aquarelle

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 23:20

I'm doing a history of music series of texts in English with my  French secondary school age piano pupils. They like it rather more than I thought they would - sort of killing two birds with one stone.


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#383 Aeolienne

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:50



Diese Artikel hat mich gefreut:

German is hip again, apparently

I spoke too soon. According to SchoolsWeek entries for German are down 12% for both GCSE and A-level. I wonder how Remainers square this with their oft-repeated assertion that the young are in the majority pro-European. (I'm not pro-Brexit myself, I'm just wondering.)  Do these youngsters assume that they can rely on Google Translate?


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#384 HelenVJ

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 10:11

But Spanish entries have increased, and will soon overtake French. I think it's possible to be pro-European without studying several modern languages at GCSE. Although I have heard from colleagues that German is less popular in schools now.


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#385 elemimele

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 10:32

I suspect entries have as much to do with what schools are in a position to teach as they do with what pupils want to study, and I strongly suspect that Brexit is the last thing on any teenager's mind as they make their GCSE choices. German is probably the least useful of the major European languages because professional Germans very often speak excellent English (and are happy to use their English in a professional context). Spanish covers such a lot of the world; if you're in a French context then talking loudly in English still won't cut the mustard (of any flavour), and although the Italians also speak very beautiful English, there is no comparison between the two languages for sheer elegance of expression. Portuguese is also a tempting language as you get Brazil as a bonus, and it's the best language in the world for discussing salted codfish. Of course the Eastern block languages are becoming terribly important too. Poor old German hasn't much leverage in a crowd like that: not everyone loves Goethe, and gone are the days when half the world's scientific publications were German.


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#386 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 20:12

I absolutely love Schubert Lieder and absolutely hate not understanding the words for myself. So one day I just thought: I'll learn German. By the time I remembered this was very likely to be much easier said than done I had already started!

I'm taking a completely different approach to when I did French and Spanish at school for O level because my eyes aren't up to a lot of reading and my brain isn't up to a lot of memorizing (or frankly to any level of boredom/hard work whatsoever). So I'm mainly listening to audiobooks and it's amazing how much passive vocabulary and grammar you can pick up very quickly. Especially if you have finally completely lost patience with the Today programme and can spend the whole of breakfast time every day listening to stuff in German instead.

A voice in the back of my head does keep saying: this is pointless, soon Google Translate will be as good as the Star Trek universal translator. But I want to do it anyway.
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#387 elemimele

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 20:55

oh no no no! I feel the same, DoC, from time to time, but I keep reminding myself that Google Translate can only give you one translation - it can't give you the nuances that result from words not covering exactly the same ground; it can't give you the feelings behind the words; it doesn't know humour, or what sort of person says what sort of things. And above all, it can't give you the experiences you have when learning a language; it won't remind you of Schubert Lieder, or a semi-amateur performance of Faust, or a hurried discussion with a mafia-like lady circumventing rental agencies, or finding your way home from a rock-concert at 1.00am on a tram, or drinking Schnapps with a lady with beautiful eyes, or accidentally asking someone to take their clothes off (I didn't mean it, honestly) or any of the other things that accompany learning, and using a language, properly. It's great is Google-translate, but it's not the real deal.


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#388 BadStrad

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 22:40

But Spanish entries have increased, and will soon overtake French.

Last time I looked up these things, Spanish was the third most spoken language in the world with English then Mandarin above it, so Spanish makes a lot of sense as a language choice.
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#389 Sylvette

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 09:19

A voice in the back of my head does keep saying: this is pointless, soon Google Translate will be as good as the Star Trek universal translator. But I want to do it anyway.

Google Translate has a very long way to go before it is even remotely reliable.  My OH is spending a great deal of his working life valiantly trying to decipher technical documents that have been 'translated' from Japanese to English via Google Translate and putting them into comprehensible as well as technically correct English.  As they are safety-critical documents in an industry that you would not want to have safety issues, relying on the machine translation would not be a good idea!


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#390 Lemontree

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 09:36

Google Translate is absolutely useless when it comes to Asian languages. I study Korean and the only thing it's good for is the pronunciation. 

 

In addition, to the first entry on this page I read were something like languages are useless stood (as far as I have grabbed it), they are anything but. I speak German (native) and English C2, Italian and a little Korean (my current study project). While I can apply a lot of the sentence structure from German to English that is impossible with Italian and Korean. Since Italian, French (which I did in school and forgot) and Spanish have a similar structure and basically the same vocabulary, one of those languages can easily be the base when learning the others. Korean however is completely nuts when it comes to sentence structure. But I found that if I am able to master the different structures, my synapses connect a lot better to other applications and learning new content unrelated to languages. 


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