About

The Vision of the Course

The vision of this course is threefold:

  • To provide a solid understanding of how languages work through the teaching of grammar, grammatical terminology and linguistics. This will teach pupils how to learn a language and the structure of language, making languages more accessible and, in turn, helping to reduce the national decline in language learning. It will improve the ability of pupils to communicate on paper and verbally: their literacy.
  • To understand the history of English from its beginnings to its emergence as a global lingua franca: only through thorough understanding our own language can we appreciate the similarities and differences of other languages.
  • To foster an appreciation of all languages; modern and classical, European and non-European, standard and non-standard, thus broadening pupils’ cultural knowledge and understanding, removing barriers of “otherness” and promoting inclusivity and openness.
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The Reasons for the Project

There are multiple reasons as to why we founded this website:

  • The decline in the number of pupils learning languages nationally.
  • The fragmented and disjointed way in which languages are taught in junior and senior schools, both in the independent and state sector.
  • The lack of co-ordination between departments in schools which are teaching languages, English, Modern Foreign Languages and Classics.
  • The failure of our schools to see and use the remarkable linguistic diversity of our pupils, many of whom are bilingual, if not trilingual: EAL is seen as a problem whereas it could be a remarkable opportunity.

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Why Studying Languages is in Decline

This website is an unexpected side-effect of some work that a number of teachers of languages, ancient and modern, have been doing in the last couple of years. That work has been prompted by a number of related concerns:

  1. The decline in the numbers studying languages at school and university. This is particularly borne out by the British Council Survey but we are all aware of these issues from our own experience, and by a recent survey written for the Higher Education Policy Institute by Megan Bowler.
  2. The fragmented and disjointed way in which languages are taught in junior and senior schools, both independent and state.
  3. The lack of co-ordination between departments in schools which are teaching languages, English, Modern Foreign Languages and Classics.
  4. The failure of our schools to see and use the remarkable linguistic diversity of our pupils, many of whom are bilingual, if not trilingual: EAL is seen as a problem whereas it could be a remarkable opportunity.

Here are some links to some articles written on these issues and a link to the website of Creative Multilingualism, an Oxford-based organisation which is addressing the last of these concerns:

Thank you from the team here at the World of Languages and Languages of the World.

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John Claughton
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Abigail Dean
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Steffan Griffiths
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John Wilson