Tag Archives: foreign-languages

There is no age to learn to speak fluently a foreign language

There is no age to learn to speak fluently a foreign language

In 2018, the publication of a new study on learning a second language made a big splash in the British press. From the BBC to the Daily Mail , via the Guardian , a whole series of headlines have conveyed this depressing message: it would be impossible to be able to speak fluently a foreign language by beginning his apprenticeship after the age of […] … learn more→

It’s time to rethink how foreign languages are taught at universities

It’s time to rethink how foreign languages are taught at universities

Many people underestimate the difficulty involved in learning a language. This is because language acquisition goes beyond comprehension. It also involves socialisation and emotion. The high level of personal engagement this requires is even more challenging at South African universities, where students are struggling to meet the demands of academic life. This situation has compelled […] … learn more→

More British children are learning Mandarin Chinese – but an increase in qualified teachers is urgently needed

More British children are learning Mandarin Chinese – but an increase in qualified teachers is urgently needed

Mandarin Chinese is seen as being of increasing strategic importance, and in recent years there’s been a growing number of students taking up the language in schools across the UK. There were more than 3,500 GCSE entries for Mandarin Chinese in 2018. But it’s not just China’s global dominance that makes Mandarin an appealing alternative to learning a European […] … learn more→

You’re never too old to become fluent in a foreign language

You’re never too old to become fluent in a foreign language

A new study on second language learning has recently taken the mediaby storm. A range of headlines – from the BBC to the Daily Mail and The Guardian – all trumpeted the depressing message that it’s impossible to become fluent in a foreign language after around age ten. All of these reports dramatically misrepresented the findings from the study, and the message they sent […] … learn more→

Beyond the big three: French, German and Spanish aren’t the only languages that matter

The shortage of foreign language skills in the UK is now a permanent preoccupation, with some sources placing the estimated cost of the deficit as high as £48 billion a year. Britons are now seen as a “nation of monoglots” and ridiculed when attempting to communicate in international contexts. But part of the problem is […] … learn more→