A NATIONAL RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR LANGUAGES. A framework proposal from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, published 4 March 2019
Britain, and its government, must remember that only six per cent of the world’s population are native English speakers and 75 per cent speak no English at all.
The amount of online content in English is declining, from over half in 2000 to about a quarter now. Over the same period, Mandarin content has increased from 5 per cent to well over 20 per cent and rising.
The decline in language learning in UK schools can now be felt right up the chain, through universities and into the business community.
Just last week, the BBC reported that language learning is at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium, with German and French falling the most.
In 1999, 342,227 took GCSE French while last year the number was just 126,750. Languages at A-level are in freefall: the year-on-year drop last year alone was 5.4 per cent.
Secondary school pupils in the UK spend less time studying languages than anywhere else in the developed world.
Over 70 per cent of UK employers say they’re unhappy with the foreign language skills of British school leavers and graduates and are forced to recruit from overseas to meet their needs.
Smart businesses who make use of languages report 43 per cent higher export/turnovers ratios.
Our article, Language teachers’ perceptions on the use of OER language processing technologies in MALL, has just been published on Computer Assisted Language Learning Journal, Taylor & Francis Online.
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Combined with the ubiquity and constant connectivity of mobile devices, and with innovative approaches such as Data-Driven Learning (DDL), Natural Language Processing Technologies (NLPTs) as Open Educational Resources (OERs) could become a powerful tool for language learning as they promote individual and personalized learning. Using a questionnaire that was answered by language teachers (n = 230) in Spain and the UK, this research explores the extent to which OER NLPTs are currently known and used in adult foreign language learning. Our results suggest that teachers’ familiarity and use of OER NLPTs are very low. Although online dictionaries, collocation dictionaries and spell checkers are widely known, NLPTs appear to be generally underused in foreign language teaching. It was found that teachers prefer computer-based environments over mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and that teachers’ qualification determines their familiarity with a wider range of OER NLPTs. This research offers insight into future applications of Language Processing Technologies as OERs in language learning.
KEYWORDS: Language learning, teachers’ perceptions, OER, MALL, natural language processing technologies, higher education
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Read my research on the construction of immigrants in the UK legislation and admin informative texts:
Constructing immigrants in UK legislation and Administration informative texts: A corpus-driven study (2007–2011), Discourse & Society, 28,1,81-103