Issue date: 03 June 2003

ISSUE DATE: 03/06/03

The University was recently positioned fourth in the Guardian University Guide for the quality of teaching ‘other languages.’ Other languages is the term used for more offbeat and unusual languages than the mainstream French, German and Spanish taught in most Universities with Language schools. At UWE courses offered include Japanese, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Italian and English as a Foreign Language.

Head of School, Jeanine Treffers Daller said, “This is a great achievement for the Faculty. Learning a language like Japanese or Arabic is great fun. Students have to put in extra effort. For example Japanese is quite easy to pronounce – think how easy it is to say words like Honda, sushi, kimono, manga, samurai, and futon. However the language does have a very complex writing system so it can take longer to learn. Arabic ranks sixth in the world’s league table of languages with an estimated 186 million native speakers and is one of the permanent languages of the UN.

“It is vital that languages are learned by everyone. It is a myth that everyone speaks English, although widely spoken, 75% of the world’s population do not speak English. Learning a language makes it easier for you to come into to contact with the people of the country you are visiting and gives you a new perspective on the country. It is also crucial to learn languages for trade. 60% of British trade is with non-English speaking countries and British business has the poorest language skills in Europe. British businesses lose £millions every year because they can’t speak their customers’ languages – usually without realising it!”*

Neil Edmunds is a mature student who also lectures at UWE, He said, “I decided to enroll on the Russian ILP module, since after several years of studying the language by myself in order to undertake research in Soviet Cultural History, I thought I would benefit by some formal tuition. Without a doubt, I have not been disappointed. I have hugely benefited - and hope to continue to benefit - from an enthusiastic tutor who struck the right balance between developing oral and writing skills, and the studying of grammar. The requirement to undertake weekly assignments and an end-of-year examination also gave me great incentive to HAVE to learn. In certain respects, I have learnt more in one year than in fourteen years of studying independently'.

(*source – Keith Marshall – http://www.lang.ltsn.ac.uk)

More information about language courses can be found at www.uwe.ac.uk/hlss/languages/ilp/


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