Thursday, August 24, 2006

The future of languages

It seems that the future of languages is rather doomed. According to this article less students are taking up languages at GCSE level. This was fairly inevitable, given that languages are no longer compulsory at KS4. This article gives a comprehensive view of the current language situation.
I wonder if the introduction of languages at primary level will make a difference. I would like to think so. In my experience, younger pupils are much more enthusiastic about language learning and interested in different cultures and countries. Hopefully this will lead to more students wanting to study languages to a higher level.
People are realising the importance of language learning, but not until they are older and, dare I say it, more mature. I have many requests from adults for private tuition, and my September evening classes are almost full. This indicates to me that languages are still very much alive and kicking, and that people are still interested in learning them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why languages?

There have been many articles published on why one should learn a language, including this list. They detail languages being good for your career and interpersonal skills and understanding other people and cultures.
I have a love for languages that started in Secondary School. I have always been interested in language and how it works. Try looking at the origins of certain words, the links between languages and dialects - it's fascinating.
Languages work for different people on different levels. Some enjoy the intricacies of the language, others the ability to communicate with others of different cultures. I enjoy the challenge of speaking to people in a different language.
What I enjoy about teaching languages is that all students have a chance to excel, but especially those who are good at speaking and listening. The way of teaching is also entirely different, using games, songs and stories, as well as discussing the differences and similarities between cultures.

Monday, August 21, 2006

From humble beginnings

The idea for HS Language Services was born towards the end of 2004. I had been a Secondary School languages teacher for 4 years at this point, and was working at a school in Lincoln, teaching English, French and German.
Two new initiatives were brought in around this time. The first was that all Primary Schools teachers should have 10% of their timetable as Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time. The second that all Primary School pupils should have an entitlement to a foreign language by 2009.
By August 2005, HS Language Services was up and running, preparing for the new school year, taking languages into Primary Schools. The Secondary School in Lincoln was keeping me on for one morning a week and I was spending afternoons in Primary Schools.
Slowly but surely, the enquiries came for private tuition, and a little translation work. Around GCSE revision time, I had a lot of students and put on the first GCSE Crammer Courses, which were successful despite not being particularly well attended. I entered my first mature students for GCSE and we are awaiting results.
I'm looking forward to the second year trading. Evening classes are starting in September and I have a diverse group of private tutees ahead of me, as well as my work with schools.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hello and welcome

Hello and welcome to HS Language Services blogspot. It's exactly a year since HS Language Services started trading and I thought a blog was a good way to celebrate this. It will also be a chance to update you all on new developments.