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London's Language Show

Ottobre 2010
Da quando lo studio delle lingue straniere è stato reso facoltativo dal governo inglese, gli studenti sono diminuiti drasticamente. Non ne sentono la necessità, ed è comprensibile. Ma c’è qualcuno che la pensa diversamente, e Londra organizza il Language Show 2010

di John Rigg

File audio:

The Language Show
The Language Show

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)  

The English don’t speak foreign languages. They expect everyone to speak their language. And the situation seems to be getting worse. Is this arrogance? Is it British pragmatism? No-one really knows the answer, but some people want to change this. They consider languages very important for Britain’s future. The Language Show at London’s Earls Court, from October 15th to 17th, hopes to encourage people to learn new languages.

THE SHOW

The Language Show is Britain’s biggest event for language learners and teachers. It offers people the chance to try different languages from French and Spanish to Hindi and Chinese. Visitors can explore the many exhibitor stands and ask experts for advice.

IN EUROPE

In Europe over 90 per cent of children learn a foreign language. What language do they choose? The answer is obvious: English. The same question isn’t so simple for UK children. French and German are the most common languages taught in schools, while Spanish is becoming more popular. In fact, UK schools offer 19 European languages, plus Japanese, Arabic, Russian and Urdu. But which language will help a student’s future career?

motivation

English dominates the world. It dominates the internet. And it dominates world business. So the biggest problem for UK students is motivation. Why learn a foreign language? And, as everyone knows, mastering a language takes a lot of time and effort. The most common complaints of language students are: “It’s boring!” and “I’ve studied French for six years, but I don’t know anything!”

DECLINE

What is the real situation in the UK? In 2004 the British government made foreign languages in secondary schools optional, and student numbers immediately decreased. Only 44 per cent of students study a foreign language at 16. Some British universities are closing their language departments. The situation is depressing.

MULTI-LINGUAL

The British may be bad at languages, but Britain is becoming a more multi-lingual society. This is because of immigration. 15 per cent of primary school children do not speak English as their first language. Today primary schools offer courses in Polish, Russian and Hindi. The English may not like foreign languages, but they will have to start learning them!


Tickets and Travel Info

Register at the Language Show’s website www.thelanguageshow.co.uk for free tickets to the show. Tickets at the door cost £10  (about €12). You must also book the introductory and intensive language courses at the same website. See the website for prices and details.
The Language Show takes place at Earls Court. The nearest underground stations are Earls Court Station on the Piccadilly line, and West Brompton Station on the District Line.
The Language Show
Earls Court, Warwick Road
London SW5 9TA

 


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Glossary

complaints: lamentele

it’s boring: è noioso

decreased: sono diminuiti