The Linguist

The Linguist 54,4

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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20 The Linguist Vol/54 No/4 2015 FEATURES How a new language qualification is helping our future workforce to gain skills for business. By Juliet Park L ast autumn, the University of Huddersfield and a number of schools across the UK launched the new Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB). The objective was to develop their learners' business language skills in preparation for the workplace, and the feedback has been extremely positive. Language uptake post-GCSE has been steadily declining and as we move to a two- year linear A level, the expectation is that numbers will fall even lower. Universities have also experienced a 20% drop in applications for European language degrees over the last five years. Developed jointly by IoLET and the Language Alliance, the CLB may help to counter this trend because it is aimed at a wider range of students than those who would typically choose to study a language at A level or as a degree. The institutions delivering it this year have illustrated how effective it can be as an enrichment course and how, in some cases, it attracts numbers far greater than traditional qualifications. At St George Abbott School, Eilis Jordan has been teaching the qualification to a variety of Year 12 students from beginners to A level. She says, "The skills learnt will be extremely useful in the workplace. Employers will love it and the course materials used are current, practical and interesting to teach." Ellie Fielding, one of her pupils, comments that she will be able use the qualification in the future, especially in the workplace, while fellow student Chloe Watts adds that it is a practical and helpful qualification for real-life situations. A head for business GCSE students at Yewlands Academy in Sheffield are taking the course to gain an extra qualification and to practise using their Spanish in business-related contexts. "I want to be able to understand more about using languages in business and this is the perfect opportunity for me," says Year 10 student Emily Storey. Susan Cousin, Principal of Yewlands, adds: "It's time English students challenged the common perception that we lag behind other countries in mastering languages other than our own. We have student coaches as young as 12 years old teaching Spanish in our primary schools – they are real ambassadors of the linguistic talent inherent in all our young people." Recurrent reports highlight the negative impact that a lack of language skills has on businesses and employees. Others show that many undergraduates do not take advantage of Erasmus funding and study abroad because of a lack of language skills. Malcolm Pollard at the University of Huddersfield, winner of the 2012 Entrepreneurial University "It's time English students challenged the perception that we lag behind in mastering other languages"

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