Scottish Languages Review - Issue 17

Issue 17 - 08/05/2008

We start this edition with an article by Sarah Bromley about the varied ways in which autonomous language learning can be supported through web-based resources. The article is based on the author’s Master of Education thesis so has been very thoroughly researched.

Ewelina Debaene reports on the socio-political issues raised by the large-scale influx of Polish people to Ireland in recent times, and readers will no doubt be trying to draw comparisons with the situation here in Scotland. The article chronicles the author’s contribution to a much wider research project that is currently in progress at Trinity College, Dublin.

The article by Hans-Jürgen Krumm considers the multi-lingual make-up of pupils in German-dominant countries, and puts forward a number of principles to support the teaching of German (as a subject not as a foreign language) in such contexts. To what extent could his proposals be applied to the teaching of English in Scotland or in other English-dominant education systems?

An interesting and baffling phenomenon is highlighted by Ralph Mocikat: the fact that in certain German scientific circles English is used as a means of communication, even amongst German native speakers. Mocikat points to the negative consequences of this development, and argues for the benefits of multilingualism in all scientific domains.

Finally, you can read a review of the recently published book by Robin Adamson, ‘The Defence of French: A Language in Crisis?’

Exploiting foreign-language web content for language learning

Sarah Bromley, Web Producer, Apple

In recent years the web has evolved in such a way that it has become a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to improve or practise a foreign language.  The focus of this article will be on the use of the web for the student engaging in self-study or supplementary study outside the classroom or the teacher in need of opportunities to expose students to authentic materials. The foreign-language web content under investigation will be natural, native-speaker examples of a foreign language, not materials specifically designed to teach a language.

Download full article as PDF - Exploiting foreign-language web content for language learning


Community language policy, planning and practice: The case of Polish in the Republic of Ireland

Ewelina Debaene, Trinity College, Dublin

The publication draws on a conference presentation “On the situation of Polish in Ireland”, delivered during the Trinity Immigration Initiative Fair, Trinity College, Dublin, September 2007. Ewelina Debaene has worked as a Polish Government Lecturer in Polish Language and Culture in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies (Trinity College, Dublin) since October 2005. She has also been responsible for organizing Polish cultural events and maintaining contact with Polish cultural and diplomatic institutions. This experience has helped her become familiar with Polish community networks in Ireland and meet many members of the Polish community who came and settled in Ireland following Poland’s accession to the EU in 2004. Since January 2007 she has been co-working on a research project, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, entitled: “Second Language Acquisition and Native Language Maintenance in the Polish Diaspora in Ireland and France.”

Key words: Polish Diaspora, community language, language policy, language practice, migration, mobility

Download full article as PDF - Community language policy, planning and practice: The case of Polish in ROI


Was hat der Deutschunterricht mit der europäischen Sprachenpolitik und den Sprachen der Minderheiten und Migranten zu tun?

Hans-Jürgen Krumm, University of Vienna

How is the teaching of German (in German-dominant countries) related to European language policy and the languages spoken by immigrants and migrants?  This article argues that monolingualism is a recent phenomenon of the eighteenth century restricted to Europe and not mirrored elsewhere in the world.  Teachers of German as a subject of instruction need to take account of the multilingual and multicultural background of their learners and the multilingual nature of the contemporary world.  The author puts forward five principal guidelines that should underpin such teaching.

Download full article as PDF - Was hat der Deutschunterricht mit der europäischen Sprachenpolitik...


Die Rolle der Sprache in den Naturwissenschaften

Ralph Mocikat, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Multilingualism furthers scientific thought.  However, for some time now one can observe a development that actually moves in the opposite direction, that is to say a monolingualism dominated by English.  In the German-speaking world this development has reached a particularly advanced stage, whereby the national language is even being pushed out of discourses between native German speakers.  This article considers the consequences of this linguistic narrowing for the scientific knowledge process and points to possible strategies that could halt this development.

Download full article as PDF - Die Rolle der Sprache in den Naturwissenschaften


Review of Robin Adamson (2007) The Defence of French: A Language in Crisis? Clevedon: Multilingual Matters

Barbara Fennell and Sophie Dehem, University of Aberdeen

Download full article as PDF - Review of Robin Adamson (2007) The Defence of French: A Language in Crisis?

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages