Latest News

A selection of language-related news. Does not claim to be comprehensive or represent the views of SCILT.


Sport

New Gaelic arm of Dunfermline arts festival is on the ball

23 August 2019 (The Courier)

For the first time, the Dunfermline arts festival, which runs from September 3 to 8, is launching a new strand of Gaelic and Scots events.

The main event is on the ball for Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers alike.

With regular appearances on BBC Scotland and BBC Alba the Gaelic voice of shinty and football, Hugh Dan MacLennan, is presenting an event in partnership with Dunfermline Athletic FC.

The two-hour interactive workshop at East End Park is for anyone who watched football on Gaelic TV channel, BBC Alba and wondered what on earth was going on.

The session will be delivered in English, and will give the participants the opportunity to learn key phrases used in commentating as well as some they can use at their next match.

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How studying languages got Callum a job at Cardiff City

10 October 2018 (BBC)

There has been a further drop in the number of students from Wales taking language courses at university, according to admissions service Ucas.

The numbers starting foreign language courses was down by a third on the same time last year, in latest figures.

Cardiff University has been working with schools to encourage more pupils to take up subjects such as French.

Helping them is former student Callum Davies, now a player liaison officer at Cardiff City FC. He learnt modern foreign languages at school and spent a year in the south of France as part of the Erasmus programme while doing his degree course at Cardiff University.

He works helping French-speaking players and their families settle in the city.

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Related Links

French and German language students from Wales fall again (BBC, 10 October 2018)

Highland schools come out top at Shinty@the Bught

1 October 2018 (Highland Council)

Iomain Cholmcille – the Gaelic Shinty Project – has worked in partnership with The Highland Council’s Gaelic Team to organise a six aside national Shinty event for P4 to P7 Gaelic Medium pupils from schools across Scotland.

In August Iomain Cholmchille announced funding of £8000, from Bord na Gàidhlig in order to help develop the use of Gaelic in youth Shinty. The project was launched at Bun- Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh and pupils were presented with new Gaelic strips for the school Shinty team. The funding for community projects aims to build on Iomain Cholmcille’s successful work, in partnership with the Highland Council’s Gaelic Team running Cupa Iomain na h-Òige.

Cupa Iomain na h-Òige – Youth Shinty Cup - is in its third year and although based in the Highlands, the competition, which is held entirely through the medium of Gaelic, is open to schools from across Scotland. This year the competition took place at the Bught Park in Inverness which is a national stadium and 14 teams have entered with approximately 100 pupils participating in the event.

Schools from across Scotland entered which include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dingwall, this is the first time that the smaller schools in Skye have taken part.

Iomain Cholmcille is a project dedicated to encouraging the use of Gaelic in the Shinty world and regularly organises international exchanges with Irish-speaking hurling teams for both men and women.

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World Cup 2018: How do Belgian footballers speak to each other?

2 July 2018 (BBC)

Language is an essential part of playing football. Coaches give instructions to players and teammates talk to each other on the pitch.

How, one may wonder, does Belgium's multilingual team communicate?

Sources say the players speak neither Dutch nor French but English in the changing room, to avoid the perception of favouring one language over another.

They also speak English on the pitch, much to the surprise of many in the UK press during their game with England on Thursday night.

A majority of Belgians are Dutch-speakers who live in the Flemish north. Most of the rest speak French, and there is a small German-speaking community.

This divide can be seen in the mother tongues of the Belgian national team's star players.

Manchester City's playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is a Dutch-speaker from Ghent in the Flemish region, while Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard is a French-speaker from the Walloon region.

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'No barriers to stop you' - deaf referee aims to inspire [video]

27 May 2018 (BBC )

Category six referee Jason Taylor will become the Scottish Football Association’s first representative at the Deaf Champions League finals, which takes place in Milan from 28 May – 2 June.

Having started refereeing in 2005, Jason hopes to inspire other deaf people to "realise there are no barriers to stop you from doing what you want to do".

From Dunfermline, he says his refereeing idol is Hugh Dallas.

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Arsenal Double Club 2018 World Cup Competition

20 March 2018 (Arsenal Double Club)

Calling all modern language teachers! As we look forward to this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Arsenal Double Club are back with yet another FREE languages competition – open to all UK secondary schools – for boys and girls in Year 7 or 8 (S1 or S2 in Scotland).

In small groups, pupils must organise and run a language-themed football match or activity.

Visit the Double Club website for more information and to enter your school by 29 March 2018.

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The Winter Olympics reminds us of the value of learning a second language

22 February 2018 (The Conversation)

Big-ticket sporting events are an opportunity for countries to showcase their cultures. TV broadcasts show stories about the cultural, historical and social aspects of the host country – which, for this year’s Winter Olympics, is South Korea. We hear other languages at global sporting events, too. Almost 80 million people speak Korean; it’s the world’s 13th-most-widely spoken language.

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New Celtic signing Marvin Compper might speak SIX languages but insists his talking in Scotland will be done on the pitch

21 December 2017 (Daily Record)

Marvin Compper speaks six languages. Now the new Celtic defender hopes to speak the language of football in Glasgow.

Compper signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Scottish Premiership champions.

The international reeled off his impressive linguistic skills which include speaking German, French, Italian and English fluently with a touch of Dutch and Russian thrown in for good measure. However he insisted that he much prefers to do all his talking on the pitch.

Compper said: “I speak four languages fluently and one if I was to spend a week in Holland I would also speak that fluently.

“I also speak a bit of Russian so it is five-and-a-half. I am half-French half-German, so I speak those languages and I did English at school and developed it from there watching television shows and then my team mates.

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Five funny times British football stars attempted to speak in foreign languages following a transfer abroad

22 February 2017 (The Mirror)

The Premier League receives a whole host of talent from many different countries every year.

Massive stars from France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Belgium, Uruguay, Portugal and South Korea have all, at one time or another, played in the English top tier.

But how many of England's biggest stars can we say have made the leap to play abroad? A handful or so?

Naturally one of the biggest obstacles for footballers moving abroad is the language barrier, something which Wayne Rooney may have to conquer should his potential move to China go through next week.

In the video, we've taken a look at the five funniest times English stars made the brave choice to ply their trade in another country... and speak the language.

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English rugby referees learning French - Wayne Barnes

7 February 2017 (BBC)

English rugby referees are taking French lessons in order to improve their communication skills during games, says top official Wayne Barnes.

There has been criticism by players of some Six Nations referees only being able to speak in English.

However, Barnes, 37, says RFU officials "want to be better communicators".

"We are not just training and reviewing, we are actually doing some French lessons as a group," he told the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

One of the world's leading referees, Barnes has been taking charge of international matches since 2006.

And while he argues that speaking a range of languages fluently is unfeasible for a referee, he feels steps can be taken to improve communication.

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Watch brilliant archive footage as Gary Lineker meets Mark Hughes to talk Stoke

13 January 2017 (The Sentinel)

BBC's new football programme The Premier League Show sent Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker to Stoke to catch up with his old teammate Mark Hughes.

The pair had played together under Terry Venables at Barcelona, with Hughes admitting he wished he had bought into the culture.

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News Exclusive: The Arsenal Double Club

14 November 2016 (Arsenal Football Club)

With a total of seven languages in his armoury, Petr Cech is by far the most lingual member of Arsenal’s squad, now that Mikel Arteta, conversant in nine tongues, has left the club. Earlier this year, Steve Eadon, Languages coordinator for the Arsenal Double Club, interviewed Cech about his experience with languages.

“Before I do these interviews, I have a little time with the players off camera,” explains Steve, who has also interviewed Hector Bellerin and Gabriel on the same subject. “I asked Petr how many of these languages he is actually fluent in. He said that he was fluent in all of them. So we tested him and, needless to say, he was telling the truth!”

Cech voluntarily learned Spanish and Portuguese when he arrived at Chelsea due to the proliferation of Spanish and Portuguese speaking players in the Blues’ defence. Cech revealed earlier this year that he uses three different languages to communicate with the Arsenal defence.

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My French PE lesson

13 October 2016 (TES)

I have the privilege to work with one of the best PE teachers I know. Her name is Charlotte and we’ve been sharing not only the same office this year, but the same ideas, sometimes, and the same passion for teaching.

[..] But the event I have enjoyed the most was sports week, at the end of the summer term. It was a great chance for me to familiarise myself with one of the new methods in teaching a foreign language: Content and Language Integrated Learning. Shortly- CLIL.

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Brainy Everton striker Romelu Lukaku speaks five languages at cosmopolitan Blues

22 September 2016 (Liverpool Echo)

The Premier League is more cosmopolitan than ever before - and Everton have the top flight's most multi-lingual player.

A study based on which teams speak the most languages, puts the Blues in mid-table but in Romelu Lukaku they have a player who sits top of the pile.

Lukaku, 23, speaks Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and also understands German.

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Joe Hart ready to embrace Italian culture at Torino after loan move from Manchester City

16 September 2016 (Sky Sports)

Joe Hart says he is ready to embrace the Italian culture after moving to Torino on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

[..] Hart has emphasised the importance of getting to grips with a new culture, and even opened Friday's press conference by speaking in Italian.

"I don't speak very good Italian (yet). I think that's obvious but I am doing my best to learn and buy into the culture because this really is a beautiful part of the world," said Hart.

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Bale: “I’m very comfortable at Madrid”

1 April 2016 (El País)

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale met with the media ahead of Saturday’s clásico with Barcelona at the Camp Nou. The Welsh international, who joined Madrid in 2014, says he is adapting well to his side’s style of play and life in Spain.

“I feel a greater sense of involvement with the country, with the language, with Madrid. I feel very comfortable at Real Madrid, I have a contract until 2019 and hope to win as much silverware as possible,” the former Tottenham Hotspur player told reporters in an interview at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

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Goal! Tor! But!

24 March 2016 (Alliance Française / Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut and the Alliance Française in Glasgow together with the Scottish Football Museum present a free month-long celebration of football and community across Glasgow this April.

From 1-30 April pop in to your local library or arts centre to experience a series of free film installations about how communities around the world react to the beautiful game.

Cinemas across the city will play host to some fantastic free football-themed movies.

On 27 and 28 April, join us at Hampden Park for a free and informative two-day symposium on Football and Social Inclusion.

For full details visit the Goal! Tor! But! website.

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A theory on how soccer players communicate in the age of highly multilingual clubs

1 March 2016 (Fusion)

During this season’s Champions League group stage, a photo circulated online of Italian club AS Roma’s “Player Languages” sheet. The list denoted the languages in which each player was comfortable giving an interview. And though most players are conversational in more languages than the ones they are comfortable using in media settings, I was surprised by both the polyglotism of some players, and the lack of overlap in many cases.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic, for example, was born in Bosnia, spent most of his childhood and teenage years in Luxembourg, and has played professionally in France and Italy. His listed languages were Bosnian, English, French, Italian, and German. He’s also fluent in Luxembourgish, though that could be arguably classified as a dialect of German. Salih Uçan, in contrast, only listed Turkish, a language none of his teammates listed.

This got me thinking. Big European clubs tend to hire players from all over the globe, and it is certainly a common occurrence that there is no lingua franca, no common language between everyone on the field, or on the bench. So how do they communicate? There must be some common way of understanding each other.

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Multi-lingual Premiership Football Managers Trounce Mono-linguals

7 April 2014 (Language Pie's blog)

In today’s top flight football, teams are typically made up of players from many different countries. For that reason it is assumed that football managers that can communicate with their squads in more than one language have an advantage. The extent of that advantage, however, has never been measured.

Andrew Finan, owner of KLOO, a language games company, loves football and languages and he decided to dig deeper and see if there was any correlation between multilingualism and team performance.  The outcome was startling.

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Footballers give pupils language goals

10 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Football clubs across the country are using sport to cultivate children's interest in learning other languages.

"If I could say anything to Santi Cazorla? I don't know the Spanish words yet, but I'd say: 'You're a wicked footballer.'" Suraiya Farah, a year-five pupil at Primrose Hill primary school in north London, has just finished a taster Spanish session with the Arsenal Double Club and she is eager to put her new skills to use.

Arsenal is one of a number of clubs, including Newcastle United and Hull City, that runs a language Double Club, a cross-curricular course that uses football to teach students a foreign language.

The after-school sessions are made up of two halves: the first takes place in a classroom, where students are taught football-related vocabulary, and the second encourages children to practise their language skills out on the pitch.

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Arteta supports language programme

27 September 2013 (Arsenal Football Club)

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has spoken about the importance of learning language skills ahead of the European Day of Languages, which encourages more people to learn a foreign tongue both in and out of school.

Arsenal in the Community has long championed language learning through its successful Double Club model – an innovative education and football programme which aims to fuse football and education to form a fun and enjoyable way for young people to engage with their academic studies and football at the same time.

In addition to Arsenal-themed language learning materials for German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, a DVD of one of Arsenal’s players speaking in their native language is provided as an exciting classroom resource.

Read more...

Related Links

Double Club German – new resources for 2013-14 season! (UK-German Connection, 24 September 2013)  Double Club: German is a joint project by Arsenal FC, the Goethe-Institut London and UK-German Connection. It is an innovative education and football programme which aims to show pupils that German can be fun, improving their knowledge of the German language and culture in a joint football / German club. Pupils attend one session per week, which can take place after school, in lesson time or during holidays, and is split up into two 45-minute sessions. Available as a module for primary or secondary level pupils, new materials for the 2013-14 season are now available. Follow the link above to find out more about the programme and how to sign up.

We speak your language, English clubs tell foreign fans

26 September 2013 (Reuters)

Manchester City and Liverpool announced an expansion of their social media presence on Thursday with more local language websites and Twitter accounts to cater for a growing international fan base.

Abu Dhabi-owned City launched 10 new Twitter accounts in addition to existing feeds in English and Arabic to engage with supporters in Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

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Game On Scotland! Commonwealth Games language resources

26 September 2013 (Education Scotland/SCILT)

Learning ideas around the context of the Commonwealth Games are available at the Game On! website.

SCILT and Education Scotland have developed a learning journey designed to support the learning and teaching of modern languages at primary level.

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Bale speaks Spanish at Real Madrid unveiling

2 September 2013 (ESPN)

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale showed how he had spent his summer months by speaking in Spanish during the Bernabeu unveiling to mark his world record £86 million transfer.

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Related Links

Gareth Bale must put heart and soul into Real move - Gary Lineker (BBC Sport, 1 September 2013) Lineker, who played for Barca between 1986-1989, feels that learning the language and immersing himself in the culture will be key to Bale's chances of succeeding in La Liga.

Ellen MacArthur: my career in languages

29 August 2013 (The Guardian)

Speaking French has been central to the success of former round-the-world sailor Ellen MacArthur.

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Football stars get the ball rolling for Spanish learners

8 March 2013 (TES)

Pupils get a kick out of a visit from Manchester United players.  "So," Ruth Dunleavy says to her Spanish class. "Working in groups of four, two of you pretend to be futbolistas and two periodistas. Think of questions to ask at a press conference." So far, so routine role play. But then the two Spanish-speaking international footballers who have dropped in for the lesson start walking around the class to see how the pupils are doing. All pretence of cool is lost.

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Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit. The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football. But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

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Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit.

The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football.

But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

Read more...

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