Latest News

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


Japanese

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

26 August 2019 (Yakety Yak)

Improve your foreign language conversation in a local café, in a small group with an experienced tutor. 

We meet

  • in the relaxed atmosphere of local cafes and bistros in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • in small groups of similar level of fluency
  • with a tutor who is a native speaker for each group 
  • each session normally has a minimum of 2 tutors to cater for most abilities
  • No need to book - just drop in. However, if it is your first time with us, we recommend you phone or email us to discuss your level and the best session for you first

Conversation classes commence from 2 September 2019. Visit the website for details of sessions running in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

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The 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students

1 November 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

We are delighted to announce that the 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 2nd March 2019 at King’s College London.

Read more...

Scholarship opens for entry for one Scottish student to have "experience of a lifetime” studying in Japan

1 November 2018 (FE News)

Japanese language scholarship open for entries

The search is on to find the next recipient of the Thomas Blake Glover ASI Scholarship, which will enable one Scottish student to have “the experience of a lifetime” studying in Japan.

Initiated by the Japan Society of Scotland and sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments, the scholarship offers a fully funded opportunity to undertake an intensive language course at a Japanese university.

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Africa in Motion Film Festival 2018

10 October 2018 (Africa in Motion Film Festival)

Africa in Motion is Scotland’s major annual celebration of African cinema, and is delighted to return for the 13th year to bring audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow a wide variety of creative stories from across the African continent.

Screenings will take place from 26 October to 4 November. Several films in the programme will offer the opportunity to brush up your language skills in French, Arabic, Japanese and Swahili.

Find full programme details on the website.

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Introduction to Kansai dialect self-study course

3 September 2018 (Japan Foundation)

The new free Introduction to Kansai Dialect A2 self-study course is available at Minato, Japan Foundation's Japanese language learning e-platform.

Kansai is a region in the west of Japan famous for its delicious food, fascinating history and distinctive dialect. Studying the famous dialect of the region is one way to really discover the vibrant culture of Kansai. 

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Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2018-19

20 August 2018 (Japan Foundation)

If your school is interested in introducing Japanese into the curriculum, supporting Japanese at GCSE or A-Level or starting a Japanese Club, you could be eligible for funding.

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply by 22 September 2018.

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New job profiles on the SCILT website

17 August 2018 (SCILT)

The job profiles on our website cover a range of professions where languages are being used. 

We have two new profiles for the start of the new school session:

  • Lorne Gillies is an award winning journalist whose language skills have enabled her to connect with people around the world, whilst helping her understanding of English.
  • Ian Ross is a specialist in international trade and investment. Dealing with several Chinese companies, he tells us cultural awareness is as important as learning the language.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how languages can play a part.

Glasgow hotel to teach staff 10 new languages so they can welcome international guests

16 April 2018 (Glasgow Live)

A city centre hotel is extending a warm welcome to guests from all over the world - and in 10 different languages too.

Apex City of Glasgow’s concierge and reception staff are learning key phrases from 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among the hotel’s guests.

The move is part of a #WarmerWelcome project rolled out across Apex hotels, the Bath Street branch included.

Staff will be learning a how to speak in German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and Danish.

Read more...

Japan Foundation Local Grant Programmes 2018-19

3 April 2018 (Japan Foundation)

Japan Foundation (JF) London is now accepting grant applications for UK based Japan related projects taking place in 2018-19 through our local support programmes.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to schools seeking to promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary levels, supporting Japanese qualifications in school or introducing the language as an extra-curricular activity. 

For more information and to apply by 4 May 2018, see the online information sheet and application form.

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Free places at Japan Day

19 January 2018 (RZSS)

Come along to our Japan Day at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie on Wednesday 14th March 2018. Experience 'The Snow Monkey' educational pack of activities designed for cross curricular learning where pupils investigate and discover more about Japan, its culture, language, geography and wildlife. The pack has been produced with the support of the Japan Foundation and is a fun introduction to learning Japanese but also covers topics in science, topical science and social studies. Suitable for upper primary levels P4-P7.

There are limited free places although you must book by 14th February. Please contact Sandie Robb srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking information.

For more information see the report on a similar event at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo through the link below.

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Nihongo Cup 2018 - Applications Open!

8 January 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

Japan Foundation London is delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK is open for applications!

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Applications will close on 23rd March 2018 (Friday) and finals day will take place on 16 June 2018 (Saturday). Finals will take place at Conway Hall in London.

Read more...

Conference for Japanese language and culture in Fife

27 October 2017 (Fife Council)

S1-S3 pupils are invited to attend a youth conference on all things Japanese at Bell Baxter High School, Cupar. The event is from 10:00 to 14:00 and will consist of a mixture of workshops, games, showcases, Japanese language lessons, and more. This event is free and we invite learners from across Scotland to join us in Fife. For further information please contact Petra McLay and book your tickets now

The 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students

2 October 2017 (Japan Foundation)

We are delighted to announce that the 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 24 February 2018 at King’s College London.

The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply by 9 November 2017.

Read more...

Minato Japanese course for teachers

22 August 2017 (Japan Foundation)

A unique opportunity for teachers to start learning Japanese as a complete beginner.

The Marugoto A1-1 (Katsudoo - Activity & Rikai - Grammar) Tutor Support Course gives a comprehensive introduction to Japanese language and culture. This course will combine online self-study with submission of assignments to a real-life tutor, in addition to live lessons with the tutor.

Enrolment deadline: 31 August 2017
Course period: 14 September – 15 December 2017
Course fee: £40 (50% launch discount; usual cost £80)

Each participant needs to have their own individual account and computer (or other suitable internet-enabled device), headphones and webcam to have the opportunity to speak and practice Japanese.

Please note a maximum of 40 people can be accepted on the course. Your suitability for this course will be assessed by the Japan Foundation after your application has been received.

Visit the course website for full details and to register.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

The next League of Champions competition from Vocab Express will be taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2017.

It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students. Free spaces are still currently available!

Visit the website for more information and to register your school.

Teachers can also sign up for guest access to a free trial of the Vocab Express platform using their school or academic e-mail address.

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme

1 August 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme exists to create links between schools and Japanese-speaking volunteers. JTS volunteers carry out school visits across the UK to introduce students at any level to the Japanese language, often as part of an International or Japan day. One of the main purposes of JTS is to give schools that do not teach Japanese the opportunity to find out what it is like to learn the language and to provide them with further information should they wish to start offering Japanese. More information about the programme can be found on the Japan Foundation website.

Japan Foundation London currently has a UK-wide network of over 300 volunteers, and are always looking for more! Guidance and training sessions are offered to all members to prepare them for delivering Japanese taster sessions at schools. The next Volunteer Training Day will take place in London on 12 September 2017. If you speak Japanese and are interested in becoming part of the volunteer network, find out more and book your place now!

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New earpiece translates foreign languages as you have a conversation

20 June 2017 (The Independent)

A new device that delivers foreign language translations directly to your ear almost instantly has just gone on sale.

The Translate One2One has been hailed as a real-world equivalent of the Babel fish, the famous fictional creature from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s powered by IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and takes between three and five seconds to complete a translation and play it to you.

It currently works across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

However, both people in a conversation need to be wearing one.

Lingmo International, the company behind it, claims the Translate One2One is clever enough to avoid common translation stumbling blocks.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2017

5 June 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation London is looking for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. You can apply for up to £3,000.

We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:
  1. Introducing Japanese into the curriculum at a primary or secondary school
  2. Supporting GCSE or A-level Japanese courses
  3. Introducing Japanese extracurricular club or enrichment subject at a primary or secondary school
The next deadline to apply for funding is Friday 16 June 2017.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information.

Read more...

Language Perfect World Championships 2017

12 May 2017 (ALL)

This year's Language Perfect World Championships take place from 15 - 25 May.

Students participate in the world's largest online languages event over 10 days with the chance to earn certificates and qualify for awards and prizes by translating between their target language and English. The competition is relevant for everyone, whatever their ability.

The first 500 schools to register will receive 50 free entries. (ALL members can register all students for free).

Find out more about the competition via the ALL webpage and the competition website.

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Leaving Certificate language students ‘learning off’ exam answers

11 May 2017 (Irish Examiner)

(Relates to Ireland) In a series of reports on student performance in language exams last June, chief examiners say students must learn how to adapt, instead of using learned-off answers.

The issues were most acute in the 2016 Leaving Certificate exams in Spanish, French, and Italian.

There are many positive aspects, particularly about the competencies of more able students of the six languages, which also included German, Japanese, and Russian.

But in oral exams, which are worth between 20% and 25% of marks in language subjects, a common concern is that students have prepared answers.

The Spanish Leaving Certificate examiner reported, for example, that a number of students had been taught in a “rote-learning” manner that prevented the natural flow of conversation.

“Many candidates had prepared a range of topics in the general conversation, but, when gently disengaged from rote-learned topics, found it difficult to communicate effectively in the target language,” the reports said.

The reports are published today by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), whose chief examiner in Leaving Certificate French said most students were well-prepared for the orals and had a high degree of proficiency and fluency.

However, at the other end of the scale, some of the 25,758 students examined in the subject had difficulty answering even simple questions.

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Japan Foundation Local Grant Programmes 2017-2018

2 May 2017 (Japan Foundation)

Japan Foundation London is now accepting grant applications for UK-based Japan related projects taking place in 2017-18 through local support programmes in the following fields:
  • Arts and Culture
  • Japanese Language
  • Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

HIBIKI SHAMISEN visit to Orkney, 5-6 May

25 April 2017 (HIBIKI SHAMISEN)

HIBIKI SHAMISEN will have their first public performance in Orkney at the Pier Arts Centre on Friday 5 May at 7:30pm. The performance is free, and will include an introduction to the TSUGARU SHAMISEN, a versatile 3 stringed instrument that extends the range of the traditional shamisen in both sound and volume, and which can be used to improvise in a way similar to jazz.

The shamisen came to Japan originally from India, via China, through Okinawa, and has been established in Japan for about 300 years. It is the instrument associated with KABUKI theatre (in a form called NAGAUTA) and music played by GEISHA (KOUTA) and with the BUNRAKU or puppet theatre. Each of these genres has a particular type of shamisen associated with it.

The TSUGARU shamisen is the biggest and the boldest of all the shamisen types, and is the only one that is also used for contemporary music.

Hibiki Ichikawa, internationally acclaimed master of the tsugaru shamisen, and blues and ENKA singer Akari Mochizuki will perform both traditional and contemporary music, and have prepared some special material in honour of Children’s Day, which is celebrated on 5 May in Japan.

The two musicians will also conduct workshops with students from Stromness Academy and Kirkwall Grammar School while in Orkney. The students will have the opportunity to play the instruments and learn about the history of Japanese music.

There will also be an opportunity for them to meet and exchange music with Douglas Montgomery of Saltfish Forty, and Gemma McGregor whose repertoire also includes the Japanese shakuhachi flute.

HIBIKI SHAMISEN will feature at the Japanese Children’s Day celebration at the Orkney Library on Saturday 6 May, when they will perform at 11am. This performance will also be free, and all ages are welcome.

HIBIKI SHAMISEN’s visit to Orkney has been made possible with the support of the OIC Culture Fund, The Japan Society of Scotland, the Pier Arts Centre, the Orkney Library and blue earth works. The initial contact with HIBIKI SHAMISEN was through the kind offices of Japan Foundation.

For further details about the performance and Pier Arts Centre contact Isla Holloway isla.holloway@pierartscentre.com 01856 850209.

For further details about the visit from Ruta Noreika contact blueworks2@mac.com
07712 411149.

Find out more about HIBIKI SHAMISEN on their website.

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Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme

10 April 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation London is looking for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. You can apply for up to £3,000.

We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:
  1. Introducing Japanese into the curriculum at a primary or secondary school
  2. Supporting GCSE or A-level Japanese courses
  3. Introducing Japanese extracurricular club or enrichment subject at a primary or secondary school
The next deadline for the 2017-18 programme is 27 April 2017.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to submit your application.

Read more...

Japanese for young learners - 6 week teacher course

30 March 2017 (Japanese for Young Learners project)

This course, organised by the Japanese for Young Learners Projects, aims to introduce teachers to Japanese language and culture for use in the classroom. Teachers will be introduced to Japanese language for beginners and to cultural learning activities such as origami and Japanese food.

The course will include developing literacy in Japanese and an introduction to Japanese reading and writing - easier than you think!

The course is being delivered in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the Japan Foundation, UK. It takes place over six weeks, commencing Thursday 20 April.

Visit the website to register for this free professional development opportunity and see the press article below relating to the project's pilot in Liberton Primary School, Edinburgh.

Read more...

Related Links

Edinburgh primary leads way with Japanese lessons pilot (Edinburgh Evening News, 27 March 2017)

Edinburgh primary leads way with Japanese lessons pilot

27 March 2017 (Edinburgh Evening News)

They already love manga, Pokemon and Nintendo and now schoolchildren in the Capital have been given the chance to learn about the language behind some of their favourite pastimes.

Liberton Primary School has become a language trailblazer thanks to a new scheme designed to introduce youngsters to Japanese from an early age.

The Japanese for Young Learners project has seen two P5 classes give the language a go, as well as learning about the history and culture of the far eastern country.

While Liberton already teaches a number of other languages – such as French, German, Spanish and Mandarin – it is the first Edinburgh primary school in many years to add Japanese to its offering.

Read more...

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017

1 February 2017 (Japan Foundation)

Taking inspiration from Charlie Chaplin’s famous quote “Life is a desire, not a meaning”, the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017 features an all-encompassing introduction to Japanese cinema through the prism of “desires, hopes and impulses”.

Presenting films by established and up-and-coming directors, animation, documentary and classics, this year’s programme promises to not only entertain but also provide a vivid insight into what drives human action.

Screenings are taking place between 3 February and 29 March in various locations around the UK, including Stirling, Edinburgh, Inverness and Dundee.

Visit the website for full programme details.

Read more...

New STEM job profile on SCILT's website

20 January 2017 (SCILT)

If you're looking for relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace, read the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from John Barry, a former petroleum engineer and manager with Shell, who explains how his language skills helped him to develop his career with the company.

Read more...

Japan days for schools

16 January 2017 (RZSS)

Come along to our Japan days at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, held in partnership with the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies youth StampIT programme.

Experience a day at the park to visit the Japanese macaques along with an educational session using games and activities to learn about Japanese language and culture. Suitable for P6/7 and S1 levels. Entrance to the park is free for these special pilot events but places are limited and booking is essential.

Places available on Wednesday 8 March or Wednesday 15 March 2017. First come, first served. Contact Sandie Robb srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking information.

Nihongo Cup - Japanese speech contest for UK secondary schools

6 January 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to download the application pack.

Closing date for entries: 24 March 2017.

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Parents think Mandarin is most useful language for children, survey says

5 January 2017 (BT)

Mandarin Chinese is the most useful non-European language for children to learn, UK parents believe.

It will boost their child's career prospects, according to 51%of parents, while 56% felt it would open their children's minds to an "exciting and dynamic" culture.

Arabic and Japanese, which both picked by 14% of parents, were the other key non-European languages.

The figures were gained after 1,138 UK adults with children aged under 18 were questioned in a Populus survey commissioned by the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP).

French, Spanish and German were the top choices overall for young people in the UK to learn after being picked by 57%, 54% and 40% of parents respectively.

Read more...

Japan Foundation Funding Programme 2017

1 November 2016 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation is now accepting applications to several Annual Grant Programmes which support organisations and individuals in the fields of Arts and Culture, Japanese Language Education and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.

Visit the website for more information about each programme and how to submit your application.

Read more...

Related Links

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK - the next deadline for applications for funding to introduce and support Japanese in schools is 18 November 2016.

The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

1 September 2016 (Vocab Express)

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

There are currently 84 free non-subscriber school places left. Visit the website for more information and to register now!

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

1 September 2016 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the school curriculum
  • Supporting formal Japanese courses and qualifications
  • Japanese clubs
The next funding application deadline is 16 September 2016.

For more information about the programme and how to apply, visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

20 June 2016 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year!

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 100 free school places available to non-subscribers.

Visit the League of Champions website to find out more and to register for one of the free school places. 

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

1 June 2016 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the school curriculum
  • Supporting formal Japanese courses and qualifications
  • Japanese clubs

The next funding application deadline is 17 June 2016.

For more information about the programme and how to apply, visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Scottish island authority explores teaching Japanese in primary schools

25 March 2016 (TESS)

Orkney has already started trial projects on Japanese culture and language in its two secondaries, Kirkwall Grammar and Stromness Academy with plans now to extend provision to its primaries.

Read the item in TESS, page 8, under 'A week in primary'. (Subscription required).

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J-Basic - Last Chance EVER to enrol!

2 February 2015 (Japan Foundation)

J-Basic Online for Teachers, the online course for teachers with a basic level of Japanese will close permanently on 30 June 2016. Applications for all stages will be accepted until 31 March 2016.

Read more...

J-Basic online Japanese course for teachers!

22 January 2016 (Japan Foundation)

J-Basic Online for Teachers, the online course for teachers with a basic level of Japanese will close permanently on 30 June 2016. Applications for all stages will be accepted until 31 March 2016.

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Japan in Scotland: Free Japanese Film Festival

9 January 2016 (Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh)

The annual Japanese Film Festival, organised by the Consulate General of Japan, the University of Edinburgh, and the Japan Foundation, will be held every Friday from 29 January to 19 February 2016 at the University of Edinburgh.

The films are free and open to all, but booking is required via the Festival's Eventbrite page.

Read more...

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016

8 January 2016 (Japan Foundation)

The tour lasts from 5 February to 26 March 2016 across a number of venues in the UK, including Edinburgh Filmhouse and Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre.

This year's programme is the largest yet and will feature a mix of old classics, documentary, animation and contemporary films – something for everyone!

To find out more about the film screenings visit the Japan Foundation Touring Film website.

Read more...

Nihongo Cup - Japanese speech contest for secondary schools

11 December 2015 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language. There are three categories: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4&5 Pre-GCSE, and Key Stage 4&5 Post GCSE. Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

For more information and to apply, visit the Japan Foundation website.

Closing date for entries is 31 March 2016.

Read more...

A healthy obsession

25 November 2015 (Post Primary Languages Initiative blog)

My name is Bláithín Macken Smith and I am eighteen years old. If you could see sixteen year old me it would be as if you were looking at two entirely different people. I suppose that could be true for a lot of people, but for me the reason behind my big transition was my study of languages.

Until my fourth year of school I utterly despised everything about school, every morning it was more difficult to drag myself out of bed, so much so that I very often didn’t. I was convinced that after my fourth year of school that was it. I was going to drop out. So desperately did I want to leave school and become a tattoo artist. I spent much of transition year on work experience in various parlours around Dublin. Many of my family members and teachers thought that the war was lost and that my mind was made up, and then something happened.

All through transition year I was given the opportunity to try subjects I had never tried before. Russian, Japanese, Latin and Spanish, which I had studied since first year but which I now saw the fun in. I took part in language aptitude tests and the DATS tests which showed my abilities in linguistic subjects. Unfortunately for me I didn’t listen to these signs until fifth year. When I finally discovered my love for languages the course of my life changed entirely.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme - Final 2015 deadline

2 November 2015 (Japan Foundation)

This programme enables institutions to apply for up to £3,000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. Primary and secondary schools can also apply for up to £1,000 to support the launch of an extra-curricular Japanese language class. The final deadline this year is November 20th. Don't miss out!

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World Teachers' Day: Language Linking, Global Thinking

5 October 2015 (Project Trust)

Theresa Peteranna is one of Project Trust's 2015/16 Language Linking, Global Thinking volunteers. She’s volunteering as a teacher in Japan and through the Language Linking Global Thinking scheme is linked to a class in Kirkwall Grammar school in Orkney, Scotland. She told us why she wanted to volunteer as a teacher.

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J-Basic online for teachers - Term 4 open for enrolment

2 October 2015 (Japan Foundation)

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom

The course is suitable for any teacher residing in the UK, Australia or New Zealand who has a basic knowledge of Japanese, and can read hiragana and katakana.

For more information and to enrol visit the J-Basic website.

Read more...

New reforms threaten future of Japanese language study in England

25 September 2015 (Japan Times)

Teachers in England are concerned the study of Japanese in their country could be severely undermined in light of plans to scrap one of the most important exams in the subject.

From 2017, education firm Pearson is planning to scrap A and A-S levels in Japanese, due to new requirements that the exam be redeveloped, although discussions are still ongoing with the Department for Education to find a way to save the qualification.

Over 3,500 people have signed a petition calling for the exam to be retained, arguing that removing the only qualification in Japanese for 16- to 18-year-olds is likely to reduce the incentive for younger students to take up the language in the first place.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

1 September 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities.

The next deadline for funding applications is 18 September 2015.

More information is available on the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2015

1 September 2015 (Japan Foundation)

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday 6 December 2015. It will be held at SOAS, University of London, and the University of Edinburgh.   To apply to sit the test in Edinburgh, follow the link below.

The deadline for applications will be Thursday 1 October at 17:00 or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

For more information on the test, visit the official JLPT website.

Read more...

Orkney schools introduce Japanese to timetables

27 August 2015 (BBC News)

Two secondary schools in Orkney have some of the first in Scotland to introduce Japanese classes into their timetables.

There have been an increasing number of links built up between the islands and Japan in recent years, largely due to a shared interest in the potential of marine renewable energy.

Stromness Academy and Kirkwall Grammar pupils are now learning Japanese.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2015

14 August 2015 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year! The championship will run from Wednesday 30 September until Tuesday 6 October 2015. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are currently still 50 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

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Forget French and Mandarin - Arabic is the language to learn

12 July 2015 (The Independent)

The 10-year-old was looking at the card in front of him which showed an image of a fish. “Samak,” he said decisively.

He and his classmates at Horton Park primary school, in Bradford, have been learning Arabic for three years now, courtesy of a drive by the British Council to boost the take-up of the language in state schools.

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Call for Japanese language lessons in Scottish schools

4 July 2015 (The Herald)

Japan's top diplomat in Scotland has called for the introduction of Japanese language exams in Scottish schools.

Japanese Consul General Hajime Kitaoka believes there is a enough demand for the language and culture of his homeland to be taught alongside other modern languages.

Mr Kitaoka has approached the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and asked them to consider the introduction of Japanese qualifications - including a Higher.

Read more...

Related Links

We should do what we can to boost our links with Japan (The Herald, 8 July 2015)

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

3 June 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities. Priority is given to the following: 

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education
    Up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, e.g. conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others. 
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities 
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university - as part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant

The next application deadline for the 2015-16 programme is 19 June 2015. 

Further information and how to apply is available on the attached flyer.

So, Are Fillers Okay to Use When, Um, Learning a Foreign Language?

1 May 2015 (Lingholic)

Fillers are everywhere: they’re the ums, uhs, and likes that sneak their way into our speech, often times without us even realizing it. Indeed, fillers, also known as disfluencies, carry no semantic value, but they are used abundantly in natural speech, and are different in each language. Despite the bad rap that fillers get from schoolmarms and speech coaches, it’s important for language learners to acquaint themselves with the fillers in their language of study — nothing gives you away as a foreigner quite like saying, “Yo quiero, um, un helado.”

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J-Basic online for teachers

14 April 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Term 2 of the Japan Foundation's online Japanese course for teachers 2015 is now open for enrolment!

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.

Term 2 dates: 4 May - 26 June 2015.

For more information and to enrol visit the Japan Foundation website.

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test July 2015

1 April 2015 (Japan Foundation)

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday 5 July 2015. It will be held at SOAS, University of London, and the University of Edinburgh.

The deadline for applications will be Friday 10 April at 6:00pm or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

To sit the test in Edinburgh, apply on the University of Edinburgh website.

For more information visit the official JLPT website.

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Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

16 March 2015 (British Council)

Want to start your international career with us? Applications are now open for our 2015 future leaders scheme.  You must be fluent in English and be capable and willing to learn one of the following languages: Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.

To find out more about the scheme and full eligibility criteria visit the British Council website.

Application deadline is 30 April 2015.

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Young Cambuslang woman off to Japan after being selected for prestigious language scholarship

2 March 2015 (Daily Record)

As the winner of the 2015 Thomas Blake Glover Aberdeen Asset Scholarship, Caroline Marshall (20) has been awarded a six-week fully-funded intensive language study course at the International Christian University, Tokyo.

A former pupil of Trinity and Stonelaw High Schools, Caroline is in her third year studying law at the University of Edinburgh and hopes to pursue a career in international commercial law.
She has a long-established love of the Japanese tradition of the Takarazuka Forum Theatre, a distinguished all-female acting school. This spawned her interest and admiration in the wider Japanese culture and way of life.

She attends Japanese classes and when she learned about the Thomas Glover Scholarship last year, she felt it would provide a fantastic chance to visit, and learn more about a country that inspires her.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

2 March 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities.

For further information and to apply by 1 April 2015 visit the Japan Foundation website.

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Japanese film festival

16 January 2015 (Consulate General of Japan)

See attached information on an upcoming Japanese Film Festival in Edinburgh.

For more details and to book a place, please access the festival website.

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Related Files

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.

Read more...

J-Basic online for teachers

12 January 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Term 1 of the Japan Foundation's online Japanese course for teachers 2015 is now open for enrolment!

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.

Term 1 Dates: 3 February – 28 March 2014.

For more information and to enrol visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Japan Webpage for Schools Contest 2014-2015

10 November 2014 (Japan Foundation)

There’s now only about 2 months left until the deadline for the Japan Foundation’s Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15!

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.
To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website.

Deadline to enter: January 12th 2015.

For information, the application form and plenty of hints and tips, please visit the official Japan Webpage Contest for Schools website.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2014

31 October 2014 (Language Perfect)

The search is on for the top language student and languages department in the northern hemisphere... The Northern Championships, taking place from 3-13 November 2014 , pitches students and schools in the northern hemisphere against one another, ONLINE and LIVE, from computers and iPod/Android apps. Teachers can watch the scoreboards for up-to-the-minute updates on how their school and students are going. Maybe your school will become the champions in 2014?

Visit the Language Perfect website for more information.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

18 September 2014 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities. Priority is given to the following: 

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education
    Up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, eg conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others etc. 
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university.
      - As part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum from September 2014, will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years.
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant.

There are two more application deadlines for the 2014-15 programme: September 26th 2014 and November 28th 2014.

More information and application forms are available on the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Japanese teaching resources

1 September 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation has released two new resources for teaching Japanese - the Japanese Taster Lesson Sample Activity Pack, and the JFL Scheme of Work for Primary Schools. These resources are absolutely free to download and use straight away!

You can find out more about the resources on the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Japan webpage contest for schools

1 September 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools will be running again in 2014-15, and is now open for applications!

We know that many schools are teaching Japanese or doing other projects about Japan, and we want to hear more about it.

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website.  Win up to £1000 worth of prizes.

Entry deadline is 12 January 2015.

For further information visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

Japan Webpage for Schools Contest 2014-2015

16 June 2014 (Japan Foundation)

We know that many schools are teaching Japanese or doing other projects about Japan, and we want to hear more about it.

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website.

For full details of the competition and how to enter, visit the Japan Webpage Contest website.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

10 June 2014 (Japan Foundation)

As part of the Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2014-15 institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities. Priority is given to the following:

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education
    Up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, e.g. conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others etc
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university.
      - As part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum from September 2014, will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years.
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant.

There are four application deadlines for the 2014-15 programme: April 1st 2014, June 20th 2014, September 26th 2014 and November 28th 2014.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for full details and to apply.

The Japan Foundation has also launched the Primary Japanese Campaign 2014 in order to support primary schools and teachers offering, or aspiring to offer, Japanese language lessons for their pupils.  Find out more about the campaign and supporting events and resources available on the Primary Japanese Campaign 2014 webpage.

Read more...

The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15 - coming soon!

19 May 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools will be running again this 2014-15, and will be open for bookings soon!

We know that many schools are teaching Japanese or doing other projects about Japan, and we want to hear more about it. This contest is open to any UK primary or secondary school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest. To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website. We hope to start announcing other details, including prizes and dates for the Award Ceremony, very soon! For information about the previous contests, including links to the amazing websites entered, please visit the official Japan Webpage Contest for Schools website.

Read more...

J-Basic online for teachers

6 May 2014 (Japan Foundation)

Session 3 of the Japan Foundation's online Japanese course for teachers 2014 is now open for enrolment!

Session 3 dates: 26 May – 18 July 2014

Deadline to enrol: 19 May

See the Japan Foundation's website for further information.

Read more...

J-Basic Online for Teachers

28 February 2014 (Japan Foundation London)

Session 2 of the 2014 J-Basic Online Course for Teachers is now open for applications! This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.  This course is provided by the Japan Foundation Sydney. Course fee: approx. £75 - £120 (Depending on language level and exchange rate)

Read more...

Japanese Language Proficiency Test 2014 (July) in Edinburgh

28 February 2014 (Consulate General of Japan)

The registration period for this July's Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will begin Saturday 1st March, running until Friday 11th April. In Scotland the JLPT will be held on July 6th at the JLPT Edinburgh Test Centre at the University of Edinburgh. The test is also administered in the UK by the SOAS Language Centre at the University of London.

The JLPT is an internationally recognised qualification for non-native speakers of Japanese sponsored by the Japan Foundation, and the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services. 


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Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2014-15

29 January 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The criteria of the Japan Foundation’s Local Project Support Programme has changed for 2014-2015.  If your school is considering introducing Japanese, you might be able to take advantage of this funding programme.

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. Priority is given to the following:

  • Projects with a wide impact on Japanese language education - up to £3,000 for projects that contribute widely to the maintenance and strengthening of Japanese language education, eg conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, projects by organisations working in partnership, which benefit not only the institution applying for the programme, but which have a beneficial effect on others etc. 
  • Introducing Japanese to schools or universities:
    • Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. Or projects that support the introduction of Japanese language classes at university. 
      As part of our Primary Japanese Campaign, primary schools that would like to introduce Japanese as their main language in the new Key Stage 2 curriculum from September 2014, will be able to maintain their project by re-applying for funding twice for the same project. This means primary schools will be able to apply for up to a total of £9,000 over three years. 
    • Up to £1,000 for projects in primary or secondary schools that introduce Japanese as an extra-curricular activity or enrichment subject, even if this is not within the school timetable. These activities must continue for at least a year to qualify for the grant.

There will be four application deadlines for the 2014-15 programme: April 1st 2014, June 20th 2014, September 26th 2014 and November 28th 2014. This funding will last until March 2015.

For further information about the programme and the application process, visit the Japan Foundation website.

Read more...

How I Teach - Simulate a culture clash

10 January 2014 (TES)

When teaching about intercultural issues, it is crucial to let students experience how it feels to be culturally isolated from another person. A great way of doing this is through a game I like to call Ninja Chopsticks.

This article includes several ideas to introduce Japanese language and culture to your students. You will need a TES userid and password to access the materials.

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The Japan Foundation touring film programme

9 January 2014 (Japan Foundation)

This year’s Japan Foundation UK annual touring film programme, taking place between 31 January and 27 March 2014, will offer an enlightening and expansive introduction to Japanese cinema through the framework of ‘youth’.

Showcasing a vast variety of styles and tones, this programme will take a broad look at how the adults of tomorrow have been portrayed in Japanese cinema over the years by a number of established and up-and-coming directors, through stories of individuals struggling to find a sense of meaning and identity within the world.

Details of screenings at the Edinburgh Film House and Dundee Contemporary Arts centre are available on the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme website.

Read more...

J-Basic Online for Teachers - 2014 Course Dates Released!

2 December 2013 (Japan Foundation)

This 8-week online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom. This course is provided by the Japan Foundation Sydney.

Session 1 takes place from 3 February – 28 March 2014.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for full details and to enrol.

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Shortfall in the languages the UK needs the most

20 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Three-quarters of the UK public are unable to speak one of the 10 most important languages for the country's future, a British Council report has found.

The British Council has called on government and business to work together to develop educational policy and priorities relating to languages. This follows a YouGov poll commissioned by the British Council, which found that of 4000 UK adults polled, 75% are unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted as crucial to the UK's economic standing.

The Languages for the Future report identified those languages, in order of importance, as: Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese.

Read more...

Related Links

Read the British Council report here.

'Alarming shortage' of foreign language skills in UK (BBC, 20 November 2013)

UK warned over shortage of foreign language speakers (BBC News, 20 November 2013) - includes a link to audio item 'But why are British students so behind with foreign language skills?' BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast reporter Rowan Bridge visited language teachers and students at Manchester College to find out.  (Available to listen to until Wednesday 27 November 2013).

Britons are told they must learn languages of success (The Herald, 20 November 2013)

Arabic beats French, Mandarin beats German and Spanish is best: UK's international education body highlights most important foreign languages to learn (The Independent, 20 November 2013)

Poor Language Skills 'Hampering UK Economy' (Sky News, 20 November 2013)

Languages must be as important as maths and science, British Council says (TES News blog, 20 November 2013)

Languages - Gift of bilingualism is too often 'squandered' (TES, 22 November 2013)

Demystifying China in the ‘Venice of the East’

18 November 2013 (British Council)

James Coop, a Graduate in BSc Computer Science at Cardiff University, talks about his experience as an English Language Assistant in Suzhou, China.

Perhaps his experience will inspire you to become an ELA too. You can apply to China or one of the other 13 countries on offer by 2 December 2013.

Read more...

Related Links

Beyond sushi: the attractions of lecturing in Japan (THE, 14 November 2013) - Susan K Burton looks back at her time teaching at Japanese universities and wonders why more Westerners don’t head east.

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2013-14

05 November 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

This programme enables institutions to apply for up to £3,000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. Additionally, primary schools can now apply for up to £1,000 to support the launch of an extra-curricular Japanese language class. 

The next deadline for applications is November 29th 2013 - apply soon!

Visit the website for further information and how to apply.

Read more...

GrowStoryGrow

1 November 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

GrowStoryGrow is launching 50 new bite-sized stories in 6 different languages in summer 2014.

Find out more on the GrowStoryGrow website. 

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Related Links

On the website you will also find a story for Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day, available for free until the end of November.   Visit GrowStoryGrow.

Teacher wins 'Oscar' for Japanese lessons

20 October 2013 (BBC)

A teacher who has brought Japanese to the West Country is one of the winners of this year's teachers' awards.

The so-called "teachers' Oscar" for secondary teacher of the year has been won by Crispin Chambers of Tavistock College, a comprehensive in Devon.

The languages teacher was praised for his inspirational lessons, high results and for building links with Japan.

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2013 - language films for schools

10 October 2013 (Dundee Contemporary Arts)

The Discovery Film Festival 2013 takes place between 19 October and 3 November and offers a variety of foreign language films for all ages.

Opening this year's festival is the UK premiere of 'Victor and the Secret of Crocodile Mansion' – a hugely enjoyable mystery thriller that will have all the family guessing as to exactly what lies behind the secrets of Crocodile Mansion. Suspenseful and atmospheric, it’s a classic Hitchcockian mystery for thrill seekers aged eight upwards. Screening is in German with English subtitles and open to the public.

For schools, there is a programme of events running from 22 - 31 October, with screenings suitable for primary and secondary students in a variety of languages including French, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese.

See the DCA website for full programme details.

The schools programme and booking information can also be accessed directly via the link below.

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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.

Read more...

Language films at the first National Youth Film Festival

19 September 2013 (ALL)

Free screenings of foreign language films to inspire young people From Therese Desqyeyroux to Wadjda, from Clara and the Secret of the Bears to AninA, over 30 foreign films in languages including French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Arabic and Hindi will be on offer at the first National Youth Film Festival, taking place from 21 Oct – 08 Nov 2013.

This groundbreaking new Festival is free to school groups all over the UK and offers young people aged 5-19 the chance to enjoy a wide variety of films, learn about film-making and meet film industry professionals. Linked to a packed programme of over 1600 free screenings, Q&A’s, workshops and events are over 100 teaching resources, including several related to the curriculum, to enable teachers to use screenings to bring learning to life, develop review writing and critical skills, or teach pupils about film and filmmaking. These range from a Beginner’s Guide to French Movies, to teaching ideas for, and guides to, individual films to encourage post-screening discussions and continued work back in the classroom.

Visit the ALL website for full details.

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

9 September 2013 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to 3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities.

The next deadline for the 2013-14 programme is 27 September 2013.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply.

You may also wish to join their Primary Japanese Campaign 2014, which has been launched to support primary schools and teachers offering, or hoping to offer, Japanese language teaching.

You can read more about the campaign, and register to receive campaign updates and free, exclusive campaign stickers by following the link below.

Read more...

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

9 September 2013 (Japan Foundation)

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday 1st December 2013. It will be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) and the University of Edinburgh.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply by 3 October 2013.

Read more...

J-Basic Online for Teachers - Term 4

3 September 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

This 8-week online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.

Term 4 Dates: Monday 23rd September - Sunday 17th November.

See the Japan Foundation website for further information and how to enrol by 11 September 2013.

Read more...

J-Basic Online for Teachers

3 June 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

The third term of Japan Foundation's online Japanese course for teachers 2013 will start on 15 July, and will open for enrolment on 10 June.

The 8-week online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Deadline for enrolment: 3 July 2013.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2013-14

3 June 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

This programme enables institutions to apply for up to £3,000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. Additionally, primary schools can now apply for up to £1,000 to support the launch of an extra-curricular Japanese language class.

The next deadline for applications is June 21st 2013 - please hurry and apply soon!

Visit the website for further information and how to apply.

Read more...

Tennis - Novak Djokovic says learning Chinese language is difficult

31 May 2013 (Tennis World)

Tennis - Novak Djokovic is the world's top ranked player and quite good when it comes to playing tennis. But the Serb is also pretty good when it comes to speaking languages.

The Serb revealed his love for the languages during his press conference on Thursday.

 

Read more...

Japanese Language Proficiency Test July 2013

2 April 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

The next JLPT in Edinburgh takes place on Sunday 7 July 2013. Applicants should register by Friday 12 April.

Read more...

J-Basic Online for Teachers

2 April 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

The second term of Japan Foundation's online Japanese course for teachers 2013 will start on 6 May, and is now open for enrolment. The 8-week online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills.

Deadline for enrolment: 24 April 2013

Read more...

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

2 April 2013 (The Japan Foundation)

The Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme enables institutions to apply for up to £3,000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. The first deadline for our 2013-14 programme has been tentatively set for April 19th 2013 (this will be confirmed on our website shortly) - please hurry and apply soon!

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5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

19 February 2013 (TED blog)

Economist Keith Chen starts today’s talk with an observation: to say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. “All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.” This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?

Read more...

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