From education to employment

Language Body Look Back on 2005 Exclusively With FE News

After the customary excesses of the festive season, the Further Education sector returns to the work of tackling skills shortages and providing better access to education and training for the nation in 2006.

Simply changing a five to a six at the end of the year when dating a letter does not mean that 2005 should be forgotten forever, however. The challenges faced and tackled in the year before often provide valuable lessons for the year ahead, and in FE, the long term strategic view demands a long term strategic memory. Skills issues are not resolved overnight, and as such the memories of 2005 are as vital as a strong vision for 2006, as the one feeds the other.

We at FE News are delighted that the National Centre for Languages (CILT) have agreed to answer a few questions about the year passed.

Neglect of Languages

Question: “What was the most significant development for FE in your opinion in 2005?”

CILT: “Innovations in language learning such as the continued success of the Black Country Pathfinder, which has seen 3500 students learning business languages this year in the Black Country Region. The continuing move towards alternative language learning in schools is going to have a positive effect in FE as students will wish to continue with language learning as they progress to college.

“Another notable achievement was the publication of Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) research into languages in vocational learning in FE: a major and comprehensive report on this neglected area.”

Question: “What was the area of FE that you feel has been neglected this year?”

CILT: “The learning of languages!”

Pride and Humour

Question: “What has been your proudest moment of the year?”

CILT: “Having CILT’s Patron Sir Trevor McDonald, the German Ambassador Thomas Matussek and the David Way, Skills Director at the National Learning and Skills Council (LSC), amongst other notable speakers addressing our conference on “Languages for Competitive Advantage”. All spoke strongly of the need to develop language skills amongst young people in order to equip them for the challenges of the 21st century.”

Question: “What was the funniest memory from FE ““ work or otherwise – from this year?”

CILT: “We were highly amused by some of the untranslatable words and phrases listed in Adam Jacot de Bionod’s book “The Meaning of Tingo”. For example, the Dutch have a word for “walking in windy weather for fun” and there are apparently 27 words in Albanian for moustache. The literal translation of the Japanese for a balding man’s combover is “bar code”. What a monochrome world it would be without these linguistic gems!”

Everyone at FE News would like to thank CILT for their cooperation and thoughts, and wish them all the best in their campaigns in 2006.

Jethro Marsh

Read CILT’s hopes and fears for 2006 right here at FE News!

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