MEITS Blog


What’s the point in learning languages when we can just use Google translate?

by Karen Forbes

A few days ago, I was asked whether I thought language learning would become redundant in the foreseeable future because of the development of machine learning and translation technology. Or as some of my, shall we say, slightly less enthusiastic former students might have put it: “But what’s the point in learning languages when we can just use Google translate?”

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Language across the curriculum

by Karen Forbes

Conversations which have made me reflect on the position of ‘language’ more generally within the curriculum and the respective priorities and responsibilities of English and MFL teachers in schools. These two subject areas are often based in separate departments in schools, yet given that both have a shared focus on developing important language skills, surely we are missing opportunities to establish more links between the two.

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Multilingual identity and foreign language learning

by Karen Forbes

A few months ago I was in the park with a friend and her seven-year-old son. As he was playing he started talking to two other young boys, one of whom was Asian. After a while he came back over to us, and his mum asked who his new friends were. He excitedly replied: “They're called Tom and Kevin and they go to my school, but Kevin is from China, I didn't even know I could speak Chinese!” 

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