MEITS Blog


MEITS does the Festival of Ideas

by Katie Howard

There is little doubt that having some knowledge and appreciation of different languages can provide us with unique access to cultures, communities and countries across the world. It is with this thought in mind that our MEITS Festival of Ideas event, Languages: Your passport to the world, took place on 20 October 2018.

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Learning languages outside of the classroom: a visit to the museum

by Linda Fisher

We all remember the excitement of going on a school trip. Early starts, smelly sandwiches, laughter. Even if it was a very rare "summer lesson" when we were allowed to work outdoors (thanks Mrs Caldwell), that change of scene gave everything an air of adventure and let us lay down memories to savour later in a series of "remember when"s.

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Bueno, pues molt bé, pues happy Diada

by Aleksandra (Ola) Gocławska

Long before its international associations with events in New York, 11 September has marked Catalonia’s national day, the Diada. Originally celebrated to pay tribute to those involved in the defense – and eventual loss – of Barcelona in the Spanish War of Succession (1714), the day has become increasingly politicized since 2012. Last year´s Diada was celebrated with a multitudinous pro-independence demonstration, less than a month before the referendum on Catalan sovereignty. 

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Making Mandarin Massive

by Rob Neal

As China impacts British students’ lives more than ever before, it is crucial that more of our young people begin learning Mandarin Chinese. Currently the majority of Mandarin language teaching in UK schools takes place as an extra-curricular activity, often involving very small numbers of students and peripatetic teachers. For example, whereas 150,000 students took GCSE French last year, barely 3,000 took GCSE Mandarin. Moreover, many of these pupils come from Chinese-speaking backgrounds and learn Mandarin at supplementary Chinese weekend schools as opposed to mainstream schools. Overall, the profile of Mandarin learners in UK schools remains skewed towards those from more affluent backgrounds.

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