College Classes to Remain Online for Rest of Semester, Says Head of School

Posted in Teaching on October 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The ‘current arrangements for teaching’ – which are predominantly focused online – will remain in place for the duration of Michaelmas term, the Head of the School of English has said. In an email to students …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 19 October]

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One in three students calls for English to be optional on Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“More than a third (36%) of Leaving Certificate students think English should be an optional subject. The Irish Independent/ survey for the ‘Written Word’ supplement, part one of which is free in today’s paper, questioned students about their attitudes to learning English and the current structure of the exams …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 28 January]

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The junior cycle English course

Posted in Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Matthew Harrison (Letters, May 30th) makes the common mistake of assessing the learning experience of students by looking only at the terminal exam they will sit. He bemoans that junior cycle English, through its two-hour exam, ‘offers our pupils less scope for engagement and depth of analysis than any other subject, except for common-level civic social and political education (CSPE)’ …” (more)

[David O’Donvan, Irish Times, 3 June]

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French universities to offer more courses in English to attract foreign students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 20th, 2018 by steve

“France wants to boost the number of foreign students at its universities by more than half over the next decade and will offer more courses taught in English to attract them. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, announcing the plan on Monday, said increasing the number of foreigners studying in the country would help build French influence overseas …” (more)

[CNA, 20 November]

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Fifty-fold growth in English-taught bachelor’s courses in Europe

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 14th, 2017 by steve

“The number of English-taught bachelor’s programmes being offered by European universities has increased 50-fold in the past eight years, according to a major study. Research from the European Association for International Education and international study platform StudyPortals found that there are 2,900 such courses being offered today at universities in continental Europe, up from just 55 in 2009 …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 14 September]

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Study finds many European academics are reluctant to teach in English

Posted in Teaching on August 4th, 2017 by steve

“New research has revealed deep ambivalence among academics told by European universities to teach and publish in English, with one even threatening to sue his department rather than switch language. As European continental universities increasingly switch to English for master’s programs, interviews conducted at the University of Hamburg in Germany show that there is resistance to the shift …” (more)

[David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed, 4 August]

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Record numbers of foreign students studying English in Ireland

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Record numbers of international students are studying English in Ireland, according to the latest figures.Last year saw an 11% increase in language students, despite recent school closures. A total of 119,000 students learned English in Ireland in 2016, up by 11,871 on the previous year …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Exams body says Junior Cert students can avoid 10% penalty

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of junior cycle students will have a chance to avoid a 10% penalty in this summer’s English exam if teachers allow them a last chance to complete a classroom-based assessment task, the State Examinations Commission has said …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 February]

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Google Translate in Class

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Recently I spotted two students in one of my tutorials using Google Translate to understand better the exercise I had set – I had not seen this done before in my class, though I’m sure it must have happened. When I think about it, it seems so obvious a thing to do for a student for whom English is not their first language …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 13 October]

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The Increasing Dominance of English

Posted in Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2016 by steve

Holland“Teaching in English was introduced in Dutch research universities, and later also in universities of applied sciences, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was the result of increasing cooperation and student exchange in the framework of European programs, in particular Erasmus, and bilaterally with other countries …” (more)

[Hans de Wit, Inside Higher Ed, 2 October]

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English takes over at Dutch universities, just 40% of courses still in Dutch

Posted in Teaching on September 2nd, 2016 by steve

Holland“More than half of Dutch university courses are taught entirely in English, the Volkskrant said on Friday. The paper looked at 1,632 different degree courses at the country’s 13 universities and found 60% are now in English. When it comes to master’s degrees, just 30% are taught in Dutch and three universities only offer master’s degrees in English …” (more)

[, 26 August]

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ASTI and the English syllabus

Posted in Teaching on October 26th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Brian Mooney’s article (‘Ask Brian’, October 20th) states that English classes are in a mess and appears to place the blame on the members of the ASTI. This is unfair. Brian says that the ASTI could not get a decision from its teacher representatives’. This is not the case …” (more)

[Ed Byrne, Irish Times, 26 October]

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English classes are a mess following ASTI vote on junior cycle reform

Posted in Teaching on October 19th, 2015 by steve

IrelandQUESTION: As a parent of two second-year students, I am deeply concerned at the mess that seems to be emerging in my children’s English classes over the past few weeks, as to how and what exactly will be examined in their Junior Cert English exam in June 2017. Can you advise me what is going on? …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 19 October]

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The Globish World Language: Restricted Thinking

Posted in Research on August 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“I comment here on the rise and dominance of Globish English, in science and research, in literature and culture, and with growing mechanization in certain domains. First, consider science and research publishing, across the board. To publish new results, the reviewers need to give their nihil obstat and their imprimatur …” (more)

[Fionn Murtagh’s Blog, 4 August]


European universities ‘hobbled’ by language laws

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 7th, 2015 by steve

EU“Rector at Maastricht University fears that curbs on using English are preventing some institutions from innovating and internationalising. European universities are being stifled by laws that force them to teach courses in their country’s native language rather than in English …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 7 May]

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Teachers to demonstrate during April over Junior Cycle syllabus

Posted in Governance and administration on April 7th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Secondary school teachers will undertake lunchtime protests at training centres for the new Junior Cycle syllabus later this month. The protests are in response to concerns that English teachers, who will be the first to implement the new syllabus, are not being properly included in its design and implementation …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 7 April]

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Unions to picket teacher training

Posted in Teaching on April 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Teacher unions are taking to the picket lines again over Junior Cert reform – and the next targets are training seminars for teachers of English …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 4 April]

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Munich university accused of ‘abandoning’ German language over English course row

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 26th, 2014 by steve

Germany“Top German university criticised by politicians and business leaders after announcing plans to teach all master’s courses in English. One of Germany’s top universities has been accused of ‘abandoning’ the national language after it announced plans to start teaching all of its master’s courses in English …” (more)

[Alastair Beach, Telegraph, 26 July]

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Top university switches master’s to English

Posted in Teaching on July 24th, 2014 by steve

Germany“One of Germany’s top universities wants to ditch German and switch almost all of its master’s programmes to English in the next six years, prompting fears that the academic standing of the German language is under serious threat …” (more)

[Felix Reimer, The Local, 24 July]

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What the Head of Hiring at Google Doesn’t Understand About Skills

Posted in Life on May 28th, 2014 by steve

“Try as I might, I just can’t seem to let it go. When Laszlo Bock, of Google, tells the columnist Thomas Friedman, of The New York Times, that he would prefer to hire a computer-science student with B grades over an A-plus student who studies English, it doesn’t surprise me. Google is in the business of computing, after all …” (more)

[Guy Raffa, Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 May]

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