13 March 2008

Introduction

Welcome to the latest edition of 1000 words, our less than termly newsletter...

It has been a while since the last issue and many things have happened. Those that we think will be of most interest to you are outlined below.

John Heyworth, Centre Manager.


2007-08 Language Centre Survey

In February this year we conducted our 2007-08 User Satisfaction Survey| which sought opinion from Language Centre users on the services we provide. Everyone who had signed up for a course or received services such as proofreading or 1-2-1 tailored tuition via Executive Languages was invited to take part. In total 331 people responded and we are very grateful for the time they took to do so. The results were very positive and can be viewed via the link above.

Spanish in Motion

Spanish in Motion|, a series of Spanish documentary films followed by a question and answer session with filmmakers and experts in the field, was launched this year by the Spanish Team. It offers the chance to further develop students' linguistic competence and the overall aim is to promote greater understanding of Spanish speaking societies and to outreach to the international community that exists at LSE and beyond.

The first sessions of Spanish in Motion| have included a selection of short films by the Cuban filmmaker Lizette Vila; The Guernica Generation, directed by Stephen Bowles, which tells the extraordinary story of more than 30,000 children evacuees during the Spanish Civil War and Tales beyond Solitude, directed by Holly Aylett, in which Nobel prize winner Gabriel García Márquez reveals his dream of being a filmmaker and comments on the uneasy relation between film images and the written word.

Lizette Vila and Holly Aylett attended a Q&A session after the screening of their films and Herminio Martinez, one of the children who arrived to Britain in 1937, was present at the Q&A session for The Guernica Generation which was also the first event in this series. This first session, in particular, also attracted great interest from native speakers from outside LSE thus fulfilling the School's aim to increase links with the broader community.

E4PP

In conjunction with Careers, the Language Centre has developed a course called English for Professional Purposes (E4PP). The aim is to help students succeed in recruitment selection processes and their future careers by giving them practice at thinking creatively, critically and spontaneously in a professional context. The course was piloted at the end of the Michaelmas Term and a modified version will be available for students studying the new 2 year Masters in Management from 2008-09.

British Council Accreditation

We are please to announce that the British Council inspected and accredited the London School of Economics and Political Science Language Centre in November 2007. The Accreditation Scheme| assesses the standards of management, resources and premises, teaching and welfare and accredits organisations which meet the overall standard in each area inspected. Points of excellence were noted in aspects of general management, academic management and welfare.

New Staff

We would like to welcome the following members of staff to our team...

Gemma STANSFIELD; Language Teacher (EAP)
Jim PAVITT; Language Teacher (EAP)
Doris OSTROWSKI-HERMANN; Language Teacher (German)
Irina GUZUN; Resource and Information Assistant

...all of whom joined us at the start of the Lent Term.

We are also delighted that Simon CUDDIHY; Language Teacher (EAP) and Gwyneth JAMES; Language Teacher (EAP) have both taken up full time positions with us.

Alison STANDRING has taken on a new role as Language Co-ordinator (EAP) and Chris NEW also takes on a wider role as Assistant Language Co-ordinator (EAP)

NB: EAP stands for English for Academic Purposes!

Mexican Fiesta

Tamy Zupan, Language Teacher (Spanish) has designed a verb game| together with Steven Bond and Matt Lingard| from the LSE Centre for Learning Technology as part of her post graduate research project into E-learning. The game will help students memorise and distinguish between irregular forms of the present and preterit tenses of Spanish which can be a little tricky at times. The game can be adapted to any language and grammatical structure and Steve is already adapting it to Norwegian. For the future he is also preparing a website where language teachers will be able to access the programme to adapt it to their needs.

New Degree Module for 2008-09

This new course, LN252 Contemporary Literature and Global Society|, available from 2008-09 will enable undergraduates to look at the literature being produced in the current post-Soviet diaspora and in the global multi-cultural context of present day Britain. As Howard Davies observed last autumn about the experience of chairing the 2007 Booker Prize, a very large part of the long list of entries for the prize, although written in English, now comes from outside the British Isles. Moreover many of the top writers born in or brought up in the UK are of foreign descent – one thinks of Zadie Smith and Monica Ali most obviously, but they are just the most famous names – and their background, and the complex experience of life in modern multicultural Britain is reflected in their work. It is therefore in this context that this course hopes to reflect both the diverse nature of the most contemporary fiction and to study, for once, predominantly living writers.

EXPLICS

The EXPLICS| project is drawing to a close. Mercedes Coca and Lourdes Hernández- Martín have developed a highly successful global simulation in Spanish which they have integrated into the LN122 Spanish Language and Society 2 (Intermediate)|. Flavia D'Angelantonio and Anna Giuffria have nearly completed their Italian case study and the English global simulation will be ready shortly after Easter. When the project is complete, there will be a range of Internet-based case studies and global simulations developed by fifteen European universities in eleven languages, ranging from Level A1 to C3.

CMC Project

The CMC| project has been so successful that a decision has been made to expand it. The project is designed for students studying in a foreign country. It provides help for everyday situations (e.g. opening a bank account) and for academic skills (e.g. understanding lectures). LSE is providing the English language content and the second phase of the project will be co-ordinated by James Pavitt. He and Nick Byrne are attending a meeting in Italy from 6-9 March, 2008 to find out more.

German Degree Courses Study Trip

Intermediate and Advanced students are going to Bremen in April and will be met by a member of the Senate to talk about the recent elections and the financial plight of the city. They will go on to Worpswede, one of a few remaining artists' villages and the "Auswanderermuseum" in Bremerhafen. The highlights of the visit to the nearby 'Pressemetropole' of Hamburg will include a meeting with members of the Uni-Spiegel team and a boat trip around the harbour. The hostel where we will be staying offers splendid views of the harbour area.

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