Language teaching in schools often tends to concentrate on arts and culture. However, introducing concepts from linguistics, the scientific study of language, can increase the appeal of language studies to children interested in STEM subjects and provide tools that everyone can use to make language learning easier.
Ulster University’s Language Awareness for Key Stage 3 project, funded by the AHRC, was designed to address the continued decline of language leaning in secondary schools. Many children are interested in learning new languages but are put off by the perceived difficulty of these subjects; new teaching resources designed by linguists at Ulster University take a scientific approach to language learning that can make even some puzzling aspects of grammar much easier to understand. Although designed for KS3, this material should also appeal to older pupils.
This event will provide an introduction to the approach used in these materials. Beginning with some basic background information about human languages, you will see how linguists identify patterns within and across languages, and how even a completely unfamiliar language can quickly become much easier to understand when it is approached systematically. Pupils will also have the opportunity to ask questions about languages, language studies and linguistics, and their application. In addition, there will be an introduction to some of the resources available for teachers and how they can be integrated into different classes.
We hope that this approach will have contributed to making the study of language more fun and more accessible to all.