Articles on Language skills

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Far fewer Americans speak a second language than in most other developed countries – and the problem starts in the classroom. Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

The true failure of foreign language instruction

Whether it's due to native language loss or unsupported high school curricula, the lack of bilingualism in the US is notable. Why can't more Americans speak another language? How should that change?
Proper note construction helps students identify the gaps in their understanding. Shutterstock

Better note-taking can help students who struggle with English

Learning is an independent activity at university. Students who don't speak English as a mother tongue struggle to decode the content, let alone make sense of it.
All rhetorical techniques are designed to enhance one of the three pillars of communication: ethos, logos and pathos. Benson Kua

Think you know your rhetorical structures? I can’t even …

We all use rhetorical structures. But, unless we're skilled in their use, as politicians and advertisers clearly are, we don't necessarily grasp their full manipulative power.
The language that’s spoken in science classrooms is very different to every day English – even mother tongue English speakers may struggle because of this. From www.shutterstock.com

Helping learners become fluent in the language of science classrooms

We view school science as largely a practical subject, but pupils must understand the language of science – which is often very different from every day language – if they are to excel.
Bowe Bergdahl was released in a prisoner exchange on 31 May. Intelcenter Handout/EPA

Can Bowe Bergdahl really have forgotten how to speak English?

When US soldier Bowe Bergdahl was released after being held captive by the Afghan Taliban for five years, his father said his son was “having trouble speaking English”. Many will find this statement incredible…
Lost in translation. Gwenaël Piaser

We need to fall back in love with learning languages

The drop in applications to European language programmes at UK universities will not have come as a great shock to anybody teaching languages. For at least the past 15 years, the number of students applying…

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