Language learning is important. Loads of kids are taking languages other than English (or LOTE). Lots of people are teaching them.

But for all that, we’re just not learning them. So why not? Are we doing it wrong? Not starting early enough? Or is it the culture of language learning in English-speaking countries? More importantly, how do we fix it?

Language teacher Annie Demosthenous chats with Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Dylan Websdane


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Show notes

Negative campaign: Votes sought for most disliked English word
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/25/negative-campaign-votes-sought-for-most-disliked-english-word

Oxford Dictionaries’ campaign to find most hated English word scrapped
http://www.newkerala.com/news/2016/fullnews-111238.html

Now we’ll never know what the English language’s least favourite word is
http://www.aol.co.uk/news/2016/08/27/now-well-never-know-what-the-english-languages-least-favourite-word-is/

Offensive language ruins search for world’s worst word
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-37197699

#OneWordMap: mapping the world’s least favourite words
“Update: We regret to inform users that due to severe misuse we have had to remove this feature from our website.”
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/08/one-word-map-least-favourite-word/#

Part 1: Why LOTE is having trouble

Fewer students are taking languages
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2016/06/15/solve-australias-language-learning-crisis/

Schools are cutting back
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/diplomatic-tensions-as-italian-and-greek-phased-out-of-school-20160805-gqlwpf.html

It’s difficult to teach LOTE anyway, with students get 1 hour a week.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teachers-know-dripfed-languages-fail-to-take-hold-20121102-28pms.html

We don’t have a culture of language learning in English-speaking countries
http://neoskosmos.com/news/en/Challenging-Australias-monolingual-mindset

What’s the big deal? Everyone speaks English
https://theconversation.com/why-native-english-speakers-fail-to-be-understood-in-english-and-lose-out-in-global-business-54436

Part 2: How to fix it

Should we be getting students to speak their home language (if they have one), instead of making everyone choose Indonesian or French?
https://theconversation.com/how-we-kill-languages-and-fail-our-cleverest-children-29137

How about dual-language programmes?
http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/dual-language-books-bridge-culture-language-for-english-learners-in-edmonton

How about language nests?
https://theconversation.com/language-nests-a-way-to-revive-indigenous-languages-at-risk-19824

Just making language learning compulsory?
https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-australia-more-bilingual-42609

What Is The Millennial Whoop? Once You Hear This Virulent Pop Hook You Won’t Be Able To Unhear It
http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/what-is-the-millennial-whoop-songs

“The Millennial Whoop”: The same annoying whooping sound is showing up in every popular song
http://qz.com/767812/millennial-whoop/

The Millennial Whoop: the melodic hook that’s taken over pop music
https://www.theguardian.com/music/shortcuts/2016/aug/30/millennial-whoop-pop-music

You might not know what the Millennial Whoop is but you have definitely heard it
http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/16330/you-might-not-know-what-the-millennial-whoop-is-but-you-have-definitely-heard-it

The millennial whoop: the key to modern pop
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046j43s

Best Classical Tunes: Search with a virtual piano
http://bestclassicaltunes.com/DictionaryPiano.aspx


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: https://theconversation.com/from-hawke-to-turnbull-asian-language-learning-in-decline-47163