The books tag features articles that mention books on languages, translation, analytics and other interests that our team finds relevant.


David Crystal, great linguist and lover of language

Thinking man pose, David Crystal

Thinking man / Stock photo

The great linguist, David Crystal

Today, instead of talking about grammar and language, we’ve dedicated this blog post to write about a linguist. Linguists are the forgotten heroes of language who work in the background lovingly creating, managing and documenting our languages. Today we focus on David Crystal.

David Crystal is a famous linguist from North Wales, but is also known as a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster. He was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1941.

A specialist in English language studies, David Crystal published his first book in 1964. He worked on such subjects as intonation, stylistics and in the application of linguistics to religious, educational and clinical contexts.

Two of his most famous books are encyclopaedia that he prepared for Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language.

He was founder-editor of the Journal of Child Language, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, and Linguistics Abstracts and has been a consultant, contributor and presenter on several radio and television programmes and series.

David Crystal is currently patron of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and the Association for Language Learning (ALL), president of the UK National Literacy Association and an Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor, Wales.

You can learn more on the official David Crystal website. We’ve learnt a great deal about linguistics and languages through him.

The STAR Team

Languages of London’s schoolchildren

Mapping the Languages of London’s schoolchildren

Forty-one percent of state school pupils in London speak another language besides English – up from 33pc ten years ago, according to new research published by the Institute of Education and CILT: the National Centre for Languages.

Six experts from the fields of demographic research, linguistics and social policy have compiled a unique new publication which literally maps the languages spoken in London schools on to their individual boroughs and wards, providing a fascinating perspective on the complex nature of London as a global city. Comparisons with earlier data show which languages have changed most and how communities across London are evolving.

Multilingualism is on the increase with almost all the languages recorded having more speakers now than ten years ago. Forty-two languages are now spoken by more than 1,000 pupils across London (up from 25) and 12 languages spoken by more than 10,000 pupils (up from 8). Only four languages have declined in numbers: Gujarati, Panjabi, Greek and Chinese – all well-established communities.

The languages which have seen the biggest numerical increases are Somali, which has more than doubled in ten years; Tamil, Polish and Albanian.

The book comes with important background information about each language, and analysis to help policy-makers, planners or those working in public services to make best use of the data.
Professor Richard Wiggins, who led the research at the Institute of Education said, “our research shows that language data can provide us with a richer understanding of population diversity.  We can use it together with other information to help make better sense of the city we live in and to develop more effective social and educational policies.”

“All the major languages of the world are represented in London, including most of those with more than 10 million speakers worldwide. Yet most of us would be hard-pressed to name more than a few dozen. We want to draw attention to this vast intellectual and cultural resource and stimulate a debate on how it can be developed and used for the benefit of all Londoners”, Teresa Tinsley of CILT remarked.

The STAR Team

Source: Language Capital: mapping the languages of London’s schoolchildren’ by John Eversley, Dina Mehmedbogovic, Antony Sanderson, Teresa Tinsley, Michelle von Ahn and Richard D Wiggins.

Languages of London Go Live at Language Show

Languages of London, Language Show 2010

A new book mapping the languages of London’s schoolchildren and highlighting the richness and diversity of the 233 languages used in the capital is unveiled for the first time at this year’s Language Show at Earl’s Court.

All the major languages of the world are represented in London and the language capital highlights the value of this important resource for London’s future as a key global player. It also reveals how this enormous potential can be harnessed and developed.

Teresa Tinsley, Director of Communications of CILT,  the National Centre for Languages said, “London enjoys an incredible advantage in having English in combination with such a wide range of other languages used by millions of people around the world. We need to do more to capture the potential of this linguistic talent to create a generation of highly-competent, globally connected bilinguals capable of mediating between different cultures and competing in global markets.”

The book contains a wealth of data alongside 29 pages of full-colour maps illustrating the way London’s languages have changed and how communities in the capital have evolved over the last decade.

Building on the groundbreaking research of Multilingual Capital, published in 2000, it is a vital reference book for specialists and non-specialists alike. Pre-launch copies will be available at the show.

CILT, the nationally recognised centre of expertise on languages will be at the Language Show on stand 411 throughout the three days offering a wide range of support and information on services for teachers, learners, and businesses. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to sign up for a free trial to CILT Plus, a new service which provides primary schools with unique access to a host of language-learning resources and online training. They will also be invited to sign the ‘Languages Work Pledge’ – a campaign for businesses and individuals to show their support for improving the nation’s language skills for employment and the economy.

The stand will also be showcasing the latest online tool for schools: MYLO, a free interactive way for youngsters from 11 to 16 to learn and practice their languages.

CILT staff will also be hosting seminars on raising students’ motivation to continue learning languages they speak at home, and on how schools can compete for the ever popular European Language Label.

The STAR Team