Policy Fellowship for Nicola Davis

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Nicola graduated from Cambridge University in 2004 with a degree in French and Spanish. She worked at Chatham House before joining the Civil Service in 2006 (initially the Home Office, moving to the FCO in 2011). Her previous roles have included Private Secretary to the Security Minister and Political Counsellor at the British Embassy, Bogota. She has been head of the FCO’s Languages Team since September 2018.

Objectives.

•To get a better understanding of language learning aptitude

•To get a better understanding of the best language learning techniques

Questions

  • 1. What are the critical success factors in learning foreign languages?
  • 2. It is assumed that learning a new language is easier for those who already speak a cognate language. Can the time saving be quantified?
  • 3. What’s the best way to test aptitude and motivation for learning languages?
  • 4. What is the role of technology in language learning and foreign language use?
  • 5. What research has been done on how long it takes a native English speaker to learn a foreign language to proficiency? (The FCO uses the attached table but we would like to review it).
  • 6. What is the impact of anxiety when learning a foreign language and what techniques can be used to overcome it?
  • 7. What is the relative importance of Russian versus the national/local language in the former Soviet Republics from a political and socio-economical perspective? Which is more important for foreign diplomats to learn?
  • 8. What is the relative importance of Modern Standard Arabic versus the local dialect from a political and socio-economical perspective in the Arab speaking world? Which is more important for foreign diplomats to learn?
  • 4 Mar 2020 11:00

    Programme starts

  • 4 Mar 2020 11:30 – 12:30

    Meeting with Professor Suzanne Graham, Professor of Language and Education, University of Reading

    I am just writing a book chapter on aptitude and motivation, and have recently published on technology and instruction time. I have also researched many of the other areas in your list, particularly those associated with anxiety.

    1. What are the critical success factors in learning foreign languages?

    3. What’s the best way to test aptitude and motivation for learning languages?

    4. What is the role of technology in language learning and foreign language use?

    5. What research has been done on how long it takes a native English speaker to learn a foreign language to proficiency? (The FCO uses the attached table but we would like to review it).

    6. What is the impact of anxiety when learning a foreign language and what techniques can be used to overcome it?

    Phone call (CSaP)

  • 4 Mar 2020 13:00 – 13:45

    Meeting with Dr Rory Finnin, Senior Lecturer, Ukrainian Studies, University of Cambridge

    ref35@cam.ac.uk

    7. What is the relative importance of Russian versus the national/local language in the former Soviet Republics from a political and socio-economical perspective? Which is more important for foreign diplomats to learn?

    Centre for Science and Policy 10 Trumpington Street

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 13:45.

  • 4 Mar 2020 14:00 – 15:00

    Meeting with Ben Knight, Director of ELT Research and Teacher Development, Cambridge University Press

    bknight@cambridge.org

    Shaftesbury Rd, Cambridge CB2 8BS
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 15:15.

  • 4 Mar 2020 19:20

    Pembroke High Table dinner

    Pembroke College Porters Lodge

  • 4 Mar 2020 22:00

    Overnight Accommodation at Pembroke College

  • 5 Mar 2020 09:00 – 09:50

    Meeting with Professor Simon Franklin, Professor of Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge

    scf1000@cam.ac.uk

    7. What is the relative importance of Russian versus the national/local language in the former Soviet Republics from a political and socio-economical perspective? Which is more important for foreign diplomats to learn?

    Clare Memorial Court, room P17. Clare College
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 09:50.

  • 5 Mar 2020 10:00 – 11:00

    Meeting with Dr Henriette Hendrix

    hpjmh2@cam.ac.uk

    Lucy Cavendish College Lady Margaret Road
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 11:00.

  • 5 Mar 2020 11:30 – 12:30

    Meeting with Mrs Sarah Schechter

    ss2431@cam.ac.uk

    CSaP 10 Trumpington Street

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 13:45.

  • 5 Mar 2020 14:00 – 15:00

    Meeting with Dr Nick Saville, Director, Research and Thought Leadership Group, Cambridge Assessment Language

    Saville.N@cambridgeenglish.org

    The Triangle Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8EA ( Room SG5),

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 15:00.

  • 5 Mar 2020 15:30 – 16:00

    Meeting with Professor Wendy Bennett, Professor of French Philology and Linguistics, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge

    wmb1001@cam.ac.uk

    Room S12A, 2nd Floor, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX Once you come out of the lift, turn right and head towards the School of Arts and Humanities offices, go past that, and then we are in the corridor on the right. Wendy's phone number is 01223 760800 if you get lost.
    View on map

  • 5 Mar 2020 18:00

    Overnight Accommodation at Pembroke College

  • 6 Mar 2020 09:00 – 09:50

    Meeting with Dr Advait Sarkar, Postdoctoral Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge

    advait@microsoft.com

    4. What is the role of technology in language learning and foreign language use?

    Microsoft Research 21 Station Rd, Cambridge CB1 2FB

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 09:50.

  • 6 Mar 2020 10:00 – 11:00

    Meeting with Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor of European Union Law, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

    csb24@cam.ac.uk

    Room M4, New Court, Trinity College CB2 1TQ (ask at Porters' Lodge)
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: 20 minute walk.

  • 6 Mar 2020 11:30 – 12:30

    Meeting with Dr Dora Alexopoulou, Principal Research Associate, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge

    ta259@cam.ac.uk

    English Faculty Building, 3rd Floor, TR19, 9 West Road
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: 25 minute walk.

  • 6 Mar 2020 13:00 – 14:00

    Meeting with Bernadette Holmes, Director of Speak to the Future, the National Campaign for Languages

    bernardetteh@yahoo.co.uk

    Centre for Science and Policy skype call (lunch will be provided)

  • 6 Mar 2020 14:00 – 14:30

    Meeting with Erica Pramauro, Policy Fellowships Coordinator

    e.pramauro@jbs.cam.ac.uk

    Centre for Science and Policy, 10 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA
    View on map

    Directions to next meeting: CSaP to arrange taxi to pick up at 14:40.

  • 6 Mar 2020 15:00

    Leave by 3pm