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A Warning from History for the Google Translate Generation

The decline of language skills threatens the study of the past. And machines won’t come to the rescue.

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By: Michael Pollitt

Source: http://www.historytoday.com/

The UK education system is failing to produce enough students with foreign language skills, an indispensable tool for the study of history. Research published in June this year by the Confederation of British Industry revealed that one in five schools in England had a persistently low take-up of languages, after what the government is describing as ‘a decade of damaging decline’. This slump has taken its toll on the university system. In the past 15 years more than a third of UK universities stopped offering specialist modern European language degrees, arguing that rigorous marking at A-level had deterred teenagers from studying languages at school.

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