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Routes Into Languages Urdu Research Stephen Toal – Associate Director Aspect Market Research PowerPoint Presentation
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Routes Into Languages Urdu Research Stephen Toal – Associate Director Aspect Market Research

Routes Into Languages Urdu Research Stephen Toal – Associate Director Aspect Market Research

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Routes Into Languages Urdu Research Stephen Toal – Associate Director Aspect Market Research

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  1. Routes Into Languages Urdu Research Stephen Toal – Associate Director Aspect Market Research 091112

  2. About Us • Established in 1996 • Offices in Manchester and Dubai • Qualitative and Quantitative research conducted • Team of four with over 500 field staff • Research projects cover UK, Western Europe, N. American and Middle East • Broad client base across a number of public and private sector organisations • Central Office of Information Roster Agency • Research among niche and difficult to reach samples

  3. Background Urdu the most widely used community language in England – Nearly 6,000 entries at GCSE level in 2007 Of which a quarter from within the North West Over 500 entries at A-level Routes Into Languages North West (RIL) proposing a combined degree (based at the University of Manchester) consisting of: Urdu Language and Culture combined with a choice of Sciences and Psychology, Social Sciences or Built Environment RIL wanted to determine the level of demand for such a degree among specific target groups in the North West Aspect commissioned to conduct research among the target groups 3

  4. Objectives • To understand the decision making process for course selection • To look at awareness of language courses at universities • To gain reactions to the Urdu degree pathway • To measure levels of interest in the course and likely uptake • To identify ways to maximise uptake of the course 4

  5. Methodology • Two-stage project • Qualitative stage - ‘friendship’ paired depth interviews with students of Urdu at GCSE / A-Level: • Quantitative stage - Online survey among target audience (on-going) • Male and female respondents • Qualitative fieldwork took place September 2009

  6. Qualitative Research Findings

  7. Interview structure

  8. Choice of Subjects

  9. Choice of Subjects “The reason I felt confident about picking Business is that I know people who’d already done it” “I spoke to my Urdu teacher and he was one of the best in the UK so I knew I would come out with an A* under his influence” “My dad’s a businessman and it’s naturally there – it’s like a family thing”

  10. Educational Ambitions

  11. Educational Ambitions • All respondents likely to continue into further / higher education • Most had idea of subjects they would study going forward • However, choice often dependant upon grades earned or projected • A-Level students more aware of courses available at various universities than GCSE students • GCSE students more focussed on next stage of education (i.e. A-Levels) • Main reasons for choice of university are / would be: • Course availability • Proximity to home • Recommendation from family • Reputation of university

  12. Educational Ambitions (cont) • Male respondents more likely to move away to university as helped to gain more independence • Female respondents less keen on moving away to university: • Valued support network of family • Less confident in adapting to new surroundings • Recognised financial benefits of remaining at home

  13. Educational Ambitions (cont) • Increased likelihood of moving if relatives in close proximity to university • Choice of course (and university) often influenced by family members who had studied course already: • Gave both course and university credibility • Reduced risk of disliking university / course • Parents a major influence – however some reluctance to admit extent of influence • Incidences of parents vetoing universities they had visited and disliked • Teachers also key influence - pass on benefit of experience along with knowledge of institutions

  14. Educational Ambitions “I want to feel independence and feel responsibility so if I do get a place in all the good universities where my course is available then I’ll probably move out” “I know a couple of cousins who have been there (Liverpool) and they do recommend it” “I would rather stay closer to home”

  15. Attitudes Towards Learning Urdu

  16. Attitudes Towards Learning Urdu • Urdu studied for a number of reasons: • Spoken at home for many years and had good levels of oral ability • Easier to gain formal qualification • Parents wanted children to learn more about Urdu language and culture • Urdu considered more formal compared with languages such as Punjabi (more slang) • Consequently, felt to help to communicate in more formal (i.e. work) situations

  17. Attitudes Towards Learning Urdu (cont) • Urdu enjoyed by most: • Liked teachers • Not as difficult as other subjects • Mixed views on continuing Urdu at university: • Not enjoyed enough by some • Preferred other (vocational?) subjects • However all saw benefits of learning languages in the context of careers • For example, Urdu considered useful in careers involving regular contact with public where English not first language (e.g. medicine, dentistry, law) • Many would consider Urdu if linked to a vocational degree

  18. Attitudes Towards Learning Urdu “My mum wanted me to learn as I speak Punjabi and that’s less formal – Urdu’s very formal for when you speak to adults” “I want to be a psychiatrist so if I had to work with someone who didn’t know English… they teach two languages here, Urdu and Arabic, and if they knew those languages I could talk to them in that’” “If you know the language and can communicate with people then that’s an advantage”

  19. Reactions To Urdu Combined Degree

  20. Reactions To Urdu Combined Degree – Option A • URDU LANGUAGE AND CULTURE combined with ONE of the following: • SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY (e.g. biology, maths) • SOCIAL SCIENCES (e.g. economics, anthropology) • BUILT ENVIRONMENT (e.g. geography, planning)

  21. Reactions To Urdu Combined Degree – Option B • URDU LANGUAGE AND CULTURE combined with ANY of the following: • HISTORICAL STUDIES (Classical, Holocaust studies) • LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS • LITERARY STUDIES AND DRAMA • FILM STUDIES • PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES • SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY • SOCIAL SCIENCES

  22. Reactions To Urdu Combined Degree – Option A • Preferred option of the two combined degree pathways • Positive reaction to combined with single subject: • Gave greater depth to qualification • More tailored to a specific career • Sciences and Psychology most closely linked to careers being pursued (e.g. Medicine, Psychiatry etc) • Little interest in Built Environment – only considered of relevance to those interested in architecture / planning • Respondents wished to see specific vocational subjects included such as: • Pharmacy • Medicine • Law • IT

  23. Combined Degree – Option A “It would have to be vocational” “If I could speak Urdu fluently I would totally pick Urdu and Biology” “I think they’re really really good”

  24. Reactions To Urdu Combined Degree – Option B • Less positive response – of appeal only to those with more general / non-vocational interests • Studying a number of topics considered too time-consuming - could lead to students being ‘spread too thin’ • Sciences and Psychology again of most interest as relevant to career ambitions • Desire for further information and clarification on degree elements

  25. Combined Degree – Option B “Sciences yes definitely” “If you’ve got loads of subjects including Science it’s a lot of pressure” “If you’ve gone away from home and they expect you to get good results and you haven’t come back with anything…”

  26. Reactions To Urdu Language and Culture • URDU LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: • URDU LANGUAGE COURSE UNIT IN EACH YEAR OF STUDY • ONE OR MORE COURSES PER YEAR IN AREAS SUCH AS: • WORLD LANGUAGES • TRANSLATION STUDIES • HISTORY / RELIGION • CULTURAL DIVERSITY, CHANGING SOCIETY and GLOBALISATION • EASTERN STUDIES (Islam, Muslim societies, Indian Philosophy, South Asian Art) • URDU LANGUAGE COMPONENT WOULD BE OFFERED AT A RANGE OF LEVELS INCLUDING BEGINNER, POST-GCSE AND POST-A LEVEL

  27. Reactions To Urdu Language and Culture • Generally positive response – considered comprehensive with interesting study areas • Translation Studies of greatest interest – recognised career opportunities • Islam and Muslim Societies elements important to put language into context and to understand Urdu’s role in Islam • Positive response to degree being open to all levels of ability – opened up to wider range of people • Mixed views as to whether Culture element should focus on Urdu in a UK or international context

  28. Reactions To Urdu Language and Culture “When you learn a language, it’s not just about learning the language it’s about understanding the culture” “(The range of abilities) is really good – you need to be appealing to a wide variety of people” “I’ve never seen anything like this”

  29. Promoting Degree

  30. Conclusions Respondents all likely to continue into Further / Higher education Parents / family play a key role in subject choices at all levels Proximity to home a key consideration in choice of university Urdu chosen as a subject as students already familiar with language and have level of ability Recognition of benefits of language skills within careers Generally positive response to Urdu Language and Culture degree pathway Preference for combined degree focused on fewer number of study areas – ideally vocational subjects School / college visits by course leaders one of a number of methods in promoting course

  31. Next Stage Online survey among: Students of Urdu at GCSE / A-Level Parents of Urdu students at GCSE / A-Level Prize draw to win a Nintendo Wii For a link to the survey contact: Aspect Market Research – 0161 831 7171 Routes Into Languages North West – 0161 247 3940

  32. Contact Details Aspect Market Research Limited 54-56 Bridge Street Manchester M3 3BW Tel: 0161-831 7171 Fax: 0161-832 4051 Contact: Stephen Toal [ stephen@aspectmr.com ] www.aspectmr.com