Michael Rosen visiting the University to record a Radio4 'Word of Mouth' episode with English students

Members of the English Language and Applied Linguistics Division and their international MA students talked about ‘real English’ and the problems that it presents to international students at BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth.

The title of this episode recorded at the University and presented by Michael Rosen is 'The University of Babel' and you can listen to the programme on the BBC iPlayer.

Staff contributing are: Bob Holland; Susan Hunston; Almut Koester; Jeannette Littlemore; Caroline Tagg; Crayton Walker

  • Summary of 'The University of Babel'

Generations of students have left lecture halls wondering whether they understood what they just heard. Now, a growing proportion of these learners don't consider English their first language. In the first episode in a new series, Michael Rosen visits the University of Birmingham to investigate how well the English spoken by foreign students equips them for British university life. And to see how lecturers are adapting to their multilingual audience. And there's feature on Special English, the slowed down, limited vocabulary version of the language developed more than half a century ago as a radio experiment, and which the Voice of America network still uses in its programmes."