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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Children get a taste of China at Leeds Met

Yorkshire and the Humber

School children from across the region celebrated the year of the dragon at Leeds Metropolitan University this week as they learnt about Chinese culture and language.

50 year pupils, aged between eleven and 14, from Brigshaw High School and Language College in Castleford, St Bede's Catholic School in Bradford, St Aidan's C of E school in Harrogate and David Young Community Academy in Seacroft, spent a day at the University on the 8th February 2012, where they had the chance to try calligraphy and paper cutting whilst learning Chinese and meeting current Leeds Metropolitan students who shared their experiences of university.

The pupils learnt about Chinese culture throughout the day, whilst finding out why learning a language is so important. All schools involved are engaged in the University’s Routes into Languages project which was set up four years ago to promote languages in secondary schools.

Principal Lecturer in Languages, Graham Webb, commented: “Awareness of other languages and cultures is vital to future generations if we are to maintain our position in an increasingly global commercial and social environment. By celebrating Chinese New Year at Leeds Met in the company of pupils and teachers from our partner schools, we engage them with the culture and language of over one billion people. Through language taster classes and workshops of origami and calligraphy, students are motivated to learn a new language that will promote increased trade and cultural exchanges for future generations.”

Some comments from the day:

“Well organised and fun. Very educational and a good opportunity to speak to people from other cultures and countries”

“A good insight into Chinese culture as well as the language”