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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Drama day brings Spanish culture to life for local school pupils at Leeds Beckett University

Yorkshire and the Humber

A group of year eight school pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds paid a visit to the Leeds Beckett University’s Performance Studio on 25th January to practice their Spanish and try out theatre acting at the annual Spanish drama day.

The activity was organised by the University’s Languages team and supported by the Access and Widening Participation team as part of the Routes into Languages Project, a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)-funded initiative which aims to show the benefits and fun in learning languages and encourage young people to study them at a higher level.

Organiser Kathy Murdie said: “The pupils arrived with their enthusiasm and their language skills and throughout the day worked in groups to write their own version of Don Quijote. The activities encouraged students to use vocabulary related to the drama, to communicate with each other and try out some acting techniques, assisted by Leeds Beckett Language Ambassadors and tutors.”

“Having known nothing of the play when they arrived, the day culminated in the pupils producing a fantastic performance of their very own Don Quijote, impressing both their own teachers and the Leeds Beckett staff!”

The day was a hit with the pupils, who reported that it helped with their confidence and was a great opportunity to get more involved in languages and understanding Spanish culture.

Spanish tutor, Sebastián Rodríguez, added: "This workshop was about learning and practising Spanish in an effective way with creative and unconventional approaches. Drama can take several forms, but above all it should be a communicative activity where the learners can speak Spanish using the level they are working at. The students created their own dialogue with the language they learnt in school. It was great to see young people very motivated and working in a team to produce a play and very rewarding to see them helping and encouraging each other."