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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Eurofest York 2015

Yorkshire and the Humber

York St John Business School was delighted to host the first Eurofest York event on Wednesday 10 June 2015.

Developed by the Selby Modern Languages Forum, Eurofest is a simulated international trade fair for year 8 pupils. Its purpose is to encourage the active use of modern foreign languages and an understanding of the value of having language skills in a business.

This is the first time that York St John University has run a York-based version of the event. Having attended the Selby event and experienced the buzz in the hall, we were keen to offer a York version. It is very exciting to see how pupils meet the challenge of answering questions from people they have never met, with accents they are not used to, in an ‘alien’ environment. The trade fair scenario also shows them how the language skills they are learning in the classroom can be put to use in the real world.

Schools from all over Yorkshire registered an interest, but finally three schools attended: Queen Ethelburga’s College (York), Saint Augustine’s RC School (Scarborough) and Canon Lee School (York). Each school provided teams of pupils who manned trade stands in French, German or Spanish, promoting either a town or a product that they had devised.

Volunteer judges interviewed the teams and scored them on their use of language, response to questioning, selling power, creativity and customer service. There were also extra points available for ‘wow’ factor. At the end of the event, certificates were awarded to winning teams in a range of categories. Luckily, each school won at least one certificate!

In the afternoon, pupils took part in a carousel of activities including language tasters in Japanese
and BSL, a general language quiz, and a campus tour with York St John student ambassadors.

A big thank you to everyone who helped to organise the event, and to Selby Modern Languages Forum for devising the concept.

Alison Organ, June 2015

For more information, including pictures, take a look at the attachment!