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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

The Italian Job!

Yorkshire and the Humber

Routes into Languages Yorkshire and the Humber welcomed Year 9 pupils from across the region to “The Italian Job” at the University of Hull on 11th December 2013.

The pupils, from Beverley Grammar School and Balby Carr Community Academy, Doncaster, had the chance to have a go at speaking some basic Italian, before examining some of the stereotypes often associated with Italy and Italians to see if these are really true of the country today.

There were some raised eyebrows when the students heard that the third session would involve “speed dating”. In fact, this “Languages at University” activity involved small groups moving around to interview Routes into Languages Student Language Ambassadors, giving those attending an in-depth insight into the opportunities and challenges of studying languages at a higher level. They then completed a “treasure hunt” around the university’s Language Learning Centre, giving them a taste of the facilities on offer to languages students.

The Student Language Ambassadors clearly demonstrated the different subject combinations that are possible with languages. They included students studying Single Honours Italian, Italian with another language, languages in combination with non-language subjects, as well as some learning Italian through the Languages for All Passport programme. This encouraged some pupils to consider languages as part of their future plans, even if they intend to focus on different areas.

Rachel Haworth, Lecturer in Italian at the University of Hull, commented: “It’s great to hear that some of the pupils are now considering languages as a result of today’s event. I hope that we have opened their eyes to a few possibilities that they would never previously have considered.”