5th February 2014 saw 22 AS and A Level students exploring languages and careers at the latest Routes into Languages Yorkshire and the Humber event, held at the University of Hull.
The students spent the day investigating different career options for languages students, whilst also gaining valuable speaking practice with native speakers, acting as Student Language Ambassadors.
Many of the attendees had taken part in the award-winning Online Tandem Learning scheme earlier in the year. This project, run jointly by the University of Hull and Routes into Languages, matches sixth form students with Student Language Ambassadors who are native speakers in the language that they are learning. They then exchange emails over a six-week period, via the university’s virtual learning environment, giving them lots of reading and writing practice in a safe, supervised setting.
This was the first time that the scheme had been followed up with a face-to-face event. Participants were invited onto campus to meet their partners, along with other native speakers. This time, the focus was on speaking and listening skills.
As well as exploring career options for linguists, the students discussed the transferable skills that are gained through studying languages, such as teamwork, adaptability and analytical skills.
These ideas were incorporated into target language presentations on the subject of Languages and Careers. They also took inspiration from watching clips on Third Year Abroad’s Language Launchpad website, which showcases a number of languages graduates and how their studies have helped them progress their careers.
The event proved extremely popular with the students who attended. One student said: "I learnt many new things and it was a good experience to talk to native French speakers," whilst another commented: "It was a really good experience for helping both my language and my confidence."
Many of the Student Language Ambassadors also found the experience very beneficial. Theresa, from Germany, commented: “I really enjoyed the day working with these students. I am now keen to find more opportunities to work in schools and with young people, helping them to improve their German.”