School pupils from across the region gathered to fuel their love of languages at the Leeds Loves Languages Festival on 7th March. Due to high demand a further date was added on the 21st March 2014. The Leeds Loves Languages Festival, a joint venture between the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University, is now in its fourth year and aims to show the benefits and excitement in learning languages and exploring foreign cultures. The event forms part of the nationwide Speak to the Future campaign which aims to promote the learning of foreign languages in the UK from primary school to university level and is supported by Routes into Languages 2, a HEFCE funded initiative, aiming to enthuse and encourage people to study languages.
120 pupils from year 12 had the opportunity to engage with speakers of other languages as well as students and tutors from both universities. As well as taking part in conversation classes in languages they are already learning, students participated in taster sessions in lesser-taught languages such as Japanese, Arabic, Greek, Thai and Russian. During the day pupils learnt about the experiences of current modern language students, the benefits of a year abroad and also found out about the value of languages in the workplace and for future careers.
Comments from the event included:
‘The ambassadors talking about their experiences… made me want to do languages’ (pupil)
‘The event has shown me the importance of languages in everyday life, and how useful they can be in various situations’ (pupil)
‘Student leaders were fantastic, a very nice atmosphere and the timing of the day was exceptional’ (teacher)