On May 21st, the East Midlands consortium held its annual After School Languages Club celebration. Routes into Languages staff at the University of Nottingham, had organised an Internationally Themed Family Language Supper for parents and siblings of the children who had participated in the After School Clubs. The children's work was on display, giving the families the opportunity to view some of the activities undertaken. After the buffet, Heather McGuinness, National Programme Manager, Routes into Languages presented certificates to the children. During the presentation, the families were thrilled to see the children carry out performances using the target languages. The internationally themed familly language suppers project was established by the consortium as an example of good practice where engaging parents is concerned.
In June, two Derbyshire Schools - Sinfin and Bolsover came to Nottingham Trent University's Clifton Campus to participate in the first intervention of The Bespoke Language Programme. The pupils attended a Why Study Languages presentation which was delivered by Karl Pfeiffer of the Goethe Institute, London. After the presentation, they took part in a mini lecture on globalization which was followed by small group discussion with a team of International Student Ambassadors. After lunch, language enrichment activities were provided in order to prepare the pupils for their 'How to stay safe and avoid difficult situations' session which was delivered in German. The pupils enjoyed the day as they were able to experience first hand, the usefulness of languages within a real world setting and also gain knowledge about other cultures through discussion.
Rachael Nicols of Aimhigher Derbyshire who had accompanied the children along with Martin Spaul, Head of Modern Languages at Bolsover School said "I noticed a visible change in the students during the event; from uncertain and ambivalent to engaged, interested and motivated" Martin Spaul wrote "Our students are still feeling inspired from last Wednesday's event - their motivation is sky high at the moment" "I can't thank you enough!"
Year 12 pupils from across the region attended the Eurostars annual Summer school in July. The event is open to year 12 students of A1 languages. The programme included culture and language enrichment sessions in German, French and Spanish, also taster sessions in Italian, Arabic and Spanish. All the pupils participated in a mini lecture on global terrorism delivered by Dr Roy Smith, Senior Lecturer in International Studies at Nottingham Trent University, which was followed by small group debate, in order for participants to experience learning and teaching within the HE sector. The educational programme was complemented by presentations on studying at university, careers and the importance of studying languages. This two day event was attended by fifty pupils, who stayed overnight in halls of residence and enjoyed social events in the evening.
A second summer school was organised by the University of Leicester for year 8 & 9 pupils who learnt about the importance of languages in various contexts. They participated in enrichment activities alongside fun sessions; salsa, international music, world disco and quizzes. The Leicester summer residential which lasts for two days aims to inspire young people to continue to study languages at G.C.S.E and beyond.
The languages Road Show/Radiolingua created by Andy Daglish of Lincoln University and which has been operating in rural Lincolnshire has proven so successful that the consortium has awarded Andy extra funding to roll the proyect out across the region. Schools can read more about this in the East Midlands activity section of this web page.
Web-based resources for French, German, Spanish and Italian are ready to be launched in the Autumn, as is Nottingham University's Virtual Language Assistant project which will be of benefit to schools which do not have a foreign language assistant..
For information on East Midland Consortium activities contact: firstname.lastname@example.org