First run in July 2009 as a pilot project, The Languages Film Summer School brings together students from Sheffield and Rotherham with an interest in film and languages. Y11 students who are going on to study an A level language come together to create their own short film in just three days.
This innovative transition project offers a challenging and engaging out of classroom experience to Y11 students from across the Yorkshire region who will study French, German, Spanish or Japanese at A Level, in the next academic year.
Over three days, students use their language skills in a fun, practical and creative way making their own three minute short film in the foreign language of their choice. Supported by a team of linguists and film experts, students put their higher level thinking skills, linguistic skills and newly acquired film making skills to the test by filming, producing and editing their films. Each year a different theme for the films is chosen.
Capitalising on Sheffield Hallam University's status as the official educational partner for "Le Grand Départ" of "Le Tour de France" this year's group are making their short films on the wider theme of Departures, but have also been inspired to include references to cycling in some way in their films.
Each year the Language Film Summer School has gone from strength to strength engaging with more and more young people and in 2014 is supporting 43 young linguists.
The Language Film Summer School Project is funded by Routes into Languages, which is accessed via Sheffield Hallam University, who also host the Languages Film Summer School.
Matthew Hunt Schools and Colleges Liaison Manager from Sheffield Hallam University says “Sheffield Hallam University is proud to support the Languages Film Summer School. By bringing languages to life through film, this project enables students to see the different careers and opportunities languages skills can open up".
Phoebe Lindley a student participating in this year's Film Summer School said "this Project is unique as it helps you improve your language skills while teaching you new skills that can be applied in a variety of jobs or prospects in the future. Although we will study a media module as part of the languages A level I would never of thought of putting these skills together in such a practical way."
Keith Radley from Sheffield Hallam University one of the film experts involved in the Project said "As each year goes by I become more and more impressed regarding the students' creative and technical abilities. These days kids are inherently more visually aware and this is perfect example of how visually aware and capable they are".
Clare Allison one of the Project Team based at King Edward VII School said, "Every year it is amazing how much the students achieve in just three days. The practical application of their language skills through film making really motivates them to produce excellent short films. Add this to the fact that the students often don't know each other when they arrive, then work brilliantly together demonstrates the value of this transition project. All the skills used in the Project are vital for independent and creative A Level learners".
On 17 September 2014 the films will be premiered to staff, friends and family at a special event to be held at Sheffield Hallam University. The films are presided over by a panel of linguistic and film experts who judge the films on their linguistic merits and technical skills. At the end of the evening prizes are given out for best overall film and viewers’ choice award which is voted for by the audience on the night of the event.