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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Sixth Form Conference

Yorkshire and the Humber

Despite the fact that one of the 6th formers attending one of the three day revision conferences in the Modern Languages Department at Hull University unfortunately found “Reading the set text very tiring” – the three day event was voted an overall success by teachers and students.

“The sessions were designed to be intense and help the students achieve as high a grade as they could in the forthcoming exams so perhaps the “Tiring” criticism in the evaluation comment should be seen as a compliment,” commented one of the lecturers wryly!

Over 80 students from across Yorkshire and The Humber, including 15 schools and sixth form colleges attended the conferences on March 22, 23, 25. In each case the day included lunch in the staff house and AS students went on tours of the campus during the lunch break. Hull has been running these revision conferences for over 5 years and the interest in them has grown every year.

The revision sessions included sessions looking at major set books and as well as speaking and listening work in German, French and Spanish. There were also group sessions on everything from – ‘Accueillir de nouvelles cultures : l'immigration et le modèle d'intégration en France’ to ‘Schlankheitswahn versus Fastfood’ or ‘La Cultura Popular’. The teaching was carried out by student ambassadors and lecturers from the Modern Languages Department.

One of the students who presumably had not found the sessions too tiring said: “I liked working in small groups so we all had a chance to contribute to the discussions and ask questions. The student ambassadors were really nice and friendly and very helpful during the sessions. Use of video, listening and debate helped keep revision lively and interesting. The sessions helped me list things that I needed to look at again. And by way, we liked the cake at lunchtime.”

Another said: “I learnt lots of new vocabulary. The tutors were really helpful and tried hard to encourage participation. I think I gained in confidence when speaking German.”

Another equally enthusiastic student said: “I liked how all the sessions were in French, as it gave me an idea of what studying a language at Uni might be like. I particularly liked the ‘Vers un avenir propre’ session.”

“I liked the French adverts, they were really funny and it helped to do a multiple of things – speaking, listening and reading. The ambassador students were a big help with vocabulary and tenses. This day has really helped me with French and has showed me which parts I should look at to improve."

Kerry Dobson of the Modern Languages Department at the University of Hull said: “These sessions take quite a bit of organising but they are well worth it and well attended. I think the students who come learn a lot from being part of a university environment. People like myself benefit from seeing how determined and enthusiastic they are.”

“But perhaps another time we may have to warn people that revision can be tiring!”