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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

East Midlands

Web-based Resources Launch

Region: 
East Midlands

The East Midlands Consortium has launched a suite of resources designed to support both teachers and pupils of G.C.S.E, A1 and A2 French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

The Resources provide practice in reading and listening skills, as well as practice in grammar.  The materials which  have been designed by languages' staff at the University of Nottingham, will provide pupils with the opportunity to practise  their language skills independently.  Production of materials is ongoing.  To use the materials please click on the following link.  http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ril

If you require further information related to the web-based resources, contact: Sarah.Wullink@nottingham.ac.uk

Round Up: Summer term events in the East Midlands

Region: 
East Midlands

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:  mirella.santamaria@ntu.ac.uk

 

Launch of Bespoke G.C.S.E Language Programme

Region: 
East Midlands

The East Midlands Consortium recently delivered one of a series of four interventions under its recently created Bespoke Language Programme for students of G.C.S.E languages.

The programme aims to support Year 10 school pupils who have opted to study languages at G.C.S.E.  There is a focus on attainment, particulary during the final intervention, which concentrates on revising all four skill areas in the form of a pre-exam Master Class in 2010. 

The pupils will attend Nottingham Trent University on three occasions during 2009, and engage activities which are designed to demonstrate how languages work outside of the classroom.  The suite of activies contained within the programme will not only give participants the opportunity to learn as traditional learners but also as autonomous ones.

The pupils will take part in interactive careers' sessions, where they will discover the links between languages and employment for themselves.   They will be asked to research into an aspect of cultural interest related to the target language and then deliver power point presentations in small groups. 

Other activities include:  'How to stay safe in difficult situations' sessions delivered in the foreign language by Mark Wingfield, (pictured above) 'Why Languages Work' talks, mini-lectures,  Q/A panels with existing university students and presentations on 'What it is like to study at university' .

Three Aimhigher Derbyshire Schools have come on board, one for French and two for German.  The consortium is currently liasing with a fourth Derbyshire school, which has requested a Spanish programme

During the project, the consortium will invite all the pupils and their families to attend an Internationally Themed Family Languages Supper, where a similar programme of support will be offered to pupils choosing to take languages at AS and beyond.   As well as support during the academic AS year, the pupils will be guaranteed a place on the consosrtiums' two day summer residential course - Eurostars, in July 2011.

The Consortium is grateful to Aimhigher Derbyshire for funding transport for the pupils and for informing targetting.  It also acknowledges the support given by the Regional Lanugages Network - East Midlands, by allowing access to its Business Language Champion Scheme and its 'Why Languages Work' talks.

Focus on the East Midlands - Recent Events' Update

Region: 
East Midlands

During the first quarter of 2009, The East Midlands Consortium has been delivering language projects across the region with the aim of inspiring more young people to take up or continue the study of languages.  On january 15, the consortium participated in a Global Day at Colonel Frank Seeley School, Calverton, Nottinghamshire.  International students studying at Nottingham Trent University formed an interview panel and year 9 pupils from the school engaged the students in a question and answer session to find out more about the Student Ambassadors' countries and culture.  These sessions were followed by tasters in Italian.  Other activities included football in French, a Why Languages Work talk by Karen Ilsley of the Regional Languages Network and a poetry writing session on a topic of global interest.

Fifty five, year 12 students from schools and colleges across the region attended a Languages in HE Event at Nottingham Trent University.  Participants were offered tasters in French, German Mandarin and Spanish.  They also attended a presentation on the diverse routes into studying languages at university, combined degrees, the year abroad and the HE accredition system.  Sally Fagan of the Regional Languages Network gave a talk on Why Learn Languages, which was complemented with a careers talk by a university careers adviser.  The event coincided with a university open day and participants were able to visit the Course Fair and speak to academic staff.  Languages in HE was open to both languages and non-languages students.

The consortium is still recruiting Leicestershire school pupils for its languages' e-mentoring project and the Languages' Bus continues to deliver tasters all over Lincolnshire.

The Consortium Advisory Group recently approved bids from its partner institutions to extend the suite of activities already offered by the contortium.  These include:

  • Virtual Foreign Language Assistants for schools who may not have a language assistant in place.
  • An e-mentoring Project.
  • Web-based resources to support study at G.C.S.E and A Level of lesser taught languages.
  • Radiolingua:  Pupils record a  radio programmes in a foreign language.
  • Bespoke Lanugage Programme to support Year 10 students of foreign languages.

For further information contact: Mirella Santamaria: mirella.santamaria@ntu.ac.uk

After School Language Clubs 2009

Region: 
East Midlands

Following the success of its After Schools Language Clubs in 2008, The East Midlands Consortium will launch its second round of After School Language Clubs on Tueday March 3rd.

Year 6 pupils from nine inner city Primary Schools will participate in the project, embracing both language and cultural enrichment sessions.  The Language Clubs will be delivered by Language Student Ambassadors from University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. 

The Language Students Ambassadors attended a  training day which was delivered by Jamie Marshall, Manager of Students in Classrooms at Nottingham Trent University.  Sarah Wullink of University of Nottingham, who is an experienced school teacher, delivered language focused training, concentrating on diverse methods of delivery and classroom activities for language learning.

The project has a duration of eight weeks and has been designed to raise attainment and cultural awareness, in a fun way.  The pupils and their families  will be invited to attend an Internationally Themed Family Language Supper on 21st May, to celebrate the end of the project.  The supper will be hosted by the University of Nottingham and the pupils' work portfolios will be on display.  Families will be able to watch school performances in the target languages and participate with their children in other related activities.

Follet Report Launch. By Fiona Hancock, Nottingham Trent University, Language Student Ambassador

Region: 
East Midlands

I was one of two student ambassadors chosen by the Routes into Languages Programme Team to attend the Follet Report Launch in Westminster, on 21st October.

Along another student ambassador, Mark Edger, from Leeds University, I travelled to London to attend the Ministerial reception.  When we arrived at the venue, we met Heather McGuiness, Routes into Languages, Programme Manager and Claire Wilkins, Programme Administrator.  They gave us a briefing on the aims for the evening - mainly to talk to as many people as possible about Routes into Languages and to fly the flag for language learning.

During the evening there was a speech from Professor David Eastwood about the need to support stategic but vulnerable subjects.  There followed a further speech by David Lammy MP, who spoke more specifically about languages and the reasons why we must encourage young people to take language options.

As ambassadors, we were there to bring to life some of the regional schemes we have been involved in.  I was introduced to Sir Brian Follet, author of the report, and I was able to tell him about the projects we run in Nottingham and how much fun it is to be involved.  I also talked to Professor Eastwood about our internationally themed Family Language suppers, and what a positive and inspirational experience these are - not just for the children but for their families as well.

I hope I left an impression on some of the decision makers, and that I brought to life what the money they direct into schemes such as Routes is actually doing.

 Fiona Hancock

Round Up: Recent events in the East Midlands

Region: 
East Midlands

Eurostars Summer Residential:

Year 12 students from across the region participated in a languages'summer residential course which was hosted on the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University.  Eurostars gives Year 12 students, who have recently taken AS in a modern foreign language, the opportunity to enrich their knowledge and to taste a language they have never studied before.

The talented young linguists experienced tasters in Italian, Japanese and Mandarin, as well as enrichment sessions in the language(s) studied at AS.  Alongside the language activities, participants were able to experience teaching and learning in higher education by attending mini lectures/debates on Linguistics and International studies. 

Student hosts and staff from Schools and Colleges gave talks on other aspects of life at university: budgeting, accommodation, careers in languages and the variety of languages' degrees available.  There was  a full programme of evening entertainment at Peveril Halls, where the school pupils were accommodated.  The event, which is programmed to take place again in July 2009,attracted a total of 68 participants.  For further information on Eurostars 2009 contact the Project Manager of the East midlands consortium:  mirella.santamaria@ntu.ac.uk

Languages Road show gets underway in Lincolnshire

Lincoln Universty has recently begun a programme of one day language taster sessions.  The tasters are delivered by Language Student Ambassadors and aim to give school pupils in rural areas the opportunity to enrich their language skills and to learn about other countries and peoples.  Lincoln University hopes to link these activities to its own community radio station, which is based on the campus.  School pupils will be able to produce and air a short radio programme in a foreign language.  Participants and their families will be invited to attend an internationally themed farmily language supper, where the children's work will be showcased.  For further information contact Adaglish@lincon.ac.uk  

After School Language Clubs 

The university of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are meeting to discuss the second round of after school language clubs for year 6 pupils.  The language clubs, which will be delivered by Language Student Ambassadors from both universities, aim to provide pupils with both knowledge of  modern foreign languages or community languages, and the cultures of the peoples who speak them.  For further information contact the Project Manager for the East Midlands Consortium: mirella.santamaria@ntu.ac.uk

Joint Celebration of European Day of Languages

Routes into Languages at Nottingham Trent University  teamed up with the Regional Languages Network, Nottingham City Central Library, Nottingham City Council's Regional and International Development Office and the Collaborative Models Project to create a celebration with a difference.

Suzannah Hutton of the East Midlands Regional Languages Network, provided a tutor of Arabic to deliver Arabic tasters and, she also invited Mark Wingfield one  of the network's Business Language Champions to give a seminar on 'languages and the world of work'.  Two members of staff from the council's regional and international development team delivered the Italian and Mandarin tasters and provided stands with information on countries of the world.  Spanish and German were delivered by Nottingham Trent University's Routes into Languages Project Manager and its Project Officer for the Collaborative Models Project.

Modern languages students from the university, handed out invitations and balloons to members of the public in order to publicise the event.   The Social Inclusion Librarian from the central library commented that it had been a wonderful day, which had encourage passers-by and regular library users to participate in the celebration.

Themed Family Language Suppers Get Underway

Region: 
East Midlands

Children from schools in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire attended two internationally themed family language suppers at the end of the summer term.

The suppers were held at Nottingham Trent University and at Leicester University.  Year 8 and 9 pupils from Leicestershire schools and their families, enjoyed a hot and cold buffet of international foods. 

Sam Winter, a Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer at the University of Leicester gave a presentation on the importance of learning a language.  He  focused on enrichment and employability.  Later, lecturers from the Modern Languages Department delivered taster sessions in Italian, German and Spanish, followed by a salsa session for all guests.

The supper marked the forthcoming launch of Log onto Languages, an e-mentoring project which links Language Student Ambassadors to school children studying languages in Leicestershire.  Pupils were able to meet and chat to their mentors. 

Neha Dafria, a Genetics student from the university, who will be acting as an e-mentor, commented  "When we are kids, we don't realise the importance of learning a language."  "I am bilingual and up until now, I have taken this for granted."  "I wish I'd had the opportunity to experience an event like this when I was at school, as a child, it would have helped me."

 Throughout the evening, Professor Paul Cullis from the university's Chemistry Department and a group of Post-graduate students, made  ice-cream for the guests, using liquid nitrogen.  Professor Cullis said "Sciences share the same issues as languages.  He added. "we need to enthuse young people."

Emma, a pupil from Sir Jonothan North Community College said "Being here today has made me see that I can get a better job when I am older, working in different countries and that would be great."

 Nottingham Trent University, had earlier in the term, launched the Consortium's first Themed Family Language Supper to celebrate the end of its After School Languages' Clubs Project.  An internationally themed buffet was served to participants and their families. 

Parents/ Carers were able to view the children's work, alongside an exhibition of international posters and artefcats. The year 6 pupils who all attend Primary Schools in the inner city area of Nottingham completed parts of the the Junior European Languages Portfolio.  The portfolios were on display.  

Each of the nine participating Primary Schools had its own exhibition area. which had been previously set up by the Language Student Ambassadors who had delivered the After School Languages Clubs.

  Certicicates of achievement were handed to each pupil by Laura Romero of the Spanish Embassy's Education Department and Judi Clarke, Assistant Programme Manager of Routes into Languages, after each school had carried out a short perfomance in the target languages:  French, German and Spanish.

Comments from parents / carers  included:

"I enjoyed the evening very much." "We've never been to a university before." "The languages project has introduced me and the pupils from Blue Bell School to lots of different cultures."  Roomina's Mother.

 "After this evening, I would like my daughter to come to this university."  Asmah's Mother.

"This evening and the languages project have been amazing".  "I can't believe how much the children have learnt over the past six weeks."  "It brought tears to my eyes when my daughter did her performance in Spanish and got her certificate."   Xena's Mother

Both the After School Languages Clubs and the Themed Family Language Suppers are a joint initiative between Nottingham Trent University, the lead instituition  and University of Nottingham.  

 Lincoln University, another Consortium partner, will be hosting its first Themed Family Language Supper in the autumn term

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