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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility


#YearOverHere Campaign


Discover the world's greatest languages, festivals and culture, right here in the UK !

Welcome to our #YearOverHere Campaign, in partnership with Routes into Languages.  As linguists, we tend to have our gaze fixed outside the UK (especially when planning - or pining! - for our time abroad) - so much so that we often forget to appreciate the incredible intercultural opportunities we have here at home! As part of our campaign we have collected listings of upcoming UK-based foreign cultural events** and courses, language-enhancing resources and top tips to help you immerse yourself in a foreign culture in order to hone your global skills - all without leaving the UK!

For further details go to:

Routes Live


Routes into Languages is launching a series of webinars covering the topic of employability as part of a strand of online dissemination activity which HEFCE has asked us to carry out and which was discussed at a recent Project Managers' meeting.

The first webinar 'Working as a translator or interpreter: ask the experts!' is scheduled for Friday, 10 July 2015, 12.30-1.30. The event aims to address an audience of students, teachers and trainers who are invited to ask questions to a panel of experts.

Please, visit to find out more details about this event.

And follow us on Twitter #RoutesLive where anybody can post questions to be fed to the panel before the day of the webinar.

Speak to the Future: the campaign for languages "Write to your MP"


As political parties put together their manifestos for the 2015 General Election, what better time to write to your MP to highlight the importance of policies which support language learning in schools, universities, businesses and the community?

By writing to your MP you can support the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages’ call for a 5-point plan to improve the UK’s language capability and in supporter of learners, teachers and all who benefit from language skills. 

You can help by:

§  emailing your MP

§  asking them your questions (letter templates below)

§  Send us your questions and their reply.

Speak to the Future will publish letters on this website when permission has been given.

Speak to the Future will work closely with the APPG on Modern Languages to enable it to be better informed about MPs’ support for pro-languages policies, and which MPs are most supportive. Read more about the APPG on its website.

Remember, MPs are duty-bound to reply to their constituents – so let’s get them to show their support for languages!

So, how can you get involved? It’s easy!

1) Identify the current MP for your constituency (you can use this site)

2) Send them a letter asking for their views. You might like to use one of our templates for inspiration. Feel free to amend these to include your own views and questions!

General focus

Business focus

Primary languages focus

Community languages focus

Download the Letter-writing pack (Zip, 879KB): WriteToYourMP-LetterWritingPack - includes these instructions and all letter templates in Word and a copy of the Manifesto for Languages.

3) When they respond, you might want to send a follow-up letter, thanking them and inviting them to develop their views and endorse the Manifesto for Languages if they haven’t already done so. For example, use our template Follow up letter

Tip: If your MP has already replied to this campaign already, you might want to go straight to the Follow-up letter.

4) Remember to send any letters you receive to

5) We will then publish it (with permission) and pass on the information to the APPG on Modern Languages. Look out for publication and if you are on social media, please share!

Please note that we can only post electronic documents: a scan (image or PDF), or an email.

Remember, you must ask for permission to host the reply on this website. Paste this into your email to ask for permission to display your MP’s answer:

The website aims to make MPs’ views about the importance of languages clear to all. With your permission I should like to post this letter and your response on the website. 

Our aim is to get a response from a majority of MPs between now and the election. You can help us get there – we look forward to hearing from you!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch on

or go to:

Westminster Forum: The future for Modern Foreign Languages at GCSE and A-level - Tuesday 28 April 2015 - London


Guest of Honour: Professor Stephen Parker, Chair, ALCAB Panel for Modern and Classical Languages and Henry Simon Professor of German, University of Manchester

This event held on Tuesday 28 April 2015 in Central London is CPD Certified.

Scheduled to follow the release of the British Council's annual Language Trends survey, this seminar will provide a timely opportunity to consider the current and future state of language learning in England's education system up to the age of 18. It follows the A-level Content Advisory Board's (ALCAB) report on Modern Foreign and Classical Languages, which highlighted a 'grave decline in the numbers studying MFL (modern foreign languages) beyond the age of 16'.

Delegates will discuss the specifications for MFL subjects at GCSE and A-level, planned for September 2015, as well as the challenges surrounding implementation and first teaching in 2016. Other areas for discussion include steps to be taken to tackle widespread concern that students tend to regard languages, particularly at A-level, as 'hard' and of little future value, as outlined in a recent review by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). In addition, the conference will also look at concerns raised by employers and businesses that languages are no longer taken seriously, as detailed in the CBI-Pearson annual Education and Skills Survey.

Further planned sessions will consider measures to improve the take-up of MFL at Key Stage 4, such as Government's proposal to pilot foreign language 'teaching hubs', and efforts to increase the number of language teachers within primary and secondary schools. Additional areas for discussion include the role played by foreign exchanges and technology in supplementing the language learning experience, as well as the benefits of languages for the economy.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Parker, Chair, ALCAB Panel for Modern and Classical Languages and Henry Simon Professor of German, University of Manchester; Bernadette Holmes, Bye Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge; Teresa Tinsley, Founder, Alcantara Communications and Author, Language Trends surveyCaroline Norman, Project Manager, Home Language Accreditation Project (HoLA), Languages Sheffield and Leanne Tritton, Founder and Managing Director, ING Media have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.

Ian Bauckham, Headteacher, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Kent and Immediate Past President, ASCL; Vicky Gough, Schools Advisor, British Council; Dr Lid King, Chair, Speak to the Future and Director, The Languages Company; Rene Koglbauer, Director, Network for Languages North East and President, Association for Language Learning (ALL); Nick Mair, Chairman, Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association; Humair Naqvi, Regional Director - Corporate, Education and Public Sector, Rosetta Stone and Michael O'Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations have also agreed to speak.

Anna Bawden, Deputy Editor, Society Guardian and Education Guardian and Lord Harrison, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages have kindly agreed to chair this seminar.

To view the latest agenda or book a place, please visit:

Careers in Translation and Interpreting


On 25 February 2015 from 1pm to 5.30pm, the University of Manchester will host a national careers event on behalf of the National Networks for Translation and Interpreting. A diverse employer panel will talk about the range of career options on offer in the professions and an alumni panel will share experiences and advice.

We will also have a student panel who will give participants a feel for what it is really like to train as a translator, interpreter or subtitler.

The panels will be followed by a chance to network and refuel before a choice of practical taster sessions with translation, interpreting and audiovisual translation lecturers.

for further details go to: 


Mental Health Q&A Day Press Release

London, 20th January 2015: Third Year Abroad is hosting a Mental Health Q&A Day on their new platform
The Q&A Day will allow year abroad students to ask and answer questions on a range of mental health issues, including preparing for a year abroad with a pre-diagnosed mental illness, how to cope without your usual support network, how to tell the difference between homesickness and anxiety, how best to support a friend with a mental illness and advice for LGBT students moving abroad.
Lizzie Fane, Founder of Third Year Abroad, says that the inspiration for the Mental Health Q&A Day came from an article published on the Guardian Education website titled ‘Year-abroad students say that universities don’t offer enough support’.
“The response to the article from our network was overwhelming. It is clear that Mental Health is a topic about which year-abroad students are extremely passionate. Through our work with students and universities around the UK and beyond, we’ve gained a unique insight into the way the system works. University Study Abroad departments usually consist of a very small team of staff who lack the numbers, resources and training to give each student the individual attention they sometimes require. On the other hand, for a student struggling with a mental health problem, reaching out and asking for help is a difficult and crucial step. If their cry for help is ignored, downplayed or dismissed, it can do untold damage. With the Mental Health Q&A Day, we aim to
resolve this impasse by providing a platform for year-abroad students to break their silence and share advice.”
Representatives from mental health charities, such as Student Minds, will be on hand to answer students’ questions throughout the day and to direct them towards appropriate professional help if necessary.
Florence Robson, Editor of, says, “A year abroad is a wonderful adventure but can feel incredibly lonely when you’re suffering from a mental illness. The aim of the Mental Health Q&A Day is to counteract that feeling of isolation by creating a positive atmosphere of peer-to-peer solidarity where students can share their experiences and coping strategies. This hub of advice will remain on TYA Answers to help future year-abroad students.”  
The Mental Health Q&A Day will be taking place all day on 20th January. Get involved by asking your questions now at and follow the day using the hashtag #tyamentalhealth.
Services for further support:
- Papyrus Helpline, HOPELine UK: 0800 068 41 41/
___________ is the UK’s biggest network of students who study, work or volunteer abroad during their degree. Students can read ‘Mole Diaries’ - insider guides to cities written by students who have been through the process already. The site aims to raise awareness of international opportunities during a degree course, and to promote the study of Modern Languages in the UK.
TYA Answers ( is Third Year Abroad’s Q&A platform where students can ask and answer questions about their international experience. While TYA Answers will provide information to signpost students onto specialist services, they are not responsible for alerting those services of the content on the site.
Global Graduates ( is a new jobs board for young people with global skills.
For more information, contact:
Lizzie Fane, Founder of and TYA Answers
m: 07775 783 122

Signing of the French and Mandarin Bespoke Language Programme

We are pleased to announce the signing of the French and Mandarin Bespoke Language Programme, which is a collaborative initiative involving Routes into Languages, Institut Francais and Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) UK Office. The signing ceremony, which took place at the French Embassy in London, was attended by Laurent Batut, Deputy Head of the Institut Francais in the UK, Yves Letournel, French Language Attaché, Institut Francais in the UK, Mr Tongdu Chen, Director of Hanban UK, Christina Zhang, Senior Manager, Marketing, Hanban UK, Professor Mike Kelly, Programme Director of Routes into Languages, Dr Neil Hughes, Co-Director of Routes into Languages (East Midlands), University of Nottingham.
The French and Mandarin Bespoke Language programme is based on a model developed at Nottingham Trent University and is aimed at students taking French AS and A level at schools located in economically and socially disadvantaged areas. The initiative grew out of the recognition by all of the partners involved that sustainable relationships with schools must be developed if the goal of widening participation in languages is to be achieved. The Routes into Languages, Institut Francais and Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) UK Office are committed to improving students' French language skills, increasing their knowledge and understanding of French society and culture and introducing them to Chinese language and culture via an exciting programme of activities taking place at different times in the school year. Activities will include French master classes and Chinese taster classes delivered by native speakers as well as trips to Institut Francais and Confucius Institutes in London. There will also be visits to local university campuses to raise students' awareness of the importance of learning modern foreign languages within an increasingly globalised economy and the opportunities universities provide for students to continue with language studies after A levels.
A pilot project will be taking place in the East Midlands beginning in February with 3 schools already committed to taking part: The Joseph Whitaker School, Ashfield School and Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy. If you would like more information about the Bespoke Programme or would like your school to take part in the East Midlands pilot, please contact: