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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

North West

Using Film to Teach Languages

North West

How can going to the movies help students gain a better understanding of other languages and cultures? Eighty language teachers came to the Routes into Language North West INSET Day at Manchester Metropolitan University to find out just that.

The teachers took part in workshops where they watched films in French, Spanish, German, Urdu, Mandarin and Italian.  The objective was for them to learn the basic tools and language of film analysis to use with their students when they talk about films. They learnt about setting the scene, props, lighting, colour and mood, costume, hair and makeup, camera shots and movements, camera angles, performance and editing and how all these aspects come together to make a film.

The day provided the teachers with lots of innovative ideas for using film analysis to engage their students.  The intention was to provide teachers with a valuable tool to enable them to increase motivation for learning to communicate in another tongue.   Foreign language films are fantastic for showing just how relevant and accessible language can be as well as providing a valuable insight into the culture of another country.

The course, entitled ‘Visual Literacy: Using Short Films for Teaching Languages at GCSE and A Level’ was led by Manchester Metropolitan University’s resident Spanish film and language expert, Carmen Herrero.  Carmen has been instrumental in setting up the ‘Film in Language Teaching Association’ (FILTA).  This brings together those using film to enhance teaching and learning and promotes the sharing of resources and good practice by supporting and hosting a variety of events and workshops.

Karen Morrison

Routes into Languages North West


Mother Tongue Other Tongue Competition

Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 - 00:00 to Sunday, 30 June, 2013 - 01:00
North West
Manchester Metropolitan University

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a multi-lingual poetry project intended to celebrate cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoken by young people across the United Kingdom.  Initially run as a regional pilot by Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages North West, the project has been adopted as a Laureate Education Project by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and will be rolled out across England, Wales, Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland as Mother Tongue / Other Tongue UK in 2013. The North West project was officially launched by Carol Ann Duffy on 30th January and is open to young people ages 8 to 18. Other regional projects will be launched throughout the year.

Using the Laureate links into national poetry organisations, the project will hopefully have support from a range of well-known poets. We have already secured support from Carol Ann Duffy in England and Gillian Clarke in Wales. Working with Manchester Mela we have identified a number of South Asian poets who we hope to work with as well.


There are two categories to the competition: Mother Tongue and Other Tongue.

Mother Tongue invites pupils to write a ‘remembered’ or ‘original’ poem or song in their first language (any language at all, or in a mix of languages).  They will also be asked to write, in English, a brief account of their inspiration for submitting the piece. This category is judged on the commentary. Collaborative entries are encouraged.

Other Tongue invites pupils studying a language in school to write an original poem in that language. Entries must be from non-native speakers of the language.

You can find out more about the project at

Mother Tongue Other Tongue: A poetry competition for Years 7 – 13

Monday, 28 May, 2012 - 01:00
North West
Manchester Metropolitan University


Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoken in secondary schools across the north west of England.

Mother Tongue / Other Tongue is open to all mainstream and supplementary secondary schools in the North West and pupils can enter as individuals or groups of any size.  It is, in effect, two separate competitions.


Mother Tongue

Entries for this category will be in two parts:

The first part is the poem, song or lullaby.  This can be an original, creative piece, written in any language at all (except English).

It can also be a poem or song that is ‘remembered’ – i.e. something in your Mother Tongue that you recall, or that has been told to you by a relative.

The second part of the entry will be a short written explanation of the first part.  This will be either a translation, or an account of why the entrant has chosen to share this piece i.e. why it is important to them or the person who told it to them.

This part of the entry must be written in English but pupils can be helped to scribe or edit this by teachers, parents, carers or by friends.  We welcome jointly-written entries.


Other Tongue

Entries for this category will be a single, original poem, written in a language that is being studied in school and is not the first language spoken by the entrant.

This must be an original piece of work, giving pupils the opportunity to be creative with their Other Tongue.

Allowed languages in this category are: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Urdu, Mandarin or Arabic.


The deadline for entries is Monday 28th May 2012, 5pm.

Please see below to download an entry form.



A number of free workshops to help participating schools to explore language and poetry are also available. The workshop themes are below:

Finding your Voice

The 2012 Olympics

Past, Present and Future


Playing with Spanish

Translating Poetry

Mixing Tongues

Full details are available on the MTOT website:

Please note: These workshops are now fully booked.


Prize Giving Ceremony

The best entries will be illustrated and published. Posters of the winning pieces will be displayed at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day on June 30th, 2012.

There will also be a prize-giving ceremony with Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, in the Capitol Theatre between 3 and 4pm with a special performance by the Huaxia Chinese School.

This will form part of a wider celebration of other languages and cultures. All are welcome.


For further information please go to or email




Mother Tongue Other Tongue multi-lingual poetry competition launch - Monday 19th March 2012!

North West

To launch the Mother Tongue Other Tongue multi-lingual poetry competition we’re offering a free CPD session for teachers.  This takes place on Monday March 19th 2012 from 5.30 – 8pm in the Geoffrey Manton Building of Manchester Metropolitan University.   Everyone welcome, just email to book your place. 

Join us for a glass of wine and refreshments and enjoy a special performance by children from the Huaxia Chinese School and a panel discussion about why it is important to celebrate other languages and other cultures.  This informal introduction to the competition will be followed by a CPD session led by writer, Mandy Coe, who will inspire you with ideas and resources that you can take straight back into your classrooms.  Publicity materials to help promote the competition in schools will be available on the night and you will also be able to sign up for free workshops that will be offered to schools taking part in the competition and that will run in schools throughout April and May. 

There is no charge for this event and everyone is welcome.  It would help with catering if you could rsvp in advance to this email address.  If you are interested in running the project in your school but cannot make the session on March 19th, please email your details anyway and we will send publicity materials and make sure you receive links to the website where resources will be made available after March 19th. 


We hope to see you there!



The Mother Tongue/Other Tongue poetry competition aims to celebrate the multitude of languages and cultures that make up the North West of England.  Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 whose first language isn’t English, are invited to send in a remembered poem or song written in their Mother Tongue and tell us why it’s important to them or what they like about it.  Young people studying an Other Tongue at school are invited to use the language that they are studying creatively by writing a poem using it.

The competition deadline is Monday 28th May and the competition is free to enter.  Winning young writers will be presented with prizes by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at a Manchester Children’s Book Festival event in June.  Posters of the winning pieces will be displayed at the festival and they will also be performed as part of it. 

The project is a HLSS Faculty project that brings together Manchester Writing School writers and Routes into Languages language specialists.  Workshops led by MMU students will be offered free to participating schools. 

If the North West pilot is successful, we plan to roll the project out nationally next year.  Watch this space …

CPD Film Pedagogy

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 - 00:00 to Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 - 00:00
North West
Mabel Tylecote Building, Manchester Metropolitan University


Tuesdays, 5.30 - 7.30 pm

The course uses a number of key set films presented and studied on a weekly basis to enable teachers/future teachers to develop their experience of using film as part of their language classes. It includes lectures which provide a basic theoretical framework of film terminology in context and film analysis enabling the participants to understand the teaching of film better. These are complemented by weekly practical workshops covering aspects of genre, thematic/cultural motifs, film style and production. During these workshops, participants will develop their own portfolio of teaching resources, and will share ideas with other members of the group. They will have access to a database of on-line materials.

Location: Department of Languages, Mabel Tylecote Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

For further information, please contact Carmen Herrero (

Workshop Series: Media Skills for Language Teachers (3 sessions)

Tuesday, 8 November, 2011 - 00:00 to Tuesday, 6 December, 2011 - 00:00
North West
Room GM120, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

A series of 3 workshops:

1)  Video Editing (Tutor: Benoît Guilbaud, MMU and FILTA) on Tuesday 8th November 2011, 5 - 8 pm.

2)  Creating a Podcast (Tutor: Benoît Guilbaud, MMU and FILTA) on Tuesday 22nd November 2011, 5 - 8 pm.

3)  Making Subtitles (Tutor: Jessica Frye, MMU and FILTA) on Tuesday 6th December 2011, 5.30 - 7.30 pm.

Fee:  £30 per session or £80 for attending all 3 sessions.

Location:  Room GM120, Geoffrey Manton Building, All Saints Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University

Organised by MMU (Languages) and FiLTA (Film in Language Teaching Association with the support of COLT, Routes into Languages.

For further information or to book, please contact Sue Nolan, the COLT Project Administrator


Routes NW partner wins Community Award

North West

Xue Theresa Teng, a close friend of the Routes NW project, was the winner of the University of Manchester's Community Award for staff. 

Theresa has served since 2004 as the Head Teacher of the Huaxia Chinese School which teaches Chinese language and culture to 300 children and adults from Greater Manchester. The school often perform at Routes events, such as the Breaking Barriers event and MMU's Children's Book Festival.

Theresa does great work in promoting the Chinese language and culture across the North West and we are proud of her recent achievement.