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The new Routes into Languages website is currently in development and will be launching in the new year!


Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

North West

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.

North West school pupils compete in the UK’s first National Foreign Language Spelling Bee

North West

A brand new Routes into Languages initiative has tested the foreign language skills of thousands of North West school pupils, with 12 going through to represent the region at the National Final in Cambridge.

Over 8,500 school pupils from around 70 North West schools have been taking part in a new teaching initiative, which sees year 7 pupils competing to spell the highest number of words in a foreign language.

The Spelling Bee, launched on the European Day of Languages in September 2010, uses the format of traditional Spelling Bees to encourage young pupils to learn new vocabulary in French, German and Spanish.

On Wednesday 16th March the North West Regional Final was held at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), where 100 pupils, who had won earlier rounds of the competition, came together to fight for a place in the National Final.

Dr Sharon Handley, Director of Routes North West and Head of Languages at MMU, said: “Languages play such a vital role in education and beyond, but they are a hugely under-used resource in the UK. We hope this competition has served its purpose in teaching younger pupils the benefits of learning languages.”

Twelve pupils have now won their place in the National Final, which takes place in Cambridge in July 2011. At the grand final pupils from across the country will come together to compete, determining an overall winner for French, German and Spanish.

Regional finalists came from schools across the region, including Stretford, Bury, Oldham, Lancaster, Wigan, the Wirral, Liverpool and Cheshire.

Sarah Durkin from Priestnall School in Stockport, commented: “The Spelling Bee encouraged my pupils to really learn the French alphabet. It also provided the opportunity to get my year 11s to meet with year 7s regularly, supporting them with the competition. We hope it continues in future years”.

The winners were:

1st place – Sahifa Akther, Chesterfield High School, Liverpool
2nd place – Zach Gilbert, Lancaster Grammar School, Lancaster
3rd place – Alice Fairhurst, St Peter’s Catholic High, Wigan
4th place – Louise Munch, St Gabriel’s RC High School, Bury

1st place – Emily Pote, Wilmslow High School, Wilmslow
2nd place – Jake Stonall, The Blue Coat School, Oldham
3rd place – Kate McGranahan, Wilmslow High School, Wilmslow
4th place – Darcey Reader, Crompton House School, Oldham

1st place – Amna Khan, Stretford High School, Stretford
2nd place – Aaron D’Cruz, Wirral grammar School for Boys, Wirral
3rd place – Tayeba Bhamjee, Stretford High School, Stretford
4th place – Ian Jones, Wirral Grammar School for Boys, Wirral

Why study languages? Classroom calendar and website

North West

Why study languages? Classroom calendar and website

Order now for January!

2011 will be the third year that Routes into Languages produces its popular 'Why Study Languages?' calendar.
New for 2011 is the addition of interactive support materials that are designed to generate classroom discussion. These resources will draw on other areas of the curriculum including art and design, music, food technology, creative writing, history and culture and geography.
At just £6 including p&p, it's fun and ideal for raising awareness of a wide range of languages.

Feedback from teachers:

"The calendar has been a super resource, sparking interest and debate at a number of levels ‑ thank you again"

"The calendar you produce is fantastic and every Language Centre should have one ‑ what a great way to see different languages, scripts and alphabets with excellent images to match"

"As Head of Modern Languages I would like to congratulate you on the 2010 Why study languages calendar. It has been a joy to turn from one month to the next and learn about different countries and language"

Also, our new student facing website contains lots of interactive quizzes, videos and practical advice for KS3, KS4 and Post‑16. Visit the Why Study Languages website to access these resources.


Multilingual Manchester

North West

The University of Manchester today launched their new Multilingual Manchester web archive.


Multilingual Manchester is based at the School of Languages, Linguistics & Cultures at the University of Manchester. Their aims are:

  • To document languages and language use in and around Manchester
  • To study community language needs, language maintenance, and multilingual identities
  • To examine issues of language policy in the Manchester area and to advise local authorities and services as well as businesses, schools, media, and community institutions about opportunities and benefits of multilingualism

Their activities bring together university students, experienced researchers of international repute, community representatives, and members of local services. Together they want to celebrate Manchester's linguistic diversity while building bridges among communities and encouraging individuals to learn more about their neighbours and their cultures and languages.

For more information please visit the Multilingual Manchester website.


FILTA (Film in Language Teaching Association)

Wednesday, 1 September, 2010 - 01:00 to Sunday, 31 July, 2011 - 01:00
North West

FILTA (Film in Language Teaching Association) offers a collection of teaching resources that make it easy for language teachers and lecturers to use film as a language and culture resource.

You can contribute to the community site and download resources such as study guides, podcasts and vodcasts for Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English as a Foreign Language (EFL), French, Spanish and Urdu. Resources for other languages will be added soon.
You can also find inform

ation about useful links, events, workshops and film sessions.

Become part of a growing network of language colleagues where sharing resources on film is free.

To find out more and to join our network, please visit the FILTA website.