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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

North West

A Great Success: Language Enrichment Events summer 2009

North West

“I really enjoyed the day learning new languages and experiencing other cultures. This trip has inspired me and many others to take languages to a further level.” – Elle Cropley, Irlam and Cadishead Community High School, Manchester.

As the school year closes, the wildly popular Language Enrichment Events have come to an end. Over the past few months, nearly one thousand Year 8 and 9 pupils from all across the North West have descended on our partner universities to experience community languages. They have come away with not only experiences of completely new cultures, but with a desire to continue learning languages.

“The day has taught me just how significant languages are and how important the role that they play in the world today actually is. The event has definitely persuaded me to carry on studying at least one language to A Level standard.” – Nadia Younis, Sale Grammar School, Sale.

Each event consisted of a Why Study Languages talk and tasters from two of our four community languages - Arabic, Chinese, Urdu and Italian. With each language tutor a native of their particular culture, pupils were greeted with living languages rather than unfamiliar words in a textbook. Fun and involving lessons took the edge off these languages and cleared the myth of their presumed difficulty.

"I think it made me feel differently about taking a language at University because it showed me languages could still be fun. I think the whole event has encouraged me to go to University and take a language." – Abi Henshall from Ulverston Victoria High School.

The main event, however, was found in our multicultural market, a series of rooms each offering up a slice of life from the different cultures. Pupils tried their hand at Arabic belly dancing, Chinese painting and sculpture, making masks of the Italian Carnivale, donning traditional Urdu garb and henna hand painting. A few even had a lesson in Opera singing.

“My Favourite part of the day was the multi cultural market because it gave me a chance to find out about other cultures, about the world they live in and learn some of their language." - Hayley Khan, Bispham High School, Blackpool.

Each school attending was given their own Student Ambassador, who stayed with the class throughout the day, talking to the pupils, telling them about university life and the benefits of language learning. Each Ambassador was either a native speaker of one of the community languages, or is studying one of them.

“Both students and staff were buzzing after their day with you. Thank you very much for inviting us; it is especially important to us who live in rural backwaters to be able to access this sort of event.” - Miriam Bailey, Assistant Head, John Ruskin School, Coniston, Cumbria.

New this year was a fabulous ipod competition for those who attended. All pupils had to do to enter was simply produce a written piece on the one aspect of their day they found most rewarding/interesting/fun and submit it to their teacher along with a photo of the event. Their teacher then selected the pick of the class and sent them to us before the closing date. We now have the daunting task of sifting through a multitude of entries to pick one overall winner and two runners up. It will be no easy assignment either, as the quality of entries has taken us all by surprise. The winner will receive an ipod touch while the two runners up each get an ipod shuffle. Winners will be announced very shortly.

“Our intake has increased because of your valuable contribution. Some of our year 10 that were taken last year are talking about doing it at college. We would love to do it every year because it has a great impact on our intake.” – MFL Teacher from Burnage Media Arts College, Manchester.

All in all, this year’s Language Enrichment Events were a huge success. Teachers and pupils went home satisfied, and hopefully the day will stay with quite a few of them. We are planning to expand the LEEs next year, running a set in winter and summer so please check back regularly for details. A big thank you to all who helped out and all who attended.

“Can I also thank you for that very inspirational day you put together for us, it has already had a very positive impact on our languages learners.” - Fabien Massonnet, MFL Teacher, Bispham High School, Blackpool.

Check out more photos of these Language Enrichment Events by following the link below!

Teacher Training Strand 1 - Autumn course

Thursday, 1 October, 2009 - 01:00 to Thursday, 31 December, 2009 - 00:00
North West
MMU Didsbury campus

This is a free course which will supplementary school and support teachers of speakers of Arabic, Chinese and Urdu.

It provides additional practical training and guidance in teaching methodology and thus contribute to their Continuing Professional Development.

This course includes:

  • A training day at the Institute of Education
  • A visit to a mainstream school to observe MFL teaching in the mainstream sector
  • A second training day at the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • An observation visit by our Teacher Trainers to course participants in their own schools after the second training day

Please note that this course does not constitute a PGCE; course participants who complete all elements of the course will however be awarded a certificate of attendance.

Community Languages Teachers’ Symposium

North West

On Thursday 26th February the North West Consortium Project held a Community Languages Teachers’ Symposium. Sixteen people attended the symposium – including teachers from mainstream and supplementary schools, Language Tutors and Teacher Trainers and a representative from Manchester City Council. After an update on the work the North West Consortium team has been doing, there were discussions about matters affecting the teaching and learning of community languages. The attendees looked at ways to improve the links between mainstream and supplementary schools and ideas were generated for how the North West Consortium can continue to support community languages in both these sectors.

If you would be interested in attending similar events in the future please email

To view a copy of the presentation delivered at the Teachers' Symposium click here (Microsoft Powerpoint).

To view minutes from the evening please click here.

Urdu Teachers course

North West

A training course to bring to life the teaching of Urdu through highly interactive methodology for the language and culture.

Whatever your level –beginner, advanced or native speaker – anyone with an interest in teaching beginners Urdu will benefit greatly from this course.   

Signing up to this free course will give you access to a wealth of Urdu teaching materials, including games, websites and lesson plans, everything you need to bring Urdu alive in your lessons.

Course dates and times:

  • April 28th        9.00 to 4.00      
  • April 29th         4.00 to 6.15      
  • May 6th          4.00 to 6.15      
  • May 13th        4.00 to 6.15      
  • May 20th        4.00 to 6.15      
  • June 10th       4.00 to 6.15      
  • June 17th       4.00 to 6.15      
  • June 24th       4.00 to 6.15      
  • July 1st           4.00 to 6.15      
  • July 8th          9.00 to 4.00  

To register, go to and fill out the online enrolment form or send an e-mail to


Download a flyer of the course here.

October Away Day

North West

The many parts of the Routes into Languages North West Consortiumwere brought together in October. Held in the lavish setting of Manchester University's Ashburne Hall, the Away Day was a chance for those involved with the project, as well as representatives from local mainstream and supplementary schools and partner projects, to discuss the next stage of the project and the achievements so far.

Everyone attended three workshops, each chaired by members of the Steering Group and each addressing a different aspect of the project. Ideas and thoughts were collected and then presented to the whole group in a feedback session at the end of the day.

The day was a great success and allowed the different divisions of the North West Consortium to meet and mingle with each other, lending a greater sense of community to the venture. The many ideas suggested should help the North West Consortium expand its aims and keep us busy for the months to come.

Teacher Training

North West

As part of their project, Routes into Languages North West launched a series of Teacher Training courses in the summer term. These popular courses were specially designed for teachers of Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Urdu and included:

  • two training days in teaching methodology at the Institute of Education at manchester Metropolitan University
  • a visit to partner schools to observe MFL teaching in action
  • an observation visit by our teacher trainers to course participants in their own schools


The preliminary courses are still ongoing, but feedback so far has proved very positive and we will certainly be offering further coures in 08/09. They will be posted on the Upcoming Events list as soon as they are announced.

North West Consortium Launch - Thursday 8th May 2008

North West

The North West Consortium was successfully launched on Thursday 8th May 2008.

The launch was opened by Professor John Brooks, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, and was followed by a keynote speech by Cllr M Afzal Khan, former Lord Mayor of Manchester and Councillor for Cheetham. Dr Sharon Handley, project director for the North West consortium, gave a brief overview of the project and talked about progress so far.

This was followed by some wonderful performances from two local supplementary schools. A group of young children from the Huaxia Chinese School delighted the audience with a play based on a story from Monkey King's Journey to the West: Fight the White-Bone Demon, followed by a traditional Chinese fan dance, elegantly performed by older pupils from this school. The audience were then treated to a sumptuous fashion show by pupils from the Hijra Arabic School, who showed off exotic national costumes from Arabic-speaking countries.

For a report on the launch please go here.