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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

West Midlands

Summer Holiday Language Immersion challenge

Date: 
Friday, 19 July, 2019 - 09:00 to Monday, 2 September, 2019 - 09:00
Event Type: 
Competition
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
West Midlands

The Summer Holiday Language Immersion Challenge is open to Year 9 and 10 students and is designed to keep them practising their target language during the long summer break.

Students each receive a booklet containing 14 activities for them to complete, ranging from sending an email, watching a film or reading a teenagers blog in the target language to name just a few.

Participants will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze certificates after the summer holidays, depending on how many of the challenges they have completed.

Routes will award a small prize to all of those year 9 and 10 students who complete 12 or more challenges.

The challenge booklet is available to download below.

Film Review Competition - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 5PM, MONDAY 13 MAY 2019

Date: 
Wednesday, 3 April, 2019 - 14:30 to Friday, 10 May, 2019 - 17:30
Event Type: 
Competition
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
West Midlands

Do you love watching the latest films? Have you ever fancied trying your hand at being a film critic? Then our latest competition for year 10 and 12 students may be for you!

We would like you to write a film review for us, but we would like it to be written in either French, German or Spanish. It doesn’t need to be long (maximum 500 words) and we would like to know the following:

  • Title of the film
  • Who the main characters are
  • A short synopsis of the film
  • What you liked about it
  • What you didn’t like about it
  • How many out of 10 would you give it

The competition is open to pupils in Year 10 and 12 with one winner for each year group. The winners will both receive a £25 gift voucher for themselves and £150 for their MFL department to spend on resources. A member of the Routes into Languages West Midlands team will come along to the school to present the winners with their prizes.

Each entry MUST be clearly marked on the back with the pupil’s name, age, year group, teacher and school. When sending school entries, teachers should provide a covering note with their contact details for ease of notifying winners.

All entries must be written in either French, German or Spanish.

Please note that entries cannot be returned, we advise making a scanned copy for pupils who wish to retain their work. In the event of insufficient entries of good quality, no prize will be awarded; the judges’ decision is final.

Please send your entries to: Film Review Competition, Routes into Languages West Midlands, Room MB777, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET. If you have any queries please email us at routes@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4720.

The closing date is 5pm on Monday 13 May 2019. Please note any entries submitted after this date will not be included and we are unable to extend the closing date for individual schools.

We are very grateful for the generous funding we have received from Santander Universities which has enabled us to offer these fantastic prizes.

 

 

Official launch of Le Corpus de français parlé à Bruxelles

Date: 
Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 - 13:00 to 16:00
Event Type: 
Seminar/Lecture
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
Aston University

Background

The exact distribution of languages in Brussels is unknown for a number of reasons. Indeed, the linguistic census was outlawed in the early 1960s upon the request of Dutch-speaking mayors who feared that the French ‘oil slick’ would contaminate further Dutch-speaking areas around Brussels and create a corridor joining Brussels and Wallonia. In addition, the balance between Dutch and French depends on the criteria chosen: Brussels is known to be more Dutch-speaking in day time than at night due to the numbers of Flemish public servants commuting to work in Flemish governmental departments located in Brussels.  Finally, Brussels is in fact a multilingual city due on the one hand to the presence of international organisations such as the EU or NATO that promote the use of English as a lingua franca, and on the other hand to immigrant communities.

In such a context of languages in contact, the French spoken in Brussels may possess specific features resulting both from its historical developments and contemporary contacts. Yet, attempts at describing that variety have been limited, notwithstanding the now dated study by Baetens Beardsmore (1971), and a detailed description of the contemporary situation is overdue:

Quant au français pratiqué par la grande majorité des Bruxellois, il reste à décrire; tout porte à croire néanmoins qu'il manifeste une grande diversité idiolectale, sans témoigner d'une spécificité régionale particulièrement marquée — il partage de nombreux traits avec le français en Wallonie — ni d'une standardisation à l'échelle de la capitale du royaume. (Francard 1998 :16) [As for the French spoken by the vast majority of Brussels inhabitants, it is still to be described; every evidence leads to believe nonetheless that it shows significant idiolectal variety, without demonstrating any marked regional specificity – it shares many features with French in Wallonia – or a standardisation at the level of the kingdom’s capital city (our translation)]

The Project

The constitution of a corpus of authentic conversation was needed to identify what those features may be, and the Corpus of français parlé à Bruxelles, a research project led by Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston University) and Anne Dister (Université Saint Louis Bruxelles), addresses that need. Thanks to the support of the British Academy (UK), the Fonds National à la Recherche Scientifique (B), the delegation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France (F) and the Modern Humanities Research Association (UK), samples of French as spoken in Brussels have been collected, transcribed with sound alignment and put online for research and teaching.

The Event

This event, part of a wider academic conference devoted to French in Multilingual Urban Centres, celebrates the official launch of the CFPB. It provides to 6th formers and language teachers the exciting opportunity to attend an authentic academic conference, to listen to talks (in French and English) about the language situation in Brussels and to sample a few typical Belgian products. It also introduces teachers to a valuable teaching resource to introduce language variation and the social impact of languages in their classes

Draft Programme

From 1.00

Enrolment

1.20

Welcome

1.30

Rudi Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) : The challenges of multilingualism. Brussels as an example

2.30

Coffee Break

3.00

Alicia Cleary-Venables (Oxford University): The role of current French-Dutch code-switching practices in Brussels, Belgium

3.30

Anne Dister (Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles) & Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston University) : Le corpus de français parlé à Bruxelles (CFPB)

Hélène Blondeau (University of Florida), Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston University) & Mathilde Guardiola (MHRA Research Associate) Le CFPB historique

4.00

Reception with typical Belgian products, courtesy of Wallonie-Bruxelles International

 

Registration

The event is free of charge thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: the Association for French Language Studies, Flanders House, the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Society for French Studies and WBI. However, registration is essential by Friday 7th September.

 

For more information, contact Dr Emmanuelle Labeau: e.labeau@aston.ac.uk

Mother Tongue Other Tongue Poetry Competition

Date: 
Friday, 1 March, 2019 - 09:00 to Monday, 20 May, 2019 - 17:00
Event Type: 
Competition
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
Aston University

A multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoken in schools across the UK.

The aim of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition is to celebrate languages, culture and language-learning, giving secondary school students the opportunity to practise and improve their foreign language skills (any language they are learning in school) and appreciate their heritage, using poetry. The regional competition is being led by Routes into Languages West Midlands at Aston University, Birmingham.

The idea was originally developed by the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages North West and due to its success, is now being rolled out across the country.

Programme: 

The competition

Mother Tongue entries will be in two parts: The first part is the poem. This can be an original, creative piece, or a poem or song that is ‘remembered’ – i.e. something in your first language that you recall, or that has been told to you by a relative. This can be in any language but English. The second part should be a short explanation of the inspiration behind the piece, where it comes from, or why it is important to the person submitting it (no more than half a page). This part must be written in English and is the part your entry will be judged on.

Other Tongue entries must be an original poem written in a language that is not the first language spoken by the person writing it. Entries are welcomed in French, Spanish, German or Italian.

Winning students from the West Midlands will be invited to the National Celebration Event at Manchester Metropolitan University in June date to be confirmed.

How to enter

The competition opens from Friday 1 March and the deadline for entries is Monday 20 May 2019.

Please send your entries by email to routes@aston.ac.uk, or by post to Claire Richards, Project Manager, Routes into Languages, MB777, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET.

The competition is open to all students in KS3, KS4 & KS5.

For more information on the competition, how to enter and for ideas of how to integrate this into your lessons, please find attached the Teacher’s Pack.

See www.mtot.org.uk  for further details and to download promotional materials, workshop ideas and resources

Languages in Higher Education Sixth Form Conference - DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO WEDNESDAY 22 MAY

Date: 
Wednesday, 19 June, 2019 - 10:00 to 15:30
Event Type: 
Conference
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
Aston University

Our Languages in HE Sixth Form Conference will take place at Aston University on Wednesday 19 June 2019. 

The Languages in HE Sixth Form Conference will enable your Year 12 students to discover more about the opportunities available for language study at university, helping them to make an informed decision about their future studies.

The varied conference programme will provide Year 12 students with an opportunity to hear about the different types of language study at university, as well as hearing from current undergraduate students about their experiences of language study and the year abroad.  In addition, students will participate in two sessions in their current language(s) of study (French, Spanish or German) and a taster session in a new language, or in Translation studies.

This conference will start at 10.00am and end at 3.30pm on Wednesday 19 June 2019.

This event is FREE for students to attend. Closing date for registrations is Wednesday 22 May.

We are very grateful for the generous funding we have received from Santander Universities which has enabled us to offer this as a free event.

Please see attached event programme.

 

 
Attachments: 

Year 8 and 9 Language Day

This event is fully booked
Date: 
Friday, 15 March, 2019 - 09:30 to 14:30
Event Type: 
Workshop
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
University of Wolverhampton

The Year 9 Language Day at the University of Wolverhampton aims to raise aspirations and encourage pupils from schools in the West Midlands to study languages. The day features inspirational talks from local business executives and a marketing activity related directly to language learning and its relevance in business. This event has always been well received and well attended.

Please note that there is a cost of £9 per student to attend.

Registration for this event will open at the beginning of October.

Foreign Language Christmas Card Competition

Date: 
Monday, 5 November, 2018 - 09:00 to Monday, 3 December, 2018 - 17:00
Event Type: 
Competition
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
Aston University

This is a national competition open to schools in all regions in England.

Learn about Christmas traditions in different countries by taking part in our Christmas Card Design competition!

This year Routes into Languages West Midlands will be sending out a Christmas e-card to all of our contacts and would like to invite students in years 7, 8 and 9 from schools in England to participate in our Christmas Card Design Competition.

We would like the students to design a card which shows the Christmas traditions of another country. Pupils should research and design their own card, using, if they wish, a variety of materials.

Entries can be submitted in any foreign langauge – entries containing English will not be accepted.

Each card should be no larger than a sheet of A4 paper and must be completed by hand but any form of materials can be used – felt tips, paint, fabric etc. Judges will be looking for originality of illustration as well as accuracy of language and content.

The competition is open to pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 and the winning entry will be used as our Christmas E-card for 2018. The winner will also receive a £20 National Book token.

The winning entry will also be displayed around the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University and will feature on our website. It may also be used in publicity materials in future.

Each entry MUST be clearly marked on the back with the pupil’s name, age, year group, teacher and school, as well as any necessary information about the language(s) chosen (i.e. if it is a less widely learned language) to facilitate judging. When sending school entries, teachers should provide a covering note with their contact details for ease of notifying winners.

Please note that entries cannot be returned, we advise making a scanned copy for pupils who wish to retain their work. In the event of insufficient entries of good quality, no prize will be awarded; the Judges’ decision is final.

We hope that you will encourage your pupils to take part in this competition. The deadline for submission of entries will be Monday 3 December.

Please send your entries to: Claire Richards, Project Manager, Routes into Languages West Midlands, Room MB777, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET. If you have any queries please email us at routes@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4720.

Year 8 and 9 Language Day

This event is fully booked
Date: 
Friday, 19 October, 2018 - 09:30 to 14:30
Event Type: 
Workshop
Region: 
West Midlands
Location: 
University of Wolverhampton

The Year 9 Language Day at the University of Wolverhampton aims to raise aspirations and encourage pupils from schools in the West Midlands to study languages. The day features inspirational talks from local business executives and a marketing activity related directly to language learning and its relevance in business. This event has always been well received and well attended.

Please note that there is a cost of £9 per student to attend.

Registration for this event will open at the beginning of September.

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