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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

West Midlands

Adopt a Class West Midlands

Friday, 22 May, 2015 - 01:00 to Tuesday, 16 August, 2016 - 01:00
West Midlands
West Midlands schools

Adopt a Class is a scheme that links classes of pupils in secondary schools in the West Midlands with university students whilst they are on their year abroad. The aim of Adopt a Class is to highlight the opportunities to study and work abroad and through this aims to encourage young people to continue with their language studies.

The scheme takes place over two school years, starting in the summer term 2015 and ending in the autumn term 2016.

Student ambassadors and school classes are matched by Routes into Languages West Midlands in the summer term 2015 and each ambassador will visit their school class for an introductory presentation.

The ambassadors then depart on their year abroad and stay in close contact with the teacher, corresponding at least once a month. The year abroad project can take a number of different forms, including

  1. A year abroad blog with online and hand-written communication;
  2. A virtual school exchange for ambassadors working as teaching assistants in a target-language school;
  3. The development of authentic teaching resources to be used in the classroom;
  4. A combination of the above.

In the autumn term 2016 ambassadors return to the UK and meet their school classes at the Adopt a Class conference to present their projects.

Please note that this scheme works well for Year 8 and 9 pupils, but can also be adapted for older pupils in KS4 or KS5.

To register your interest, please contact by Friday 15th May 2015 with the name and address of your school, your contact details, the language(s) you are teaching, the year group you would like to run it with and the type of correspondence you would be interested in (a,b,c,d). We will announce the matching of student ambassadors and schools in early June.

***Results*** European Day of Languages Poster Competition 2014

West Midlands

A huge thank you to all the pupils who entered our European Day of Languages Poster competition this year!


Our theme this year was "My Year Abroad" and we were looking for eye catching posters showing a country or city where the student would like to spend their year abroad, and with information about all the things they would like to do there.


We received over 300 entries across Years 7 - 9 each with a wide range of countries represented! We were very impressed by the level of creativity displayed, the amount and accuracy of foreign language used and the depth of research which had gone into the posters - choosing just one winner and runner up per year group was very difficult and we commend all pupils for their efforts.


The winners were those who the judges deemed to best display what they would do in the destination they had chosen, demonstrated an effort to use foreign languages and originality of illustration as part of a well presented and attractive poster.


Congratulations to winners and runners up in the categories below. Winners will receive £20 vouchers and a certificate, runners up will receive £10 vouchers and a certificate. Prizes will be presented by student ambassadors in special school assemblies.


Year 7

Winner: Becky Loundes, Abbots Bromley School

Runner up: William Bricknell , Hereford Cathedral School

Year 8

Winner: Jessica Baker, William Brookes School

Runner up: Amy Perks, Pedmore Technology College & Community School

Highly recommended: Will Buckley, Walton High School

Highly recommended: Callum Guest, Pedmore Technology & Community School

Highly recommended: Amber Kelly, The Rawlett School


Year 9

Winner: Noah Gornall, Concord College

Runner up: Rachel Longman, Abbots Bromley School

Highly recommended: Ellie Stone, Erasmus Darwin Academy

Highly recommended: Megan Luntley, Cheslyn Hay Sport and Community High School

Highly recommended: Olivia Williams, Sir Graham Balfour School

Year 8 - Making Languages Work

Tuesday, 25 November, 2014 - 00:00 to Sunday, 12 April, 2015 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG

Making Languages Work is a two-phase awareness-raising event at Keele University for Y8 pupils and parents. Our aim is to highlight languages and employability through emphasis on progression routes for language learners.


The first phase is an introductory evening, which will take place on: Tuesday 25th November from 6pm – 8pm on the Keele University Campus


The event will be for Year 8 pupils, their parents and other children in the family and will be an informal introduction to the importance of languages in the world today.


The format of the evening will be:

5:30 p.m. Pupils and family members register in the Chancellor’s Building at Keele University.

Provisional Programme for the evening:       6 p.m. - 8 p.m.:

Welcome & Interactive PowerPoint introduction

Short presentations by a Modern Languages graduate and a local employer

Keynote speaker Steven Fawkes of the Association for Language Learning (ALL)


The second phase will be one day late in the Spring Term: provisionally in the week beginning 30th March. The pupils will attend a series of Languages Workshops. The morning sessions will be in German, Spanish or Italian – no prior knowledge of the language is required – and after lunch there will be some language taster sessions led by a variety of native speakers   (e.g. Japanese, Russian, Romanian, Italian, Basque, Chinese, Portuguese).  


We expect that a member of staff from each participating school would be required, by their school, to be present at these events, but insist that a parent or carer should also accompany each pupil to the November event. 


Siblings are also welcome to attend. Pupils should commit to BOTH events.


There will be a registration fee, mainly so that participants show their commitment. A single fee of £5 per pupil, covering both phases of the event, will be payable when families agree to participate.

Working with languages in the Media: Speaking French for the BBC

Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Birmingham, Strathcone Building, Lecture Theatre 1 (R18 on Campus Map)

with Vénuste Nshimiyimana
Reporter at the BBC World Service/Global News Languages

This is a free event suitable for all Modern Languages students and schools/sixth forms

Please contact Sophie Gavrois, with any enquiries

Careers in Translation and Interpreting

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham

The Routes into Languages National Network for Translation in collaboration with Routes into Languages West Midlands would like to invite you to an event entitled “Careers in Translation and Interpreting” to be held at Aston University from 12.30pm – 4.30pm on 17th December, 2014.


The afternoon event is aimed secondary, Sixth Form and undergraduate students who are thinking of a career in the translation and interpreting industry. There will be speakers from various different backgrounds within the industry – from freelance and public service to EU and GCHQ – giving their experiences and advice.


The event is free and open to all students in any university, so tell your friends



12.30 – 1.00 pm    Arrival and refreshments

1.00pm – 1.10pm  Welcome and Introduction

Professor Christina Schäffner, Head of Translation Studies


1.10 - 2.00 pm Session 1

Rekha Narula: Working as a public service interpreter

Cindy Schaller: Working as a volunteer translator/interpreter

Maisie Greenwood: Working as a researcher and interpreter for a documentary shoot

Q&A session 1


2.00 – 3.00 pm Session 2

Helen Campbell: Careers for linguists in international organisations

Angeliki Petris: Working as a translator for the European Institutions

GCHQ Speaker: Working with languages in British intelligence

Luanyi Xiao: Introducing the Chartered Institute of Linguists

Jakub Sacharczuk: Introducing the Institute for Translation and Interpreting

Q&A session 2


3.00 – 3.30 pm Refreshments and networking


3.30 – 4.30 Session 3

Tom Gale: Working as a project manager in a translation company

Alina Secara: Working as an Audiovisual Translator

Silvia Ferrero: Working as a translator in the games localisation industry

Q&A session 3

Student Shadow Scheme

Monday, 29 September, 2014 - 00:00 to Friday, 26 June, 2015 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Warwick

Student Shadow Scheme


This is an opportunity for Year 12 students, who are considering studying a language at university, either as a single or joint honours degree, to spend a day with an undergraduate at the University of Warwick. They will have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars, and gain a valuable insight into what it is really like to be a languages student. Students can either attend individually or in groups. This ‘Shadow Day’ can take place at any time during the university term, please contact us for availability.


“The students had a really invaluable experience. They enjoyed the lectures and classes and were amazed at the level of French. They were impressed with the university and I think that you may have some future applicants.” (Teacher feedback)


“Thank you for the opportunity. This has helped me to decide that I definitely want to carry on with languages in the future.” (Student feedback)


Placements are available in the following subject combinations:


French, German, Italian or Hispanic Studies (NB Hispanic and Italian Studies can be taken ab initio) and a combination of any 2 of these

French / German / Hispanics / Italian with Russian / Chinese / Arabic / Portuguese / Japanese

French / German with Sociology

French / German / Hispanics / Italian and History

Politics and International Studies and French / German / Hispanic / Italian Studies

French / Hispanic Studies and English

French / German / Hispanics / Italian with Theatre Studies

French / German / Hispanics / Italian with Film Studies

French / German / Hispanics / Italian with International Studies

History of Art and French / Italian Studies

German and Business Studies

Italian and Classics

Italian and European Literature

English and German / Italian Literature


Please be aware of the University term dates, as we will only be able to offer student shadow days during these times:


Term 1: Monday 29th September – Friday 5th December 2014

Term 2: Monday 5th January – Friday 13th March 2015

Term 3: Monday 20th April – Friday 26th June 2015


Furthermore, due to exams, there will be limited availability during term 3.


Year 9 Apprentice Day

Wednesday, 4 February, 2015 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Warwick

Following the success of last year’s event, we would like to invite Year 9 students of French, German and Spanish to attend a day where they will be given the opportunity to use their language skills in a business context. They will be working with current students at the university as well as teachers in the academic departments to develop their linguistic ability and discover how their skills might be of value to them in later life.  


“…a fantastic opportunity for students to challenge themselves not only linguistically but also on a personal level.” (Teacher feedback)


“I learnt about the importance of languages in a career and that you are more likely to get a better job if you learn a language.” (Student feedback)


“I enjoyed the day as we worked with people outside of our school and it has made me want to learn more languages fluently.” (Student feedback)

Year 10 GCSE and Beyond Day

Wednesday, 12 November, 2014 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Warwick

This day is designed to give Year 10 students of French, German and Spanish the opportunity to discover that there is more to learning a language than what takes place in the classroom. Through the study of a film with teachers from the academic departments, as well as student ambassadors, we aim not only to increase their cultural awareness but also to give them the chance to use their language to express themselves in a more creative way than perhaps they might have done previously. 


“It was great to see my students so motivated about using the language they have learnt in lessons.” (Teacher feedback)


“I realised that I know more than I thought I did!” (Student feedback)


“I learnt that I was better at understanding and translating French than I thought.” (Student feedback)


“I really enjoyed the day and I definitely want to carry on with languages after GCSE.” (Student feedback)

STAR ambassador visits to your school

Monday, 3 November, 2014 - 00:00 to Friday, 31 July, 2015 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
Your school

Do you need help motivating your pupils and encouraging them to continue studying languages at GCSE, A level and beyond?  If so, then our Student Ambassadors for Routes (STARs) are on hand to help out.


Routes into Languages West Midlands has a team of enthusiastic STAR Ambassadors keen to use their passion for languages and encourage others to see the benefits of learning languages.  Our team includes current languages undergraduates as well as Erasmus students from France, Germany and Spain currently on study exchange placements at these Universities as part of their English Language studies.  They are on hand to give 'Why study languages' presentations as well as share their own experiences of studying languages in higher education.  Our students are also able to develop language taster and cultural sessions to inspire and enthuse your pupils.


Our STAR Ambassadors can adapt sessions to suit your requirements both in terms of content and duration and are happy to work with pupils of all ages. 


For more information please contact us at


To book a visit from our STAR Ambassadors please register below providing the following information:

  • Date of event (if flexible please give a range of dates or a day of the week which is most suitable)
  • Time of event (if flexible again please give a time which is most suitable)
  • Year group of audience (this can be multiple, either all pupils together or separate talks)
  • Approximate size of audience
  • Focus of presentation (inspiring pupils in general, careers, GCSE options, A level options, university options, etc)

German Cultural Day for Year 8 / 9

Tuesday, 17 March, 2015 - 00:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham

Aston University invite you to campus for this fun and interesting German cultural afternoon event for Year 8 and 9 pupils from 1pm - 3.30pm on Tuesday 17th March, 2014.


The afternoon will feature native German speakers from Austria and Switzerland who will deliver language and culture workshops to small groups of pupils. Pupils will then design their own posters and present what they have learnt to the larger group at the end of the event. Representatives from the Goethe Institut will be in attendance to judge the winning group.


Alongside the pupils' sessions, the Goethe Institut will provide CPD training for teachers.


These events are fully funded and therefore FREE to attend. There are a maximum of 80 places on this event and we can offer each school up to 10 places.


Registration will open in January 2015, please contact us at for more information.