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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Yorkshire and the Humber

Routes into Languages Yorkshire and the Humber Final Celebration Event

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 - 15:15 to Wednesday, 26 July, 2017 - 15:15
Event Type: 
Yorkshire and the Humber
University of Hull


On Wednesday 13th July Routes into Languages Yorkshire and the Humber held their final celebration event to mark ten years of successful collaboration throughout the region.  The event enabled us to meet and thank our colleagues and contacts throughout the Yorkshire and Humber area and our partners in other regions across the country. 

The celebration showcased our most successful activities and projects from the past eight years, in order to inspire teachers to replicate them in their own schools. There were presentations by the University of Leeds on their flagship residential stay ‘Linguastars’, the University of York gave insights into their successful online quiz project, Leeds Beckett and Sheffield Hallam discussed their innovative Language Drama Workshops and Languages Film School and the University of Sheffield shared their experiences with their ‘Adopt a Class. Project, as part of a Widening Participation venture to expand student horizons. The University of Hull showcased their four most successful projects and events that have been created and delivered as part of the ‘Languages in Context’ thematic strand over the past 8 years. These were: Active Languages, Die Mauer, The Languages and Design Competition and finally the Languages Through Science resource.

Student Language Ambassadors have been at the heart of the Yorkshire and the Humber activities so it was fitting that three of them shared their experiences with us. Without exception all said that their participation had been a key part of their university experiences and felt that they had experienced a significant gain in confidence and employability skills.  

We also enjoyed an excellent performance by Beverley High School pupils, which reflected on their individual successes at the Spelling Bee and Trans Bee competitions over the past six years.

Finally, it was an opportunity for teachers and partner organisations to network, share good practice and discuss future language projects in the region.

I would like to personally thank all our wonderful regional partners from Universities across Yorkshire for their commitment to the project and for being such a supportive and welcoming group of people. Without such a great collaborative and friendly approach we could never have achieved what we have done since the start of the project.

Students from across the region and beyond have benefitted hugely from the thousands of events and activities that have taken place not only across Yorkshire and The Humber, but across England and Wales as a whole.

If we have made a difference to even a small percentage of students throughout the past eight years in terms of inspiring them to continue with their language study into FE and hopefully into their careers, then it has been a job well done.

Claire Barber

Spanish Drama Day at Leeds Beckett

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 - 15:00
Event Type: 
Yorkshire and the Humber
Leeds Beckett University

This workshop was about learning and practising Spanish in an effective and fun way with creative and unconventional approaches. 

The drama could take many forms, but above all it should be a communicative activity which enables the learners to speak Spanish using the level of language at which they are working. The students of Corpus Christi College created their own dialogue with the language that they had learnt in lessons.

Eurofest Regional Final York St John University July 14 2016

Yorkshire and the Humber

York St John University were delighted to host the first – and possibly only – Regional Final of the Eurofest events which took place this year at Selby College, York St John University and Leeds Beckett University.
Developed by the Selby Modern Languages Forum, Eurofest is a simulated international trade fair for year 8 pupils. Its purpose is to encourage the active use of modern foreign languages and an understanding of the value of having language skills in a business.
This year for the first time, the winning teams from the top three schools at each event were invited to submit a video showing their performance at the trade fair and summing up what they felt they had learned from it. The Regional Final was the product of collaboration between the universities involved, as well as the Routes into Languages team at the University of Hull.
Schools which submitted a video were Allerton Grange, Beverley High, Brayton High, Holy Family Carlton, Queen Ethelburga’s and Westborough High. The judges were impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity shown in all the videos, but particularly by Westborough High, which won first prize.
The prizes were awarded by the directors of a local company, Yorktour, who shared their experiences of language learning and how this had helped them in their careers, and the evening was rounded off with a performance by Kaminari Taiko Drummers.
Unfortunately the government-funded Routes into Languages scheme has now come to an end, so it is uncertain whether this event will be run next year. However, the organisers are determined that the individual Eurofest trade fairs will continue to be run in the regions.
Many thanks to all the individuals from all the different organisations who collaborated to make this event a reality.

Language Champions quiz at the University of York

Yorkshire and the Humber

On the 30th of June, the Dept. of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York welcomed 100 pupils from 14 schools to campus to celebrate the end of the online Language Champions quiz. Over the course of 5 weeks, teams of French, German and Spanish pupils from 38 schools completed a series of weekly factual, language and linguistics tasks based on the theme of the Olympics. As well as answering questions, teams were challenged to use their language skills to devise new sports, posters, captions and chants in French, German or Spanish and to reflect on the way they use and acquire language in a series of linguistic tasks designed to examine loanwords, pronunciation, rhythm and fluency. The judges were impressed by the high quality of entries received and in particular the linguistic ability and creativity of pupils. A massive congratulations to the overall winners of the quiz: Caedmon College Whitby took the gold medal, with Sheffield High and Derby High taking the silver and bronze medals respectively. A special congratulations also goes out to the winners of the individual language and linguistics categories: All Saints RC School (Best Overall French, Best Overall Linguistics), Derby High (Best Overall German) and Balby Carr Academy (Best Overall Spanish). 

First Eurofest Leeds languages festival

Yorkshire and the Humber

Secondary school pupils from across West Yorkshire gathered at our University to attend the first Eurofest Leeds languages festival.


Around 70 year eight pupils attended the event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday 17 June. The schools represented were: Allerton Grange School, Leeds, Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School, Leeds, Dixons Kings Academy, Bradford, Westborough High School, Dewsbury, Silcoates School, Wakefield and Oasis Academy, Immingham.

Kathy Murdie, Languages Project Administrator, explained: “Eurofest is an exciting, simulated, international trade fair, developed by Routes into Languages, a programme funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to promote the uptake of languages in secondary and higher education and encourage the active use of modern foreign languages. The pupils are tasked with selling products which they have designed themselves and running tourist information stands. By doing this, they practise their language skills in a realistic, but safe environment, speaking and listening in French, German or Spanish, giving information, answering questions and writing down details.

“Eurofest can not only help to boost pupils’ confidence and increase their motivation for languages, but also encourage them to develop enterprise skills – design, marketing and sales skills. The festival highlights the usefulness of language skills in business today, raising the career aspirations of the young learners and fostering closer relationships between schools, higher education and business.”

Visitors to the trade fair were made up of Leeds Beckett language students and tutors, as well as other members of staff keen to use their language skills; participants from Leeds City Council and Leeds University and keen linguists from the community.


Kathy added: “We were really impressed by the efforts made by all the pupils and the fair proved to be a very colourful, lively affair. In the afternoon pupils had the chance to do a tour of the campus, learn some Chinese, find out more about the advantages of learning languages and try out their knowledge of Europe in our Eurofest quiz.”

The top three teams of the day will be invited to the regional final at York St John University. The finalists, and their awards, are as follows: Best Use of Language: Allerton Grange School; Best trade stand: Dixon Kings Academy; and Star performers: Westborough High School.

Barbara Shaw, a Teacher at Silcoates School, commented: “Our pupils really enjoyed the day, saying that the hour of trading went by so fast. The trading, along with learning some Chinese, was their favourite part of the day. They also learned how to pronounce words in a very nice way and one said he learnt more in one hour than in his classes! 

“They were very impressed with the enthusiasm of the student ambassadors at Leeds Beckett and just how many languages they had learned. They were never made to feel that they were out of their depth.”

Eurofest was run for the first time in June 2008 at Selby College where it is now an annual event. Eurofest won a European Award for Languages in 2009 and was also awarded the Euro London Appointments Business Prize in 2009.


Languages Olympics Quiz

Monday, 16 May, 2016 - 08:00 to Thursday, 16 June, 2016 - 17:00
Event Type: 
Yorkshire and the Humber
University of York
Become a Language Champion
with the University of York & Routes into Languages Olympics quiz

After El Mundo hispano and the Tour de France virtuel, this year we are returning with our final online quiz, open to pupils of French, Spanish and German and celebrating the idea of Language champions through an Olympics theme. 

Over the course of 4 weeks, there will be questions to answer in English and the target language, activities to help pupils reflect on the process of learning and producing language as well as creative tasks which will call on pupils to use the language they are studying (French, German and/or Spanish). 

The quiz, which will be hosted on a blog, will begin on Monday the 16th of May at 8 a.m. and end on Friday the 16th of June at 5 p.m (with a break for midterm). Each school may enter one team of up to 6 representatives from years 7 to 10.

To celebrate the end of the quiz, we will host a day of  language activities and a prize-giving ceremony in late June. To see pictures of previous winners and prize-giving ceremonies click here and here.  
Click here to register for quiz before 4th of May
Click for details on quiz procedures
For more information about any of our Routes into Languages activities, contact: 

Yorkshire and The Humber Spelling Bee Regional Final

Yorkshire and the Humber

On Monday 14th March the final of the Regional Spelling Bee Competition for Yorkshire and The Humber took place at The University of Hull for the 5th year in a row. 90 school pupils in Year 7 from 26 different secondary schools from across Yorkshire attended the competition for what was to be a very inspiring day.

All 90 pupils had done exceedingly well to reach the regional final, beating their peers firstly in their class competitions and then becoming one of the final 4 winners from the overall school competition. The event celebrated the joys of learning a language and it was inspiring to see each competitor working so hard to remember and spell the 150 words in their chosen language, either Spanish, French or German.

The first round of the competition took place in the morning and after several tie-break situations, eventually the final four winners for each language succeeded in beating all the other contestants in their category. The afternoon saw the 4 winners in each language battle it out for their ranking of 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th place. The winners will go down to the National Finals in Cambridge at Anglia Ruskin University on Friday 3rd July to compete with other pupils from across the country and represent Yorkshire and The Humber.

The winning schools in the Spanish Competition were:

1st  place                               Sheffield High School

2nd place                               St Olave’s School

3rd place                               Hymers College

4th place                               The Grammar School at Leeds

The winning schools in the German competition were:

1st place                                                      Beverley High School

2nd place                               Sheffield High School

3rd place                               The Grammar School at Leeds

4th place                               Hymers College

And finally the winning schools in the French Competition were:

1st place                                Beverley High School

2nd place                               Beckfoot School

3rd place                               Sheffield High School

4th place                               St Olave’s School

Well done to all those Year 7 pupils who did so well in competing in this year’s competition and to those who managed to get to the regional final. Big congratulations also to those pupils who have made it through to the National Final in July. We wish you all the best of luck and we hope you get to bring some trophies back to Yorkshire!

Student Language Ambassador of the Year!

Picture of Stephen Way
Yorkshire and the Humber

We are delighted to announce that at the Language World Conference earlier this month, Stephen Way, final year Language Studies student (French and Spanish) at Leeds Beckett University won Student Language Ambassador of the Year 2016! 

Many of us know a very special language teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas. Or we know a student language ambassador who motivates young learners, showing them that learning languages is exciting, cool and contributes to their future success. The Association for Language Learning and Routes into Languages have worked together over the last two academic years to establish the Language Teacher and Language Ambassador of the Year Awards to recognise and celebrate this talent. The Awards have been generously supported to date by funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Stephen was nominated by Kathy Murdie, who said: "Stephen volunteers for all kinds of opportunities: from promotional work, to visiting schools, to delivering workshops or helping out at languages events. He approaches each job very conscientiously and in a very professional manner... Stephen has devised presentations to pupils to promote the benefits of languages and encourage continued language learning. He has delivered these presentations on various occasions and they have proved very popular. He has also devised a language workshop with some fellow students as part of the University HE days for year 8s. He was linked with a class whilst abroad as part of our Adopt-a-class programme and liaised with the teacher to ensure meaningful communication with the class."

For details of award winners in other categories, please visit 


Picture shows, from left to right: René Koglbauer, President of ALL and Director of Network for Languages North East, Stephen Way and Kathy Murdie, Project Administrator Languages, School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality, Leeds Beckett University.

Many thanks to ALL and Kathy Murdie for providing copy and photo.

Careers Using Languages Conference

Thursday, 7 July, 2016 - 14:30
Event Type: 
Yorkshire and the Humber
York St John University

A vital event to show how languages can enhance your future career.

Come along and find out about the range of jobs where having a language gives you an advantage and meet people who use languages as part of their working life.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, get tips and make contacts. It’s never too early to start planning – this event is for Year 9 upward.

Information on using languages in careers you may not have considered as well as the more traditional ones.

Time: 9.45am – 2.30pm  (optional campus tour at 2.30pm)

Cost: This event is free but places are limited and filled on a first-come first-served basis.

Find out more and book your place via or telephone 01904 876507.

Drama day brings Spanish culture to life for local school pupils at Leeds Beckett University

Yorkshire and the Humber

A group of year eight school pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds paid a visit to the Leeds Beckett University’s Performance Studio on 25th January to practice their Spanish and try out theatre acting at the annual Spanish drama day.

The activity was organised by the University’s Languages team and supported by the Access and Widening Participation team as part of the Routes into Languages Project, a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)-funded initiative which aims to show the benefits and fun in learning languages and encourage young people to study them at a higher level.

Organiser Kathy Murdie said: “The pupils arrived with their enthusiasm and their language skills and throughout the day worked in groups to write their own version of Don Quijote. The activities encouraged students to use vocabulary related to the drama, to communicate with each other and try out some acting techniques, assisted by Leeds Beckett Language Ambassadors and tutors.”

“Having known nothing of the play when they arrived, the day culminated in the pupils producing a fantastic performance of their very own Don Quijote, impressing both their own teachers and the Leeds Beckett staff!”

The day was a hit with the pupils, who reported that it helped with their confidence and was a great opportunity to get more involved in languages and understanding Spanish culture.

Spanish tutor, Sebastián Rodríguez, added: "This workshop was about learning and practising Spanish in an effective way with creative and unconventional approaches. Drama can take several forms, but above all it should be a communicative activity where the learners can speak Spanish using the level they are working at. The students created their own dialogue with the language they learnt in school. It was great to see young people very motivated and working in a team to produce a play and very rewarding to see them helping and encouraging each other."