Modern Languages and Cultures staff in Bangor University are a major contributor and source of resources, events and projects aiming to raise awareness of the importance of learning languages, and promote the uptake of Modern Foreign Languages across Wales.
We actively collaborate with schools and partners in the area to provide a range of services and opportunities for the community:
Student Language Ambassadors (SLAs)
Each year, in collaboration with Routes into Languages Cymru, we recruit a team of language undergraduates to be Student Language Ambassadors (SLAs). Some SLAs are in their final year and have recently returned from their year abroad, others are in their second year and currently preparing to go abroad to work or study. All are enthusiastic about language learning, and are keen to share their experiences with pupils in local schools. In November each year SLAs attend a one day national training session in Cardiff before embarking on school visits. Modern Languages and Cultures staff play an active role in the training session, and materials and useful web links are available on Blackboard and via Dropbox. SLAs also have the opportunity to take part in other activities organised our School and by Routes into Languages Cymru (see below). If you would like to know more about this scheme, please contact Rubén Chapela.
There has been a high demand for Student Language Ambassadors (SLA) visits, and during the last two academic years SLAs have visited over twenty schools in north Wales and spoken to over 3,000 pupils. A school visit may involve one or more of the following:
- A talk about careers and languages to highlight the benefits of studying a language, and raise awareness of potential career paths.
- Language taster sessions.
- Oral revision sessions.
- Talks about studying languages at university, including the experience of starting a new language.
- Talks to share information about spending time abroad, either studying or on work experience.
- “We really enjoyed having the students this year thank you! They were well prepared and well-presented, and the pupils responded well to them. They delivered the content in an interesting and lively wa,y and we were very pleased with how each visit went.”
If you would like to know more about this scheme, please contact Rubén Chapela.
Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs)
Students from European countries, who are spending part of their course in Bangor under the EU Erasmus scheme, are offered the opportunity to take an assessed module which enables them to spend four hours per week working as Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs). Most FLAs work in local schools, but some also work in the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics itself, allowing undergraduates to have additional contact time with native speakers.
FLAs also have the opportunity to visit schools to offer GCSE, AS and A2 oral revision sessions, and to work with SLAs as part of the schools visits programme. Before beginning their work in schools FLAs are given training by staff from GwE and the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, and materials and useful web links are available via Blackboard. If you would like to know more about this scheme, please contact Sian Beidas.
Follow our Language Ambassadors around the globe as they embark on their third year abroad. Tasked with writing blogs on specific topics from the GCSE exam specification, the students share personal highlights and cultural flavours from across Europe and beyond.
LingoMap is the successor to the award-winning Routes into Languages ‘Adopt a Class’ scheme. Redesigned to make use of new technologies, we aim to reach a wider classroom audience across Wales. LingoMap also provides a visual and interactive platform to show pupils the global opportunities available to them through studying languages.
Both SLAs and FLAs are involved in revision sessions for pupils who are preparing for their modern language GCSE, AS and A level oral exams. Students have helped pupils, for example, with pronunciation, vocabulary building, presentation skills, effective handling of questions, and have even taken on the role of examiner in mock exams.
- “Thank you for arranging the session with Anna – it was a huge benefit to the pupils, especially as she had done the exam herself, and knows exactly what the requirements are. Very professional!”
A level Film and Literature Masterclasses
We are able - in collaboration with Routes into Languages Cymru, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, and Wales Think German Network - to offer Film and Literature Days for AS and A level students and teachers. Every year these are attended by teachers and students of French, German and Spanish from schools in north Wales. They offer an opportunity for the students, who had watched the film or read the book before coming to Bangor, to widen their understanding of the item studied and extend their vocabulary. Throughout these sessions, Bangor University language students are available to assist with the workshops and talk about their experience of studying languages and visiting other countries.
- ‘The experience was great and I wouldn’t hesitate coming again.’
- ‘I saw different aspects of Good Bye Lenin which I hadn’t seen before, and I picked up vocabulary which I wouldn’t normally know’.
CADARN presentations on WJEC A level films and books
Bangor University Modern Languages and Cultures PhD students prepared a series of 30-minute videos funded by CADARN, and working in partnership with Routes into Languages Cymru and the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales.
These Panopto presentations analyse the key topics of some of the new WJEC A level specifications films and books, such as main themes and characters, aimed to strengthen the pupils’ comprehension and generate further discussion and thought. Additionally, other key films and books studied by Bangor University students are also being presented as useful tools to develop analytical thinking.
- French: Les amants d’Avignon, by Elsa Triolet
- French: Entre les murs, by Laurent Cantet
- German: Der gute Mensch von Sezuan, by Bertolt Brecht
- German: Barfuss, by Til Schweiger
- Spanish: La casa de Bernarda Alba, by Federico García Lorca.
- Spanish: Maria llena eres de gracia, by Joshua Marston
- Italian: La madre, by Natalia Ginzburg
- Italian: Habemus papam, by Nanni Moretti
- Galician: A esmorga, by Ignacio Vilar
- Galician: O lapis do carpinteiro, by Manuel Rivas
Routes into Languages Cymru
The Modern Languages and Cultures team at Bangor University is an active partner in the Routes into Languages Cymru programme, and Rubén Chapela, a Routes into Languages Cymru part-time project officer is based in the School. As well as some of the activities already mentioned above, collaboration with Routes into Languages Cymru has offered Bangor SLAs the opportunity to be involved in the following activities and events:
- Spelling Bee: The Spelling Bee is an annual, national competition which allows Year 7 pupils in schools through Wales to practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in another language (French, Spanish, German and Welsh second language). Pupils learn fifty words for the first stage of the competition and a further fifty words are added at each subsequent stage. In one minute pupils must correctly spell as many words as possible; the words are given in Welsh or English, and pupils must translate it into the target language, then spell it out correctly using the target language alphabet. A team of staff and students from the school of modern languages in Bangor University is directly involved in the North Wales Regional Final and the national Final.
- Bangor University Language Day: Currently known as Wales, Europe and the World (WEW), this event have been held at Bangor University for more than five years. These have been large events with high profile involvement from partners such as Careers Wales, Confucius Institute, Europe Direct, Goethe Institut, North Wales Deaf Association, WJEC and Signature Leather. Typically, pupils attending the event have the opportunity to listen to talks about languages in the workplace, hear languages students talk about their year abroad, try taster lessons in languages such as Mandarin Chinese, practise the languages they are already learning, and participate in cultural activities with a language theme (e.g. dancing, language games, etc.).
The following language resources include materials contributed by Modern Languages and Cultures staff and/or students:
- Little Red Riding Hood: A multilingual play in six languages (Spanish, Dutch, Polish, French, German and Italian). The resource includes a multilingual script (with English / Welsh translation), video and pupil activity pack.
- Film resources: Including printable / downloadable lists of film vocabulary in French, German and Spanish.
- Monuments and memorials in Germany: Tthese worksheets have been designed to accompany a workshop on monuments and memorials in Germany. The first sheet provides vocabulary and useful quotations, which can be discussed in class as part of a preliminary session on the role of monuments. The following sheets are intended to be used for group work, and as a starting point for encouraging students to explore specific events, personalities and issues in recent German history.
- Learn a language, live abroad! Broaden your horizons: This is a DVD produced by Routes into Languages Cymru to promote the study of languages.
- Botwm y Byd: A multi-disciplinary project, including a website, which provides online resources through the medium of Welsh for secondary school and university students studying Modern Languages, International Politics and Media.
MFL Student Mentoring Project
The Modern Foreign Language Student Mentoring Scheme was launched in December 2015 to combat the ‘serious decline’ in the take up of modern foreign languages by school pupils in Wales.
It is currently the major intervention is aimed at increasing the take up and attainment of modern languages at secondary schools across the country. It is funded by the Welsh Government as part of its five-year Global Futures strategy aimed at supporting modern languages in schools in Wales. Under the scheme, modern foreign language (MFL) undergraduates at Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities are recruited and trained as student mentors and are partnered with pupils in local schools.
To know more about this scheme, please access our press releases below, or contact Rubén Chapela: