North West Events

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Film and Culture Event for Languages (FACE) GCSE Day, Monday, 4th February, Geoffrey Manton Building, MMU

Words and photographs by Amillah Javed

The Routes into Languages event took place on Monday, 4th February, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Year 10 and 11 students from Bury Grammar School Boys arrived in the atrium of the Geoffrey Manton Building and chatted amongst themselves while waiting to receive information about what cultural and language events lay ahead.

Yasmin Hussain, the Routes North West Project Manager said, “Routes into Languages North West is a popular national project which promotes the learning of languages and encourages not only the modern foreign languages (French, Spanish and German), but we also encourage the participant of lesser taught languages like: Arabic, Urdu, Madarin and Italian”.

This Film and Culture Event for Languages (FACE) Day started off with a Language and Career talk from Carmen Herrero, a language lecturer at MMU. All the boys sat up straight and listened carefully from the moment Carmen began talking about the benefits of learning another language. The welcome talk was informative, explaining how learning another language is important, especially if you were to apply to job sectors that demand multilingual communicators.

Numerous hands shot up when Carmen asked, “How many of you have been to Spain?”, in contrast to the one hand that went up with the next question, “How many of you communicated in Spanish when ordering food from the restaurants or buying something from the shops?”. Rather embarrassing for some, but also an interesting point was rooted here. It will surely encourage many students to continue studying languages, allowing them to communicate better in other countries. Carmen continued to engage the students by asking, “Wouldn’t you all want to go to a country and speak their language?”, to which everyone responded: “YES, YES, YES!”

Ben Cross, one of the students from Bury Grammar School Boys, said, “Learning different languages other than English is really interesting and enjoyable. I find the Russian language intriguing and the way it is structured. I’d like to be an engineer in the future and I would definitely combine my degree with a language, because if I need to buy or sell products to people in another country, it would be great if I can also communicate with them in their language”.

Three MMU Student Language Ambassadors were about the whole day to guide the students and teachers to the different classes. After the welcome talk a Language with Film session followed, where a film was shown in French and German to the group of boys and their teachers. I quietly sneaked into the French film screening where Isabelle Vanderschelden, a French language Tutor at MMU, explored, Un Bisou Pour Le Monde (Cyril Paris, 2007). Watching films and analysing particular scenes is definitely entertaining, and stimulated a fun way in which languages can be taught.

Joseph Patel, currently studying French and German, said: “I thought today was really useful and I learnt new vocabulary in French. We watched a short clip from a French film and then analysed it which was really interesting”.

Top left: Joshua Glazer, top right: Joseph Patel,
     bottom left: Ben Cross, bottom right: Matthew Schofield

Joshua Glazer added, “I really enjoyed myself today and the French film showed us a different way of learning languages. It was quite a new thing. I study French and I do Karate so I learn Japanese from that. In the future I would like to become a doctor and work in France, so knowing languages will be beneficial for me. If I am given the opportunity to attend another Taster Day, then I will, because it was a very enjoyable day today and a really good experience for me”.

After lunch the group of boys were escorted off to taste a language of their choice, while others were whizzed around through the rain on a campus tour. The language taster sessions gave the students an opportunity to discover the language options that are available to them at university level. The Student Ambassadors swiftly swapped the two groups so that everyone had tried a language taster and explored the university campuses by the end of the tiring, but fun day.

Manon Gotte, a multilingual Language Ambassador at MMU announced, “Today the students got a great opportunity to discover languages which they can study further at a higher level. I believe it’s important to speak another language because you can communicate in different languages, not only in English”.

To finish off the day, the students were back in Lecture Theatre 2 for farewells and to share their evaluation of the activities. Overall, the day was focused on the benefits of learning languages with the quote, ‘English is just not enough’, continuously emphasised throughout. This quote was better understood at the end of the day after everyone had experienced a new language other than their mother tongue. Ultimately, those who know more than one language are better equipped with knowledge about certain cultures and have better opportunities in life altogether.

The FACE GCSE Days are designed to advance and expand the knowledge of language students, enabling them to experience what their language has to offer at a higher level. This opportunity is excellent for bringing language students together to observe exciting ways they can learn languages of their interest.

Matthew Schofield who is studying French at Bury Grammar School Boys said, “If my school organises another event like this, then I will definitely come along because I found it relevant and interesting.”

Yasmin Hussain further added, “The government policy is trying to encourage young people to take up a language and it’s not just about choosing joint honours degrees in languages. Languages help learn about different cultures and learning about a culture through film. These events are thus important and this is one of many.”

This event will be repeated again on Thursday, 14th February and on Monday, 4th March 2013.
For further details about the 2013 North West Language Events or the FACE GCSE Days, please visit the website here.

Amillah Javed is currently studying English and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is passionate about journalism and teaching and hopes to pursue a career in one of these fields. Amillah also has an interest in writing creatively and having work published. Follow her on Twitter @a_amillah 

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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