Language Teacher of the Year

Do you know a very special language teacher or a student language ambassador? A teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas? Or a student language ambassador who motivates young learners, showing them that learning languages is exciting, cool and contributes to their future success?

If you do, then why not nominate them for a Routes into Languages / Association for Language Learning Award?

Find out more about the Language Teacher of the Year and the Student Language Ambassador of the Year Awards.

Download the background information and judging criteria.

Nominations are open from 01-30 October 2015.

If you have any further questions please contact the Awards team by email to

Economic benefits of modern language learning

In an article published on July 14, City AM’s William Railton discusses the economic benefits of language learning:

German Jobs in the UK

CPD: Assessment and the New National Curriculum for MFL


Poster_Assessment  the New National Curriculum

Midlands German Network (MGN) launched in January 2015

Connecting Local Schools, Universities and Businesses

MGN logoGraduates with German language skills are highly sought-after on the British and international labour markets. The Midlands German Network (MGN) is a university-led initiative which fosters cooperation between local schools, universities and businesses. Its aim is to make young people aware of the manifold opportunities, increase the uptake of German, and support recruitment for local employers.

The Midlands German Network will be officially launched at Aston University on January 21, 2015. This launch event will be an opportunity for networking across all three levels. Organisations represented include the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute, and UK-German Connection.

For: Secondary and Primary school teachers, pupils from Year 9 onwards; local businesses and universities, including students; anyone interested in German culture and language.

To find out more about the launch and to register for the event, please click here. Please forward details of the event to interested parties.

Registration deadline: 10 December 2014, although later registration is possible by contacting Any questions or comments should be addressed to this email address.

Manifesto for Languages launched today

MFLThis morning, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages launched its ‘Manifesto for Languages’, calling on “all political parties to make general election manifesto commitments to boost language learning”. The call for stronger commitment to MFL teaching and learning is supported by many major businesses, organisations and universities whose role in improving British language skills is said to be crucial, and the manifesto calls for “a commitment to maintaining and developing UK expertise in modern languages and cultures in university language departments”.

At the same time, the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) is calling on all universities to make “a GCSE A*-C grade or equivalent in a modern foreign language a pre-requisite for admission to undergraduate programmes in any discipline” in order to contribute to the development of “global graduates”.

(All quotes from the THE article “University role ‘crucial’ for languages recovery“.)

The APPG’s manifesto is receiving widespread press coverage today; follow the links to some of the reports:

TES news: “Modern languages need ‘national recovery programme’, say MPs

BBC: “Modern languages ‘recovery programme’ urged by MPs

British Council: “The APPG launches the Manifesto for Languages today

The Independent: “Lack of foreign-language skills ‘threatens the UK economy’

Modern languages in the news: UK skills shortage

In the past week, numerous news outlets have reported on the alarming shortage in language skills in the UK which is predicted to jeopardize the UK economy, according to a new report by the British Council.

To read some of the news stories on the new findings, follow these links:

SKY News: Poor Language Skills ‘Hampering UK Economy

The Guardian: Shortfall in the languages the UK needs the most

BBC: ‘Alarming Shortage’ of foreign language skills in UK


Join the #1000 Words Challenge

Layout 11000 Words is a new national challenge which aims to inspire everyone to have at least 1000 words in another language. It’s designed to be an open and creative way of spreading the word, and has already been taken up by schools, universities, businesses and individuals. The 1000 Words Challenge is funded jointly by the British Academy and Routes into Languages.

Not everyone will become a fluent linguist, but the aspiration for EVERYONE to have 1000 Words in another language is realistic and achievable.

You can show your support for this goal by:

  • displaying the 1000 Words logo
  • taking action to help more people achieve it
  • spreading the word on Twitter #1000words
  • taking the 1000 Words challenge yourself!

Find out more about the 1000 Words challenge by clicking on this link.


Launchpad Languages showcases varied career opportunities for MFL graduates

The European Commission Representation in the UK has teamed up with to produce a series of video interviews with languages graduates to promote the wide range of careers that a degree in modern languages can lead to and to highlight the importance of the year abroad. The graduates featured in the clips have found work in business, finance, the media, the police, international development, education, sport, diplomacy and translation thanks to their language abilities and the skills developed on the year abroad.

Languages serve as a launch pad to a whole host of different careers and these videos are intended to give young people a better idea of where languages can take them and to encourage them to continue with their language studies and take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the year abroad.

There are fourteen two-minute video interviews, each featuring a different graduate, and one longer five-minute video summarising the key message that languages boost your career. To view the videos, go to the project website or watch here:

No Island Is An Island: European Perspectives on Language Learning in Britain

“Only 30% of English native speakers in the UK can have a conversation in a foreign language, compared to an EU average of 54%.”
European Survey on Language Competences 2012

No Island conferenceAlongside this year’s Language Show Live 2013 (18-20 October) in London, the European Commission’s conference ‘No Island Is An Island: European Perspectives on Language Learning in Britain’ will take place on Friday 18 October. The event will focus on the social, economic and political significance of languages in Britain.

The list of speakers includes

  • Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Youth, Sport, and Multilingualism
  • Baroness Garden Government Spokesperson: Higher Education and Skills, Government Whip and Spokesperson: Education and Defence
  • Kristina Cunningham, Head of Sector, Multilingualism policy, European Commission
  • Lid King The Languages Company
  • Marco Benedetti, Director General DG Interpretation, European Commission

More information about the conference is available on the conference website (click Register to access the full programme.)

Conference: How does language work?, June 27-28, Aston University

Clera logo_square InterLanDOn June 27-28, 2013, CLERA and InterLanD will be hosting a two-day conference titled ‘How does language work?’.

The variation between the language of the home and community and the language of school is at the heart of a great deal of the underachievement of identifiable groups of learners in Britain. These learners may speak English either as a first or second language. park view trustThey draw on the language of home and community to make meanings within school. School subjects draw on different kinds of language. These variations in language do not match.

The conference aims to:

  • Make the workings of the language system explicit in order to appreciate the role language plays, in constructing knowledge across all learning areas.
  • Build understandings about the patterned ways meanings are made within and across genres so that educators are able to develop students’ language resources to understand and produce those genres.
  • Enable participants to understand and use the differences between spoken and written language, both as a teaching and a learning tool.

James MartinThis conference is a groundbreaking two-day vent and features a rare UK keynote from Professor James Martin of the University of Sydney, an architect of “genre based pedagogy” in the early 1980s.

It is aimed at both teachers and educators, across phases, who are concerned with the role language plays in learning.

For more information, please go to the conference website.