Have your say speaking competition final

By Sarah Schechter, Routes into Languages East

Wednesday afternoon saw 50 Year 8 pupils from seven Peterborough schools, The Voyager Academy, Ormiston Bushfield Academy, Hampton College, Jack Hunt School,  Ormiston Bushfield Academy, The King’s School and Ken Stimpson Community School fight it out on Wednesday in the final of the Have Your Say competition in the presence of the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress. All the students were the winners of their school competitions for which they had learnt and performed dialogues in French, Spanish, German and Urdu.

The final competition was hosted by Thomas Deacon Academy, organised by teacher, Anke de Munster, with help from her impressive band of sixth form Language Leaders and sponsored by Routes into Languages East at Anglia Ruskin University.The instigator of the competition, Rachel Hawkes of  The Voyager Academy and The Comberton Academy Trust said

“ Speaking is, without a doubt, the most important skill in language learning, but also one which causes the most anxiety.  It is exciting to see so many students enjoying speaking languages and performing at such a high level in front of an audience. ”

The pupils really seemed to enjoy the afternoon, and the standard was extremely high, even higher than last year’s inaugural competition.  The winners’ trophy went to  Aleksandra Waligora  and Joanna Zajac of The Voyager Academy for a lively Spanish dialogue, fluently delivered with excellent Spanish pronunciation and great expression.

The other top ten winners were:

Milly Hilton & Katie Tasker The King’s School
Luca Kist Chancelier & Francisco Correia Thomas Deacon Academy
Veronika Dancova & Giang Luang Jack Hunt School
Aine Jones & Sara Silva Miranda The Voyager Academy
Debora Aniceto Jesus & Aleshba Hussain Thomas Deacon Academy
April Isham & Emily Knox Ken Stimpson Community School
Jacub Piechota & Leonardo de Nuzzo Ormiston Bushfield Academy
Florina Dobre & Marcia Marcelino The Voyager Academy
Tyla Moore & Klaudia Konachowicz The Voyager Academy

HYS photo for article

Well done to all 50 competitors (and their teachers!) who  were all winners to  get this far and represent their schools.



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LinguaMaths: A Fun CLIL Project

By Sarah Schechter

‘I can’t do Maths’, ‘I can’t do Languages!’

How often do we hear those phrases? The truth is, that nearly everyone CAN do languages – you learnt your first one didn’t you? – and everyone has to learn at least simple computational maths. So, HoD of The Voyager Academy, Jane Driver, came up with an ingenious project for improving both whilst having fun!

Over 3,000 Year 7s from eighteen schools from across the country have been learning their numbers in French and Spanish and German and working on increasingly difficult sums at the correct National Curriculum level.

This year the first ever LinguaMaths competition has been held at the Voyager Academy, which was breathtaking to behold. The top 20 ‘LinguaMathmaticians’ in French and  Spanish competed against each other for the coveted trophies,

Well done to all who competed and their teachers!

Lingua maths

The 4 top students in each language, (r to l: Back row, left, Jane Driver, HoD of Languages, The Voyager Academy, right, Dr Tony Morgan, Director, Routes into Languages East)

Click here for more information and to register for LinguaMaths

Sarah Schechter is Project Manager for Routes into Languages East at Anglia Ruskin University.

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Translation: Border Creation or Border Crossing? (2)

The Routes into Languages National Network for Translation has recently supported the participation of two students in the Translation Conference hosted annually at the University of Portsmouth.

Samantha Hoose tells us what her experience of the event was:

My translation lecturer had said he needed one more student to help out at the annual translation conference, so I thought well why not, it could be interesting to be able to hear from professional translators from around the world. And also to gain more inspiration for my dissertation.

This year’s topic was about borders in translation, I was curious to know what kind of issues people would be talking about.
So I turned up at 9, a bit out of my comfort zone because everyone attending the conference had a significantly higher educational status than me. Professional translators, PHD students, members of the chartered institute of linguistics etc.
…And then there was me. A final year language undergrad. What could I contribute to this?

My main role was to help register the speakers and delegates, give them their information pack and guide them to any rooms if they were lost.
This didn’t take up too much time as most of the participants turned up within the first hour. This meant that I was able to attend all the talks I wanted to go to, which where all really useful! I learnt a lot about how translation works in the workplace, how political borders have had an impact on translation and about new topics in translation. Rosemary from the Institute of Chartered Linguistics gave a talk about crossing borders between academic, professional, amateur and student translators. This was really interesting and useful career wise. She talked about the importance of knowing exactly what is required in a translation brief. Practicing translators need to communicate more with their clients. This is something I can bear in mind for future reference.

Attending the conference has helped me to be sure that translation really is something I want to pursue as a career. I’m spending this year applying for my masters and hopefully meeting my grades before graduation!

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Translation: Border Creation or Border Crossing?


by Julia Mitchell 

The Routes into Languages National Network for Translation has recently supported the participation of two students in the Translation Conference hosted annually at the University of Portsmouth. Julia Mitchell tells us about the event!

I first found out about this conference a few years ago, in the final year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Portsmouth. The main theme of ‘crossing borders’ is what attracted me to the conference as it will directly relate to my proposed MA dissertation. I attended as a student helper; my main responsibility was to register delegates and speakers.

I was fortunate to attend six different talks, all discussing translation studies in the context of ‘crossing borders’, be the border a physical land border, a literary border between adaption and translation or working across different disciplines.  Each speaker interpreted the theme of the conference in different ways delivering interesting, lively talks about current issues in the area of translation and interpreting from language use in Facebook to Canadian literature.

The plenary talk ‘Crossing multiple borders: Researching Translation and Popular Music’ taken by Şebnem Susam-Saraeva discussed the dispersion of popular music; one song can be translated across numerous different countries, into many different languages but most interestingly into different genres of music. The round table discussion featured a piece from a representative from ‘Translators without borders’. It struck me that interpreters on the ground in conflict zones are not treated as ‘neutral’ in the same way medical staff or aid workers are despite being a vital part in the communication process.

The two most striking points I have taken from the conference are the importance of interdisciplinary studies to translation and interpreting and the international position of the translator/ interpreter. Moving forward, I will continue to research my proposed MA dissertation on translation Vs adaptation using some of the knowledge I learnt from the conference with the hope to refine my work to discuss something that is as relevant to translation studies as each talk was at the conference.

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Languages and Your Future – working as an intern at Routes into Languages

By Georgia Morrison

Georgia Morrison photoI recently finished studying French and German at the University of Southampton and I have spent the last 12 weeks as an intern with Routes into Languages. My main project has been to develop Languages and your future, a new employability resource for secondary school pupils, but I have also worked on other projects, such as updating websites and producing a newsletter about translation and interpreting.

This placement was run through the Excel Southampton Internship Programme, which organises similar placements for Southampton students. I applied for it during my final year as I thought the project sounded very interesting and I had participated in some Routes events at secondary school which I had really enjoyed!

During this placement, my main project was to produce an employability resource with another intern, Yolanda. The purpose of the resource was to encourage pupils to learn languages by telling them about the employability benefits of doing so – it combines languages, employability skills and professions. The finished resource includes profiles of people who have used languages in their careers, a poster with skills and quotes about languages, a card game and a template for a 3D ornament for schools to put together. We contacted lots of different people for the profiles and now have a variety of careers including teaching, translating, medicine and politics.

We had great fun coming up with and subsequently testing the card game! The cards have different job titles on them, in French, German or Spanish, which players hold to their forehead so that they can’t see what’s written on it. They then have to ask questions (in French, German or Spanish) to guess which card they have, getting them more familiar with different jobs and practising languages at the same time. We also came up with an activity sheet with more suggestions on it, so that the cards and other resource materials can be used in different ways.

As well as developing the resource, we have also been updating two websites: Why study languages? and Studying languages. We edited a lot of the content to make it less wordy and more accessible to the (relatively) young audience it’s aimed at, and Yolanda has come up with new images for Why study languages? and redesigned Studying languages. To publicise Why study languages, we set up a Facebook page with fun, language related content (such as film trailers, idioms in other languages and tricky tongue twisters). We managed to get to grips with Articulate software to update and edit quizzes for the website too, which should hopefully be online soon.

As I come to the end of my placement, I’ve started to reflect on the skills I’ve learnt and developed during my time here and there are an awful lot! I’ve done loads of different tasks which has helped me develop different skills, including communication, working in a team, analysis and organisation. I’ve been writing and editing content, analysing feedback forms with Excel, learning how to create quizzes using Articulate software and presenting my work in team meetings. This has given me a lot to talk about in future interviews!

It is a shame that this placement is coming to an end, as I have really enjoyed everything that I’ve worked on and have been lucky enough to work with some lovely people. It’s been great to be able to use my languages and enthusiasm for them in our employability resource and I hope that pupils will enjoy using it!

Georgia Morrison is a recent Modern Languages graduate from the University of Southampton who has been working as an Intern with Routes into Languages.

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To the Winners, the Spoils..!

By Sarah Schechter, Routes into Languages East

coca-cola businessWith the relationship between business and education increasingly under the media spotlight, Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE) established, highly acclaimed, award-winning education programme provides a positive case study of how business investment in education can achieve real benefits for all involved. This year, together with Coca Cola, Routes into Languages East piloted a modern foreign language version of the RBC. Their involvement with Routes East was predicated on the fact that languages are a great asset when looking for a job and, in this respect, supporting schools with teaching and encouraging the uptake of modern languages fits with the overall objective of the programme – to increase employability and enterprise skills in the learners taking part. Linked to the curriculum, the project challenges students to work in teams to tackle a business. It is work-related learning at its most engaging and provides an opportunity for students in Years 9 and 10 to develop enterprise skills that will give them a competitive edge in today’s job market. The RBC is designed to help students develop and demonstrate enterprise skills and in particular to develop teamwork, problem-solving, creative thinking, leadership, financial capability and business acumen.

The brief was for students to form teams (or small “companies”) to develop a juice brand that took inspiration from one of the nations competing in the Special Olympics World Games in 2015 where French, Spanish or German is spoken. Following extensive research they had to present their idea on PowerPoint using no more than 10 slides, with all work submitted in the target language.

The drink had to be a healthy juice brand with fruits and/or vegetables as the key ingredients, together with vitamins, mineral water and spices. They had to take inspiration from the culture of a country competing in the Special Olympics World Games (i.e. evident in everything from the ingredients used to the brand name and packaging design). A degree of research into a particular culture was also necessary, with evidence of market research included in the presentation. Students had to think about the nutrients in their ingredients and to work out the contribution their drink’s nutrients make to the GDAs (Guide Daily Amounts).

Once the team had agreed what type of drink they were developing as well as a brand name, they had to allocate key roles to the team with different people responsible for logo design, slogan, packaging design and labeling and promotion. They had to agree on price, cost and profit and come to a group decision to agree a price point for their product. They were asked for 900,000 litres in 500ml containers. The cost per container had to fall between 35p and 80p (if it came to more or less than this, students were either using too many or too few ingredients!). Supported by a Teacher’s Pack, students had to put together a presentation of their drink idea, which clearly answered the brief and incorporated all their ideas. It had to give an overview of the juice brand, a company profile slide, ingredients sheet slide, label illustration slide and cost, price and profit sheet information.

Following wonderful entries for the Routes into Languages East Coca Cola Real Business Languages Challenge 2014/5 the two winning schools chose very different prizes. The teams were

Wunderwasser from Team Vitalität (Minhaj Ahmed, Daniel Mitton, Liam Tharme, Sebastian di Siena, Daniel Newsham) from St Ivo School


Renenstark (Emily Williams, Isabel Green, Emma Tuinema, Stella MacDougall, Charlotte Shaw, Emily Noithip) from Berkhamsted School

St Ivo School chose a school visit for around 40 students and Berkhamsted chose a factory visit.

Coca Cola Enterprises manufactures, sells and distributes over 80 different soft drink products across Great Britain, employing around 4,000 people, and is therefore able to offer students a unique insight into the demands of a UK manufacturing business.

The school visit on 8th May was a huge success, with Bill Muirhead, Senior Manager of Coca Cola Enterprises Education Programme totally engaging the students with an interactive talk and quiz about Coca Cola, before his colleague, Florence Kuentz, spoke about her work at Coca Cola and the hugely important role her languages play in that role. Routes into Languages East Student Language Ambassador, Jessi Happle, a Tourism undergraduate from Germany, completing a year of her degree at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge then talked about the difference being multilingual has made to her life. Finally the students were given a live language challenge to complete with prizes for the winning team. Head of Languages, James Murphy said

“It was fantastic to be visited by Coca-Cola and for our students to hear at first hand how essential languages are in the workplace. Pupils really enjoyed the session and it illustrated how having a language at GCSE can make you more employable.” and Year 9 student, Eva added “I enjoyed having to come up with a unique product and using my German to create the poster.”

Later in the month a small group from Berkhamsted School made their way to Milton Keynes for their prize of a tour of a Coca Cola factory. The format of the afternoon was similar to the school visit, with a colleague from Sweden providing the insights into using languages in her work and Anglia Ruskin University Student Language Ambassadors, Maike Hankel, an International Business student from Germany, who speaks fluent German, French and English and Sinan Acar an International Management student with fluent German, Turkish, Spanish and English and accompanying German teacher, Joanna Wordie and Routes East Project Manager, Sarah Schechter involved in a ‘language speed-dating’ session with the students. This was followed by a fascinating tour of the factory, as we watched the familiar cans being filled, packaged and dispatched. The visit ended with a live language challenge with the students presenting their ideas in German. The visit was a huge success, with extremely positive feedback from the students:

“I really enjoyed my visit and it has encouraged me to continue with languages in the future.”

“I didn’t know about grad schemes beforehand, but now I am considering doing one after uni.”

“It was a great experience chatting to the German speakers and it has really encouraged me to think about languages at A Level.”

Congratulations to all the winners and their teachers, Jane Moore from St Ivo School and Beth Irving from Berkhamsted School and huge thanks to Bill Muirhead and all his colleagues at Coca Cola Enterprises.





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Berlin Wall artist comes to Bristol for Upfest

By Debbie Pinfold, Lecturer in German and Routes South West Coordinator at Bristol University, and Bristol University’s Press Office

World famous artist Thierry Noir, famed for being the first street artist to paint the Berlin Wall, has taken to the streets of Bristol for Upfest – Europe’s largest free street art and graffiti festival.

He witnessed the efforts of schoolchildren across the city who had created their own artwork for a special Berlin Wall project, led by the University of Bristol and supported by Routes into Languages South West to mark the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany later this year.

Ten Bristol secondary schools and a children’s art club in Cardiff ran an internal competition to select which designs to paint on their own giant 8ft by 6ft panel. The eleven panels, painted by the schoolchildren, formed a ‘Berlin Wall’ across the front of St Francis Church on North Street for the duration of Upfest, which took place on 25-27th July, with Thierry Noir painting the 12th panel live at the festival.

Thierry Noir puts the finishing touches to his street art Upfest1

Dr Debbie Pinfold with Thierry Noir and his finished panelupfest2

His brightly coloured paintings, which often feature cartoon-like profiles, are now considered iconic and can still be seen on the East Side Gallery in Berlin.

The Frenchman moved to Berlin in 1982 and from April 1984 he started to paint the wall, eventually covering one kilometre of it with fellow artist Christophe-Emmanuel Bouchet. His paintings became a symbol of new-found freedom after the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War. Rock band U2 featured Noir’s artwork of East German Trabant cars and used photos of these to decorate their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

Over 250 talented artists travelled to Upfest from 25 countries, and from across the UK, to paint live on 30,000 square foot of surfaces in front of 27,000 visitors. Bristol University’s German Department joined forces with ten local secondary schools, a children’s art club, Routes into Languages South West and Upfest to run the project, entitled ‘What I would have painted on the Berlin Wall’. It aimed to make the seismic event in European history real and exciting to local school children. Organiser Dr Debbie Pinfold, a Lecturer in German and Routes South West Coordinator at Bristol University, said:

“These children weren’t born when the Wall fell but it’s such an important part of European history. We wanted to engage them with German history in a creative way that goes beyond the classroom, and there’s an obvious link with Bristol’s own vibrant street art culture.”

“We were delighted when the Upfest organisers agreed to host the project and it was really exciting to show our work to Thierry Noir, someone who knows only too well how powerful street art can be.”

“I’ve been thrilled to see how fascinated the children have been by the topic and amazed by the sheer variety and creativity of their artistic responses. It’s been fantastic to see them recreated on the streets of Bristol.”


The ‘Berlin Wall’ art installation at Upfest 2015

upfest4Upfest festival organiser, Steven Hayles, explained:

“It’s been amazing to see youngsters using art to not only express themselves, but also as a way for them to delve deeper into history from around the world.”

“On a personal note, my mum was there on a school trip the day the wall went up. She talks about that day occasionally and recalls lots of gunfire that night. ‘What I would have painted on the Berlin Wall’ is such a great project and the team at Upfest were just happy to be a part of something historic and being able to make this opportunity happen.”

Dr Pinfold, who experienced the night of German reunification first hand as a student on her year abroad in Hamburg, has been visiting schools to talk to pupils in Years 8 to 13 about the history of the Berlin Wall and its fall. Her talks begin by showing the young people a map of Bristol and asking them to imagine waking up the next morning to find a fortified wall running through their own city and separating them from family and friends.

The Wall that divided the city of Berlin between 1961 and 1989 was the most potent symbol of the Cold War, representing the division of a continent into two hostile blocks.

November 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the extraordinary night when border guards finally gave way to the peaceful revolutionaries of East Germany and opened the checkpoints. The end of inner-German division came on 3 October 1990 and the 25th anniversary of this momentous event will be celebrated this October.

The 10 secondary schools involved in the project are: Bristol Cathedral Choir School; Abbeywood Community School; Bristol Metropolitan Academy; Fairfield High School; Backwell School; Nailsea School; St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School; John Cabot Academy, Kingswood; Colston’s Girls’ School; and Cotham School. Also, a Cardiff-based children’s art group, SM-Art Club, designed and painted an 11th panel.

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