Passport to language 2012
14th December 2012
On Saturday, 17 November 2012, The Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University was buzzing with language enthusiasts. Young people from across South Wales joined together with their parents and teachers to listen to a series of presentations about how having foreign language skills will help them in their future careers.
The event was opened by Dr Kate Griffiths of Cardiff University’s School of European Languages, Translation and Politics. She spoke about the opportunities to study languages at Cardiff University and gave examples of the types of jobs her former students are now doing.
Siôn Acciaioli, a student of Spanish and Italian, spoke next. He gave an inspirational account of his year abroad in Barcelona and Catania and told the audience about how this opportunity to study abroad had not only enabled him to improve his languages skills, but had benefitted him in other ways too. He spoke of his new found confidence and thanked the Erasmus programme for giving him an opportunity to travel and learn more about Europe.
The third presentation was given by Mandy Jones of Cardiff University’s Careers Service. Mandy referenced her work with the Business School and gave examples of students who have used their language skills alongside other subjects, such as business and marketing, to secure employment upon graduation.
The final speaker of the day was Scott Evans, an employee of Cassidian, a defence company based in Newport. Scott is a graduate of History and Spanish and has recently finished a graduate training programme at Cassidian. Over the final sixth months of his training, he worked on a project that required him to spend the majority of his time in Paris. Scott shared his experiences of working in a multi-national company and showed real examples of the multi-lingual environment in which he works.
The event was concluded with a question and answer session in which many young people were able to ask for advice about their futures with languages.
This event achieved its aims of opening the eyes of young people and their parents to the possibilities in life if you can offer an employer another language. After the event, one pupil told us “It’s just really GREAT that this was organised. Initially I wasn’t sure whether opting for French was a good idea, but I’m definitely really happy with my choice now. Thank you so much.”