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Modern Foreign Language Student Mentoring Project

  • CalendarAvailable on request
  • Clock outlineFlexible
  • Available in Welsh

We place undergraduate and postgraduate students in secondary schools as mentors, to inspire pupils to love and value languages.

We offer both face-to-face and online mentoring to improve engagement with modern foreign languages, with the aim of increasing the number of secondary school pupils opting to study languages at GCSE, and beyond.

Student Mentoring Project video(Short Version).

What we offer

Our mentors will spend up to one day per week working with Year 9 pupils, in small groups (5-8 pupil), over a period of 12 weeks. This is broken into two sessions of six weeks, one running from November to December and one from February to March.

The programme content focuses on the learner’s place in a globalising world, encouraging them to appreciate and embrace other languages and cultures, while introducing them to the practical benefits of learning additional languages. We can also be flexible to fit in with the needs of your school.

Turbo mentoring

Alternatively, we can run a one day mentoring session with a class if your school is unable to commit to the full six-week programme.

Our aims

The purpose of the programme is to:

  • show the benefits of learning a modern foreign language at GCSE, A-level and degree level
  • broaden the aspirations of learners by highlighting career and mobility opportunities available to those with language skills
  • raise expectations, improve motivation and strengthen the persistence and personal resilience of learners studying modern foreign languages
  • create sustainable links between higher education and secondary schools
  • offer classroom experiences and opportunities to modern foreign language undergraduate students, with a view to encouraging a greater number to consider teaching a modern foreign language
  • to provide engagement between University students and the local community.


Over the last five years, we have seen the uptake of students studying a modern foreign language at GCSE double, or in some cases, triple, in participating schools. Schools have also reported that pupil’s aspirations and self-confidence have improved with the opportunity to discuss university life and the wider applications of language with mentors.

This year the project is working with 73 schools, but we’re always looking to grow and bring our love for languages to more pupils across Wales.

Feedback from teachers

“Languages are so much more than I thought, languages can fit in anything that we do."

"Thank you for the most inspiring workshop I have ever taken students to! They have been wooed and are grateful for the opportunities. Many many thanks.”

Feedback from mentees

“I absolutely loved the philosophy session we had. It’s so inspiring and positive to see ideas and discussions that don’t usually occur in day-to-day life being discussed in an interesting and respectful way, with new ideas being formed and old prejudices thrown away."

“I really enjoyed the fact that the sessions let me openly voice my opinion.”

Related projects

As a result of the success of this project a number of related programmes have been created, including:

  • Physics mentoring
  • Welsh Language mentoring
  • Language Horizons
  • Student Teaching module as part of Cardiff University final year Undergraduate programme via an international placement with the Castilla y Leon region of Spain.
  • Erasmus pedagogy module as part of Cardiff University Undergraduate programme

The Modern Foreign Language Student Mentoring Project is a partnership between Cardiff, Bangor, Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities and is a flagship model promoting partnerships across education levels to promote a common cause. It is funded by the Welsh Government under its Global Futures Strategy 2015-2020. The project team support strategic aim two which aspires to arrest and reverse the decline in uptake of modern foreign languages across Wales.

Find out more

For more information about the activity, please visit our website.

About the organiser

This activity is organised by MFL Student Mentoring Project. Contact Lucy Jenkins at or +44 (0)2920876630 for more details.

How to book

To find out more information, please contact

TicketThis activity is free

We come to you

We want to make it easy for you to work with us. Wherever possible we will bring this activity to your school or college.


  • TickKey stage three - ages 11-14, years 7-9
  • TickKey stage four - ages 14-16, years 10-11

Curriculum themes

  • TickLanguages, literacy and communication
  • TickWelsh

Activity type

  • TickMentoring
  • TickNetworking and membership
  • TickResidential experience
  • TickSupport from University student volunteers
  • TickWorkshop


  • TickCareers and employability
  • TickExtracurricular or independent learning
  • TickProfessional development (CPD) for teachers
  • TickPromoting higher education
  • TickSupporting curriculum themes
  • TickWidening university participation

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  • Aberystwyth University
  • Bangor University
  • Swansea University
  • Welsh Government