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Pan Wales Language network appoints new director

17 November 2022

Nazaret Perez-Nieto has been appointed as the new Academic Director for the collaborative outreach project, Routes into Languages Cymru.

Nazaret began her three-year tenure in October 2022 and takes over from her School of Modern Languages colleague, Dr Liz Wren-Owens, who held the position from 2019.

Routes into Languages Cymru aims to increase and promote the visibility, uptake and profile of modern languages in Wales.

Nazaret will provide strategic leadership for Routes into Languages Cymru, ensuring that Welsh and UK language policy makers are connected with networks of stakeholders. She will support the work of the two Project Co-ordinators in Cardiff and Bangor Universities, act as an ambassador of the network and represent the network in appropriate committees and forums.

Nazaret, who has worked at the School of Modern Languages since 2015, described what attracted her to the role of Academic Director, “With the number of students taking up languages declining, the impact of Brexit and the launch of the new curriculum in Wales, it is now more crucial than ever to support the uptake and visibility of international languages in schools across Wales.

“Having taken part in many of the activities Routes Cymru delivers over the years, I have been able to witness the real impact they have on young learners, spreading the love and enthusiasm for language learning as well as highlighting the opportunities languages can bring. This is truly inspiring and will definitely assist me in shaping and leading its academic strategy.”

Nazaret is keen to build upon the wide range of enriching and successful activities the project delivers, which include the Language Ambassador schemes, A Level Masterclasses and the Spelling Bee and Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition.

To align with the introduction of International Languages from progression step 2 in the primary sector as part of the New Curriculum for Wales, Routes Cymru will be piloting a primary ‘International Languages Superheroes’ ambassador scheme for primary from 2023.  These ambassadors will be the voice of International Languages in their school and will champion the benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism.

Another key goal for Nazaret will be to support primary teachers navigating the introduction of the New Curriculum for Wales in schools, seeking to promote and expand Routes Cymru’s free language toolkit.

“We will be launching the toolkit officially in 2023 and will invite primary teachers to join us for this marked event. We will be also working to provide more opportunities to engage in CPD activities and conversations with school language practitioners across Wales.”

Nazaret will continue to work in her role as Assessment and Feedback Lead for the School and Year 2 Language Coordinator for Spanish Language modules at undergraduate level.

Further information on the work of Routes into Languages Cymru can be found on their website.

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