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Pan-Wales language network secured by Welsh university partners

12 October 2016


A collaborative outreach project that aims to increase the number of pupils choosing modern foreign languages has been secured by Cardiff and Bangor universities.

Routes into Languages Cymru promotes the visibility, uptake and profile of modern foreign languages in Wales.

Previously, the project was supported by the Welsh examination board, WJEC.  However, during the last academic session, WJEC made the decision that it could no longer host the network.

To ensure the future of Routes into Languages Cymru, Cardiff and Bangor universities have agreed to co-host the project, sharing administrative management for 12 – 18 months. Further financial support has been provided by Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University, two of the four Welsh education consortia: Central South Consortium and Education Achievement Service (South East Wales), plus the British Council Wales and the European Commission Wales.

Cardiff and Bangor universities will act as north and south hubs and will run the project collaboratively. Two Project Co-ordinators have been appointed, with one based in Cardiff University’s School of Modern Languages and one based in Bangor University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures; ensuring the continuation of the project vision and values.

The continued funding of Routes into Languages Cymru is positive news for students in Wales at a time when there has been a ‘serious decline’ in the take up of modern foreign languages.

Professor Claire Gorrara, Academic Lead for Routes into Languages Cymru, said: “We are very excited to embark on the next phase of Routes into Languages Cymru; the reconfiguration of governance does not change our mission. We will develop a plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network, connecting with our stakeholders throughout.

“Pupils around Wales have interacted with our activities with enthusiasm and passion to date and we look forward to promoting modern foreign languages with a new cohort of school pupils who we begin to work with this month via our Student Language Ambassador training.”

Between 2015 and 2016, Routes into Languages Cymru engaged with more than 8,000 young pupils across Wales. The network delivers a vibrant, pupil focussed, programme of activities all designed to encourage students to pursue languages as they progress through education and to consider studying abroad. The network’s flagship activities include:

  • A Spelling Bee competition for year 7 pupils.
  • Student language ambassador training to raise the profile of modern foreign languages, within schools and offer career development for undergraduate students.
  • Pupil Language Ambassador Scheme which promotes languages in primary, secondary and further education.
  • Regular Master Classes in language film and literature workshops.

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