Outreach Event: Oxford Language Day in Bridgwater

On June 19th members of our Schools Liaison team ran an Oxford Language Day at Bridgwater and Taunton College in Somerset. At this event pupils from local schools met with University lecturers to learn about language study, receive taster sessions in French, German, and Spanish, and hear about life at the University of Oxford.

It was challenging, educational and fun, a really cool experience.

— Haygrove School student

The Language Day is part of the larger Outreach programme undertaken by the Faculty to engage with young people in regions that are historically under-represented at Oxford. We encourage talented students across Britain to follow the opportunities and careers opened up by a degree in languages — and we are happy to answer any practical questions.

Here is an account of the Language Day in Bridgwater, as shared by Haygrove School on their website — 14 Year 8 students from Haygrove attended the event:

There were three sessions throughout the day, with the first one addressing:

  • Why and how to study languages;
  • The role of languages in the world of work; 
  • All the transferable skills gained through language acquisition and how one can adapt them to other contexts.

For the second session the students were divided into groups and presented with authentic literary texts (French, Spanish, or German), which they then translated alongside Year 10 students from other schools.

Students from Haygrove School attending an Oxford Language Day

Students from Haygrove School attending the Oxford Language Day.

Later on in the day, the attendees received a lecture about verse and its relationship with architecture around the world. After lunch in the college cafeteria, the students unleashed their creative side to write their own versions of the French poet Apollinaire’s calligrammes – poems where the shape of the words on the page is an important part of the meaning.

Haygrove students did themselves and the school very proud, particularly, considering that they were the youngest there on the day. They came away enthused about studying languages, going to university, and the relevance of learning a modern language for whatever they might choose to do in future.

We are very glad to hear that the students enjoyed their visit, and we would like to thank everyone who worked hard to make the Oxford Language Day in Bridgwater a success. In particular, we are grateful to Irena Hubble-Brezowski from Bridgwater and Taunton College for co-ordinating the event.

Best of luck to all future linguists!

I enjoyed the college visit, experiencing new things and learning that translation can be fun!

— Haygrove School student

If you wish to learn more about our Outreach and Schools Liaison projects, please, see here: http://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/schools. Alternatively, follow @OxMML_Schools on Twitter for timely updates.

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