Working with schools

ClassroomWe are involved in a range of events and activities, both to inspire students to pursue language degrees at university and to work with schools and colleges in encouraging students to continue languages to A Level (or equivalent).

We want to promote the value of language study in its own right, as well as open up the broader horizons of opportunities and careers opened up by a degree in languages.

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Faculty Open Days

For full details of our four annual open days (late Spring, July, September), aimed at informing prospective applicants about the courses we offer and the admissions process, see our Open Days page. Most students attending are in Year 12, but we welcome equally students from Year 11 who are finalising their sixth-form subject choices and looking ahead to higher study, as well as all others with an interest in applying (e.g. post-qualification, mature students).

Summer schools

UNIQ logoWe’re delighted to offer four subject strands as part of the University’s UNIQ Summer Schools: free summer schools for state school students in Year 12. Students spend a week on an academic course in French, German, Spanish, or Beginner languages, working with Faculty tutors, living in College accommodation, and mentored by current students.

Competitions

The Faculty is keen to spark the imagination of students wanting to develop their engagement with foreign culture and media. For example, the annual French Film Essay Competition invites budding cinema enthusiasts to re-write the ending of a French film, and the NEW Spanish Flash Fiction Competition invites aspiring young writers to write a story in no more than 100 words. Click here for details of this year’s competitions; find a report of last year’s French film competition here. See the Oxford German Network’s website for details of their annual Olympiad: www.ogn.ox.ac.uk.

Annual MFL teachers’ conference

The Faculty works together with MFL teachers in secondary schools and colleges through the Sir Robert Taylor Society. The Society organises an annual two-day conference in late September; a range of subject-specific academic talks by Faculty tutors enables teachers to develop knowledge of new research in their field, enriching and refreshing advanced study of modern languages as a form of continuing professional development.

A combination of talks and discussion sessions offers the latest updates on admissions procedures and insights into pedagogical approaches to the teaching and learning of language and literature at Oxford.

Full details, including this year’s conference programme and a booking form, are available on the Society’s website.

Networks with local schools

We’re very pleased to work together with students and teachers in Oxfordshire schools and colleges. MFL leads at each of seven state schools in the city enjoy affiliation with the Faculty through the Sir Robert Taylor Circle.

Modern Languages students volunteer in local schools, offering conversation classes to enrich GCSE students’ learning and bring a sense of the wealth of opportunities that further study of languages can open up. Students can also volunteer via the Languages Plus programme run by the Oxford Hub, the University-wide student volunteering and social action scheme.

Oxford German Network

The Oxford German Network is an initiative established by the sub-faculty of German in 2012, in cooperation with Jesus College, Magdalen College School and BMW. The network will develop a focus for personal collaboration between the University of Oxford, local schools, and companies that have commercial links with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Our purpose is to foster an appreciation of German language, linguistics, literature and culture in all their rich diversity and historical depth, exploiting local resources for mutual benefit while encouraging cooperation across age groups and sectors.

Our website will be launched European Day of Languages 2012 and will have sections for learners of all ages, for teachers, and for all those interested in German-language culture. The network will also run regular national competitions for learners of German and an annual workshop for teachers and learners of German in the Oxford area.

Prof Katrin Kohl, Director (katrin.kohl@jesus.ox.ac.uk)
Dr Charlotte Ryland, Coordinator (cryland@mcsoxford.org)

French Outreach Blog

Adventures on the Bookshelf is a collaborative blog run by the staff and students of the sub-faculty of French. It is aimed at pupils and teachers of French in Years 11 to 13, and anyone with an interest in French language and culture who may be considering applying to study them at Oxford. The blog combines lively posts about French language, literature and culture, insights into student life, and reviews and recommendations for French books, films, apps and websites, along with information for prospective applicants about how the Oxford admissions process works from UCAS form to interview, and what you can do to prepare for it.

Resources: podcasts and videos of current students and tutors

What’s it actually like studying modern languages here? Read the Prospective students page and watch what currents students have to say.

What’s a tutorial like? Click here for a video of a French tutorial.

Listen to lectures, interviews and discussions by current tutors across a range of subjects.

Watch a tutor’s eye-view of the admissions process for modern languages.

Contact us

For general queries relating to Open Days or admissions, or any other enquiry, contact office@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

If you are a teacher wanting to learn more about the teachers’ conference or local schools network, please get in touch with Sara Smalley on schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Useful links

For information about the University’s programme of schools liaison events for students and teachers, click here.

External websites offering helpful information and language learning resources:

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