Virtual Book Club
Our virtual book club launched in January 2018. Click here to see a playlist of the 2018 episodes, and here for the 2019 playlist. If you would like to sign up or receive more information or a copy of the texts, both in the original language and in an English translation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Episode 1: Russian. An extract from Boris Pilnyak’s Goly god (The Naked Year)
- Episode 2: French. An extract from Suzanne Dracius’s La Virago
- Episode 3: Italian. A poem by Patrizia Cavalli, ‘Se io ora bussassi alla tua porta’
- Episode 4: Portuguese. A poem by Maria Manuela Margarido, ‘Paisagem’
- Episode 5: German. Franz Kafka’s short story ‘Der Kaufmann’
- Episode 1: Spanish. An extract from Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin venganza (Punishment without Revenge)
- Episode 2: Italian. An extract from Italo Calvino’s Le Città invisibili (Invisible Cities)
- Episode 3: French. An extract from Rachid Boudjedra’s Topographie idéale pour une agression caractérisée (Ideal topography for an aggravated assault)
- Episode 4: German. An extract from E.T.A Hoffmann’s ‘Der Sandmann’ (‘The Sandman’)
We run an annual masterclass in literary skills for sixth-formers who are studying French, German, or Spanish in local state schools. However, if you are not based in Oxfordshire and would still be interested in some of the content of this masterclass, you might like to view our recorded introductions to some key literary features. These introductions give an overview of the skills covered during the masterclass.
What’s it like to study Languages at Oxford?
We’ve grouped together a collection of videos that explore Medieval and Modern Languages at Oxford, covering topics like an introduction to the subject and joint degrees with Modern Languages, the Oxford tutorial, and the admissions process, including the interview. Check them out here.
In January 2018, the Medieval and Modern Languages team had the pleasure of meeting a group of Year 9 students from several schools across Oxfordshire for an afternoon of languages workshops. At the end of the afternoon, Dr Simon Kemp, who teaches French at Somerville College, gave us an overview of Modern Languages at university. If you are considering languages as an option at degree level, take a look below at Simon’s presentation…
Les Liaisons dangereuses Podcast
Choderlos de Laclos’s eighteenth-century epistolary novel, Les Liaisons dangereuses, has been intriguing audiences since 1782, and has been adapted into different media many times. It is also one of the core texts studied by students of French in their first year of an Oxford degree. In this podcast series, Prof. Catriona Seth, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at All Souls College, and Catriona Oliphant, founder of Chrome Radio, delve into the text, covering topics like: an introduction to the novel; a discussion about the art of deception (in French); an interview with Christopher Hampton, writer of the celebrated stage version of the novel and the famous film adaptation starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich; a contemporary take on the novel, including interviews with Philippa Stockley, who wrote a modern sequel to the novel, and Marc Olivier, who wrote a version for Twitter; and a conversation about how the novel has been taken up by other cultures beyond France.
Creative Multilingualism Resources
The Creative Multilingualism programme creates resources that emphasise the role of creativity in language learning. Teachers may find the links below of interest when planning creative lessons:
- We are Children of the World — most suitable for Key Stage 2. Creative Multilingualism commissioned a choral piece by composer Lin Marsh, in order to showcase the many diverse languages spoken in UK schools. The piece features folk songs in seven different languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Swahili and Urdu. Here are all the resources you need to teach the song, including musical score, backing track and Powerpoint guides to learning the piece, which teach you each section of the song line-by-line. You’re free to use and perform the song – all they ask is that you let them know when you do use it by emailing.
- The Multilingual Performance Project aims to build confidence among MFL teachers in conducting creative work in school, increasing awareness of the creative dimension of languages, and generating enthusiasm for language learning. You can find out more about the project here or download a starter pack here.
- A collaboration with the Oxford Playhouse led to a workshop on multilingual drama activities. You can watch videos of these activities here. These simple drama exercises can easily be adapted for reinforcing vocabulary or encouraging listening skills. They are most suitable for Key Stage 3 but are quite flexible.
Babel: Adventures in Translation. In collaboration with the Bodleian Library, Creative Multilingualism put together an exhibition that shows the fundamental role of translation in shaping history and culture. A teacher’s guide suggests questions and activities connected to some of the items exhibited, which you may wish to use in the classroom. There are also worksheets exploring three of the themes in the exhibition: translating Cinderella; translating fables; and translating nonsense.
Teaching guides for creating short films in any language. Teaching guides and resources (available in 4 different languages) help to support teachers and students to make short films in any language, using free and easily accessible equipment. The guides include information on how to script, shoot, edit and subtitle a film.
Creative poetry exercises for schools. The exercises explored in these videos aim to help inspire and encourage creative poetry writing in schools. They work particularly well in multicultural schools where pupils speak many different languages and help to demonstrate how languages can be used as a tool for creativity.