Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH SCHOOL HOSTS MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES CONFERENCE

Sedbergh School hosts a Modern Foreign Languages conference for teachers on 4th March, attracting a host of guest speakers including Lancaster University’s Professor Allyson Fiddler, Wendy Adeniji, Nick Mair, Rene Koglbauer, Liz Black, Florine Libermann and Francisca Garcia Ortega. 

These thought leaders will be presenting a range of pertinent issues including teaching literature and using authentic resources, new ideas for promoting the subject and ensuring excellent pupil progress, and ALL Connect for KS2/3.

Andrew Loughue, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Sedbergh School said: “We do hope that the programme will prove of interest to local MFL teachers, whether working in the state or independent sector.

There is tremendous value in meeting other MFL practitioners. We hope delegates will discover ways to improve performance in the classroom, keep abreast of developments in MFL, explore the range of publishers’ materials in the exhibition and of course enjoy a nice lunch.

We will have many publishers in attendance in our exhibition.  It is set to be an excellent conference.”

Professor Allyson Fiddler, Professor of German and Austrian Studies at Lancaster University said: “At times when the syllabus and format of examinations is changing and when rumours abound as to how ‘difficult’ modern foreign languages are, it’s so important to get together as language enthusiasts and teachers and celebrate the fun and skills of learning a language and absorbing knowledge of a foreign culture, history and society.  

At Lancaster University we’ve recently experienced a significant increase in the numbers of applicants for joint degree schemes that include a language.  

This is a sensible pathway if you ask me – Modern Foreign Linguists enjoy very high employability rates and take up a wide range of careers, so why would you not want to pursue language skills at whatever level you can and for as long as you can?

Our university has enjoyed a top 10 position for language graduate employability for nearly 10 years. What’s important is to motivate and to innovate.

This is where conferences such as the upcoming ATB8 at Sedbergh School can do vital work and provide an excellent forum for professional development and best practice sharing.  

I’m delighted to have been asked to give a presentation.  The brief was just to give an interesting and engaging talk, not necessarily to talk on a syllabus text or topic.

So we’re going to visit some unusual examples of Austrian protest culture in my talk. It’s not all Sound of Music you know!”  

For enquiries or to book a place on the conference, please email Andy Loughe on AJL@sedberghschool.org.

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