Tag Archives: Conference

Report on our 2023 Teachers’ Conference

On Friday 29th September, the MML Schools Liaison team welcomed 53 MFL teachers from across the independent (33) and state (20) sectors to St Anne’s College for the Faculty’s annual two-day Language Teachers’ Conference. Although numbers were slightly lower than last year, our geographical reach was just as wide, with teachers joining us from all the way from Maidstone to Belfast! The event was also just as lively thanks to a newly re-jigged conference programme and some very enthusiastic delegates, who included academics and staff from across the Faculty.

Building Bridges Roundtable: Schools and Universities Working Together

After a welcome lunch, the main event kicked off with an impassioned and wide-ranging round-table discussion about the challenges and opportunities that currently exist in the world of language learning and teaching. This set the scene well, allowing us to focus the rest of the afternoon on the more positive developments and accounts surrounding language study at Oxford. Through various sessions, we highlighted the success of our beginners’ languages courses, heard from Lindsay Johns – successful writer and broadcaster – about how his French and Italian degree at Oxford had bolstered his personal and professional life, and indulged in a taster lecture on Spanish Golden Age theatre from Prof. Jonathan Thacker, Chair of the Faculty. This was all followed by a drinks reception and formal dinner, offering delegates the chance to network informally and socialise together.

Keynote speaker, writer and broadcaster Lindsay Johns, discussing his experiences of studying Modern Languages at Oxford and how his degree and language learning have shaped his personal and professional life.

Saturday’s programme focused on the practical with our annual A-level Literature Circus and Admissions sessions, both designed to support MFL teaching practices and enhance teachers’ specialist knowledge. The former invites academics in French, German, and Spanish to discuss the ways in which an area of language teaching can be used as a starting point for literary analysis in a selection of texts on the A Level syllabus. The latter provides an introduction to the Oxford application process as well as a mock interview with a current undergraduate.

A mock interview between Prof. Helen Swift and current French & Linguistics student, Amelie, for our Admissions 101 session.
Led by Dr Charlotte Ryland, our closing session “In the spotlight: Oxford outreach for Key Stage 3 learners” provided an insight into outreach projects occurring across the university which are supporting KS3 MFL
pupils.

The conference closed, very appropriately, with a presentation from Dr Charlotte Ryland which highlighted the exciting MFL outreach work that is currently occurring across Oxford for Key Stage 3 language learners; from the Queen’s Translation Exchange, to the Oxford German Network, to our very own schools liaison work here in the Faculty.

The feedback we have received about the conference organisation and content has been overwhelmingly positive. So far, 100% of respondents to our feedback form would recommend the conference to a colleague. One teacher from a non-selective state school in Hounslow commented:

I really enjoyed the conference – the programme was excellent and will provide invaluable material and ideas for lesson planning and promoting languages at school.

We are looking forward to acquiring more feedback over the coming weeks and collating any suggestions for next year’s event.

If you’re an MFL teacher who would be interested in attending next year’s conference, please send Nicola an email at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk to be added to our mailing list.

2023 Teachers’ Conference – Places Still Available

MFL Teachers – there’s still time to sign up for our Language Teachers’ Conference!

This year’s Conference will be held at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th September and will welcome teachers from across the country for an exciting couple of days involving roundtable discussions, learning on all sides, and networking opportunities!

Since our last post about the Conference, we have been liaising with speakers from within and outside of the University and firming up the event programme, the updated version of which can be found here.

We are delighted to welcome Lindsay Johns, writer and broadcaster (and Oxford MML alumnus), who will be joining us as our keynote speaker to talk about his experiences of studying languages at Oxford and how language learning has shaped his personal and professional life. Likewise, we look forward to an exciting taster lecture from Prof. Jonathan Thacker, King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies, as well as hearing from a range of wonderful academics from the Faculty across the two-day event.

Online bookings are still open until Wednesday 13th September, and can be found here.

Photo taken at last year’s Conference, during our fascinating keynote speech from Major-General John Moore-Bick

Please don’t hesitate to contact Nicola at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with any questions. We look forward to meeting you at the end of the month!

Oxford language Teachers’ Conference 2023

We’re delighted to announce that the 2023 Oxford Language Teachers’ Conference will be held on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September at St Anne’s College. We very much look forward to once again welcoming teachers to Oxford!

2023 Programme

We are pleased to be holding the conference at St Anne’s College once again this year. St Anne’s was established in 1879 as a hall for women, who were barred from the university at the time, and throughout its history has retained its original aim of allowing students of any financial background to study at Oxford. Today, St Anne’s marries modern architecture with a proud emphasis on inclusivity and academic excellence.

This year, we have altered the programme slightly in order to focus in on the ever-growing issues facing the teaching and learning of languages, and to dedicate more time to the ways in which we might overcome these challenges. For instance, after a welcome lunch on the Friday afternoon, we will hold our annual ‘Building Bridges’ session which involves a roundtable discussion with a panel of academics, students and teachers, as well as contributions from the floor. This will focus on a slate of issues of current interest and concern within language learning from Key Stage 3 to degree level. We would be delighted to hear your views on this topic and look forward to bettering our understanding of collaborative approaches to improving language learning at all stages.

Other highlights of this year’s programme include spotlights on the increasing accessibility of beginners’ languages degrees at university, the wonderful and varied career opportunities experienced by languages graduates, and the exciting new and existing languages-focused outreach projects currently occurring across Oxford. We will also be treated to a taster lecture from an academic in the Faculty – a hard act to follow after Prof. Helen Swift’s entertaining lecture on Medieval French last year – before we enjoy a drinks reception and sit down for dinner. This will all be followed by a chance to socialise and network with fellow MFL Teachers and colleagues from the Faculty in the College bar!

The full provisional programme can be found here.

Delegate rates and booking

Please find the various conference rates in the table below.

State school rateIndependent school rate
Full conference, including accommodation and breakfast£180£280
Full conference, excluding accommodation£110£200
Friday only£80£120
Saturday only£50£90

Please visit our online booking webpage to book your place. You will need to create an account (or log in if you’ve used our website before) and select the right rate for your school type and length of attendance. Please note that bookings will close on Wednesday 13th September.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Nicola at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

MFL Teachers’ Conference

We’re over the moon to be holding our Modern Languages Teachers’ Conference in person for the first time in two yearsMFL Teachers, book your place now!

After two years of online conferences, we’re delighted to be hosting our annual Modern Languages Teachers’ Conference on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Learn more about the Sir Robert Taylor Society here

To provide some context, our annual teachers’ conference is run by the Sir Robert Taylor Society (named after the founder of our Languages Library), which is a network of teachers of Modern Foreign Languages in secondary schools, academics from the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, and others interested in MFL.

This conference is the heart of the Society’s activity, and provides a unique forum for interaction and exchange between the University and teachers. We offer teachers the chance to spend a night in an Oxford college, to attend various taster lectures, and to ask our academics and admissions team questions about supporting students’ applications to Oxford.

2022 Programme

Alongside a drinks reception and delicious dinner at St Anne’s, highlights of our Friday evening programme this year include:

  • a spotlight on an exciting new outreach initiative to develop a Linguistics component in A Level Modern Languages curricula;
  • a lecture from Professor of Medieval French Studies and Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Professor Helen Swift;
  • a talk from our keynote speaker (to be announced) about the ways in which languages have positively affected their career and life more generally.

On the Saturday, we will open with a literary session on ‘The Language of the Text’, where scholars in French, German, Spanish, and Russian will discuss the ways in which an area of language teaching can be used as a starting point for textual analysis in a selection of texts on the A Level syllabus.

After a coffee break, we will hold our annual ‘Building Bridges’ session which involves a roundtable discussion with a panel of academics, students and teachers, as well as contributions from the floor. This year’s theme is ‘Schools and Universities Working Together’, which will focus on a slate of issues of current interest and concern within language learning from Key Stage 3 to degree level.

Before lunch, we will close the conference with an admissions session which will include information about our new academic programme – Opportunity Oxford – and a mock interview with a current student, and finish with a Q&A discussion about applying for and studying Modern Languages at Oxford, including picking up languages from scratch and studying languages in combination with other subjects. 

Delegate rates and booking

You can view the various rates available for both state and independent school teachers, as well as book your place on our online booking webpage. You will need to create an account (or log in if you’ve used our website before) and select the right rate for your school type and length of attendance.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Nicola at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Modern Languages Teachers’ Conference 2021: All Welcome!

SRTS Teachers' Conference, offline version
The SRTS Teachers’ Conference, pre-pandemic version

We’re delighted to announce that our Oxford University Modern Languages Teachers’ Network, the Sir Robert Taylor Society, is holding its annual conference this year on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 September. If you’re UK modern languages teacher, or have an interest in modern languages teaching at school and university in the UK, you’re warmly invited to attend. Due to Covid, the conference will once again be online this year, with two evenings of roundtable talks and guest speakers.

On Thursday 23 September, from 19:30-21:00 on Microsoft Teams, the theme will be Modern Languages and Careers.

We’ll be talking about, among other things:

  • Career paths of modern languages graduates
  • Employability and demand for modern language skills in the workplace
  • Transferable skills from modern language study
  • STEM pressure and the value of humanities subjects

On Friday 24 September, again from 19:30-21:00, the theme will be Modern Languages and Diversity.

We’ll be talking about, among other things:

  • Revisiting the canon: diversifying and decolonizing the curriculum in language, literature and film
  • Race, gender and sexuality as topics of study in language, literature and film courses
  • Racism, homophobia and other prejudice in literary texts and film
  • Diversity in the student body: widening participation in modern language courses

If you’d like to attend either or both events, please email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk, and we’ll send you the link to join.

During the events, participation from delegates through the chat and live discussion will be warmly welcome. If you’d like a seat at the Round Table to talk more substantially about either of these topics in secondary or higher education, please let us know, and we’ll be very pleased to accommodate you.