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2024 Oxford Language Teachers’ Conference

We are delighted to share details about this year’s Language Teachers’ Conference which will take place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September 2024 at Somerville College, Oxford.

Somerville College
Credit: ©OUImages/John Cairns Photography

Our annual conference has developed out of the Sir Robert Taylor Society (named after the founder of the Faculty’s Languages Library), 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 now a core aspect of the Faculty’s Schools Liaison work, and provides a unique forum for interaction and exchange between the University and teachers. It offers teachers the chance to spend a night in an Oxford college, to attend various taster lectures and discussions, and to ask our academics and admissions tutors questions about our courses, research, and supporting students’ applications to Oxford.

Photo from the roundtable discussion at our 2023 Language Teachers’ Conference

2024 Programme

We are pleased to be holding the conference at Somerville College once again after a couple of wonderful years at St Anne’s. Somerville was established in 1879 as a hall for women, who were barred from the university at the time, and throughout its history it has remained committed to equality. Today, Somerville marries beautiful architecture with a proud emphasis on inclusivity and diversity.

The full provisional event programme can be found here and more information about the conference is available here.

A particular highlight of this year’s programme is scheduled for Saturday morning when delegates will experience an example of the creative translation workshops offered to schools by The Queen’s College Translation Exchange. The workshops are designed to make translation accessible and creative for school pupils by using the Stephen Spender Trust’s ‘Decode – Translate – Create’ method.  

Dr Charlotte Ryland talking about the language outreach and advocacy work carried out by The Queen’s Translation Exchange and the Stephen Spender Trust at the 2023 Language Teachers’ Conference.

Delegate rates and booking

Below are the various rates and ticket options available for both state and independent school teachers.

State school rateIndependent school rate
Full conference, including accommodation and breakfast£150£300
Full conference, excluding accommodation£100£200
Friday only£50£100
Saturday only£50£100

Please visit our online bookings webpage to secure 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. Bookings will close on 13th September.

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

We look forward to seeing you in September!

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’ Mailing List Prize Draw

MFL Teachers! There’s still time to sign up to our mailing list for a chance to win £100 worth of vouchers for your school!

Here in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, one of our goals this year is to improve our reach and develop links with more MFL teachers and schools across the country. We would love for more teachers and pupils to get involved in the MFL activities and events we run throughout the school year, in the hope of encouraging more and more pupils to continue with their language learning to GCSE and beyond.

Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

With this aim in mind, we have decided to run a prize draw for new sign ups to our mailing list! All new contacts will be automatically entered into our prize draw for new sign ups, which offers the chance to win £100 worth of vouchers for their MFL department. The form for new sign ups can be found here.

In addition, if you refer an MFL colleague to our mailing list, you will be automatically entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw, also for £100 worth of vouchers for your department! Your colleague(s) just needs to mention your name and school while signing up, and we will take care of the rest. Therefore, we would be very grateful if you could also spread the word far and wide to your colleagues, teacher friends, and networks! (Do make sure to remind colleagues to include your details when signing up so you can be entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw.)

A few extra details: Multiple MFL Teachers from the same school can sign up as new contacts or recommend colleagues (in order to be entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw), to increase a school’s chance of winning. Please note, however, that the same school cannot win both prize draws. In the unlikely case that teachers from the same school are selected for both prizes, the second prize will be redrawn.

The deadline to enter the prize draw is 10am on Tuesday 20th September. We will be announcing the winners of both draws at our annual MFL Teachers’ Conference, taking place on 23-24 September. Winners will be notified via email the week commencing 26 September.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to welcoming lots of you to our ever-growing network of wonderful MFL teachers!

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!

Prize Draw for MFL Teachers’ Mailing List

Calling all MFL Teachers – join our mailing list for a chance to win £100 worth of vouchers for your school!

One of our goals in the Faculty over the summer is to expand our MFL Teachers’ mailing list in order to improve our reach and develop links with more MFL Teachers and schools across the country. We would love for more teachers and pupils to get involved in the MFL activities and events we run here at Oxford, in the hope of encouraging more and more pupils to continue with their language learning to GCSE and beyond.

With this aim in mind, we have decided to run a prize draw for new sign ups to our mailing list! If you are an MFL Teacher who is not currently a member of our mailing list, you can sign up via our online form here. All new contacts will be automatically entered into our prize draw, which offers the chance to win £100 worth of vouchers for your MFL department.

If you are already a member of our mailing list, worry not! The great news is that, if you refer an MFL colleague to our mailing list, you will be automatically entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw, also for £100 worth of vouchers for your department! They just need to mention your name and school while signing up, and we will take care of the rest.

Sign up here to join our MFL Teachers’ network!
(Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash)

Whether you’re new to our mailing list or a long-time member, we would be very grateful if you could spread the word far and wide to your colleagues, teacher friends, and networks! Do make sure to remind colleagues to include your details when signing up so you can be entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw, as mentioned above.

Please note: multiple MFL Teachers from the same school can sign up as new contacts or recommend colleagues (in order to be entered into our ‘referrers’ prize draw), to increase a school’s chance of winning. The same school cannot win both prize draws, however. In the unlikely case that teachers from the same school are selected for both prizes, the second prize will be redrawn.

The deadline to enter the prize draw is 10am on Tuesday 20th September. We will be announcing the winners of both draws at our annual MFL Teachers’ Conference, taking place on 23-24 September. Winners will be notified via email the week commencing 26 September.

We look forward to welcoming you to our network of MFL Teachers!

MFL Teachers – we need you!

Here at Oxford, the Modern Languages Schools Liaison Team are looking to expand our teachers’ mailing list so that we can connect with and reach out to more schools across the UK.

We use our mailing list to send round semi-regular newsletters about upcoming events, outreach activities and opportunities for schools, such as Open Days, Study Days and one-off workshops. These are all related to Modern Languages and designed to promote the study of languages in schools so don’t worry, you will never be spammed with irrelevant content.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

If you’re an MFL teacher, we would love for you to join our mailing list so we can keep you up-to-date with all the wonderful languages-related events and activities occurring at Oxford! If you’re already part of our mailing list, please do let you teacher friends and colleagues know about the list and how to sign up.

Signing up is really easy – all you need to do is email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk. We’ve even drafted an email template for you to use to speed up the process:

Dear Schools Liaison Team,

My name is [insert name here] and I am an MFL Teacher at [insert school name here]. I would like to join your teachers’ mailing list and formally give my consent for you to hold my data for the purposes outlined below.

GDPR compliance statement: We are working to comply with the terms of the General Data Protection Regulations, and as such we want to ensure that you are aware of the ways in which we will be using/holding your data. We will hold the details you have provided to us (name, e-mail address, school name) in a secure environment, and will use them to send information by e-mail related to Modern Languages Schools Liaison at the University of Oxford. We will not pass these details on to external companies or individuals. We will hold the data until such time as you may ask to be removed from the lists – you may unsubscribe at any time and if/when you do so all the data you have provided will be deleted from our system.

Many thanks and best wishes,
[Insert name here]

*****

We look forward to welcoming you and your colleagues to our ever-growing network of MFL teachers!