Churchfields Academy, Writhlington and Oldfield schools recently brought over thirty Year 9 students up to campus for a Languages Taster Day. This is the second language-focused day which the Widening Participation team has run this academic year.

The day began with a welcome and ‘Why languages talk’ closely followed by a session where the students got to interview our current languages students before they went on a campus tour with some of the Student Ambassadors, the majority of whom are studying languages themselves or spoke more than one language.

After lunch, the attendees could choose to take part in two taster sessions from Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, German or Italian. Ghislaine Dell delivered a Careers talk and the day finished with an intercultural quiz with prizes, much to the delight of the students.

Feedback from the evaluation session was very positive with the teachers rating all sessions highly and confirming that the content of the day was pitched at the right level for a Year 9 student as illustrated by this quote from one of the teachers.

“Today was absolutely brilliant and we all loved it. The programme was very interesting. This was a great experience which definitely increased our students’ awareness of the importance of studying a foreign language. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We will definitely come back again!” Ela Mazur, Churchfields Academy

The students clearly enjoyed the day as you can see from their feedback:

“I really enjoyed the day at Bath University because we were able to see what it would be like to study at university. And a bonus was that we could have two taster sessions of a chosen language. If it wasn’t for the trip I might have never have spoken Arabic.” (Arthur)

“I thought that the trip was fun but it was also educational. The day helped me consider what I want to take at university. The campus is beautiful and everyone was nice and helpful. The interview with the Ambassadors gave us an insight into life at university.” (Daniela)

“The day at Bath University was fun but it also gave us an opportunity to see that university is an amazing place to be. The language sessions were very good and we found out lots of interesting facts from the Ambassadors.” (Maria)

Commenting upon the day Agnes Mason, WP Outreach Officer with a specific focus on languages, said: "As a linguist, it is very encouraging to see these students exposed to the benefits of studying languages early on in their studies. At this age, they don’t appreciate why they should study a languages degree let alone the sorts of careers they could pursue so it’s great to have this opportunity. They especially enjoyed talking to our languages undergraduates. Given that fewer students than ever are taking languages if we manage to persuade three of these students to study foreign languages then this day would be a success in my opinion".