Language Futures is an exciting initiative for creative language departments interested in developing languages beyond the classroom. It is not designed to ‘teach’ a language, but to equip students with the skills to develop as independent learners supported by school, home and a language proficient mentor from the community.
Students choose the language they wish to learn and receive personalised support from language proficient mentors who are volunteers with an in-depth knowledge and fluency in a particular language, recruited to provide good models of the language and advise students on specific language queries and learning tasks either as part of the curriculum or during an after school club. Mentors are an integral part of the Language Futures approach – both teachers and pupils speak about the difference they make and the impact they have on learning.
Rachel Hawkes, Director of International Education and Research at Comberton Academy Trust, one of the teachers involved in the initiative said: ‘‘Language Futures mentors I have met are motivated to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Some are parents who value the opportunity to get to know their own child’s school. Others are considering teacher or teaching assistant as a possible career option and see this as valuable professional experience. All love the language they know and have a passion for sharing the language and its culture with a future generation of speakers.’’
We are now looking for mentors in the Cambridgeshire area to deliver the following languages:
Afrikaans, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Welsh.
Schools currently recruiting mentors include: Cambourne Village College, Comberton Village College, Linton Village College, Melbourne Village College, Sawtry Village Academy and Swavesey Village College.
For further information on becoming a Language Futures mentor, email the Language Futures Project Manager Clodagh Cooney