Routes into Languages Cymru is a collaborative outreach project that aims to increase the number of pupils choosing MFL by promoting the visibility, uptake and profile of modern languages in Wales.
Established in 2009, Routes Cymru joined the established network in England and became the 10th regional consortium of the Routes into Languages community. Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Routes Cymru was a partnership of all Universities in Wales with CILT Cymru, The National Centre for Languages in Wales. The project team was based in CILT Cymru and had a whole Wales remit.
We are now in our eighth year of delivery. Previously, the project was supported by the Welsh examination board, WJEC. However, during last academic session, WJEC made the decision that it could no longer host the network. The project has now devolved and operates from Cardiff and Bangor Universities. Additional financial support has been provided by Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University, two of the four Welsh regional education consortia: Central South Consortium (CSC) and Education Achievement Service (EAS) (South East Wales), plus the British Council Wales and the European Commission Wales. This funding will allow the project to operate for the next 12 – 18 months.
Our audience remains within the educational sector and we will continue to deliver a pupil-focussed, programme of activities. Within the next 12-18 months, Routes Cymru will deliver bespoke training for pupils, college and university students to become Language Ambassadors. Training will be offered at locations across Wales, working closely with the regional education consortia. After training, the ambassadors will be tasked with raising the profile of Modern Foreign Languages within local schools and the community. Student and College Language Ambassadors will support outreach events and offer a variety of activities including school careers talks, language taster sessions and support careers fairs/open days. Pupil Language Ambassadors will promote MFL within their school through, for example, school clubs and language themed events.
Additionally, the following events are scheduled for the forthcoming academic year:
- A level Master classes: These are a series of film and literature workshops for KS5 pupils and their teachers. The courses will be delivered by academic staff from Welsh Universities.
- Spelling Bee: One of our flagship events – a national Spelling Bee competition for year 7 pupils who study French, Spanish, German or Welsh as a 2nd language.
- Maths Bee: This is a pilot competition reinforcing numbers and timetables in Modern Languages. 12 schools from CSC and EAS consortia will participate in the pilot. This allows Routes Cymru to extend its reach to Primary schools (Key Stage 2); supporting the Welsh Governments Global Futures initiative of making Wales a Bilingual+1 nation.
- Lingo Map (formerly Adopt a Class): This award winning scheme has been revised and updated in order to reach a wider audience. This resource will be presented as an interactive map and have links to student blogs sharing their experiences on their third year abroad. Blogs will be relevant to the themes on the GCSE specification.