Here at The Siren we’ve got a good track record when it comes to supporting Modern Foreign Languages- campaigning against cuts to the department back in 2010/2011. So we’re pleased to hear that Swansea University’s Department of Languages, Translation and Media is opening its doors to pupils, teachers and careers advisors from local secondary schools to highlight the varied opportunities to study Modern Languages at university and how they can put their new skills to use after graduation.

An ‘Opening Doors’ conference is being held on January 25th, where pupils will attend lectures and seminars and also have the opportunity to work in the university’s language laboratories. During the day they will hear key messages about the necessity of developing foreign language skills which will be reinforced by these activities.

Business representative Scott Evans will be delivering the opening address and explain how an understanding of language can enhance pupils’ career prospects. He will speak of his own experiences and give examples of real jobs, available locally, that require foreign language skills.

To close the event, delegates will hear from Swansea University undergraduates who have recently returned from their year abroad in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Students will share their stories and highlight the transferable skills they have acquired from working or studying abroad.

Julian Preece, Professor of German in the University’s Department of Languages, Translation and Media said, “This conference for GCSE and A level pupils is one of a number of ways that Swansea University is working with local teachers to boost interest and performance in modern foreign languages.

“As a bilingual nation Wales should be uniquely placed in the UK to produce young people capable of communicating with our nearest European neighbours in their own tongue, but sadly other pressures on school curricula mean that we do not make the most of this natural advantage. On 25 January, the fightback begins!”

Swansea students protesting back in 2011 against cuts to the Modern Languages Department.