National correspondent gives talk about languages

Issue date: 01 September 2005

National correspondent talks to local sixth formers about languages
More than 300 upper sixth form students from local and regional schools will enjoy an audience with leading foreign correspondent, Jon Sopel, at the ninth annual ‘Languages Open Day’ at the University of the West of England on Friday 9 September 2005.
Jon Sopel, the former French Correspondent for BBC News and the new presenter of the ‘Daily Politics’ show, will give a talk entitled ‘The Importance of Languages – a personal perspective.’
The day is designed to give students the opportunity to hear lectures on a range of topics relevant to current A-level syllabi and to gain an insight into degree-level language learning and teaching. Lectures in French, German, Spanish and Linguistics will be given by the University’s teaching staff and by representatives from the Spanish and German Embassies.
Dr Nicholas Startin, Senior Lecturer in French and European Studies said, 'What's good about the languages day from a student perspective is not only that sixth formers from the region get a flavour of what it's like to study languages at University but also that they get a chance to hear speakers from the German and Spanish Embassies as well as a high profile guest speaker like the BBC's Jon Sopel talking about his experience of learning languages and highlighting how important a knowledge of French, for example, has been for career.

“At a moment when the media is constantly reminding us that not enough of our young people in schools are studying languages in schools, we are trying to send out the message that learning a language at university is not just a rewarding experience but that it can genuinely unlock doors that would otherwise remain shut, be it in terms of the workplace, of meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.”

For members of the public who feel inspired to learn a language, the Faculty also currently offers 11 languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese (Mandarin), English as a Foreign Language (EFL and Cambridge), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish which can be studied at part-time at different levels. Classes start in the week beginning 3 October 2005.
Full details of the ILP classes including fees; timetable, how to apply and enrol, and methods of payment can be found on the ILP website:

Alternatively, any queries can be sent by e-mail to

Editors notes:
The Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences at UWE has an ‘excellent’ rating in the Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA) carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE.).

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