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Horizons of the mind


The Association for Language Learning's West of England branch conference, entitled ALL change: making the most of the new MFL curriculum, takes place at Cotham School, Bristol, November 18. Key speaker: Steven Fawkes, ALL president and education officer at BBC Education. Workshops include: variety in the languages classroom; target setting; the Nuffield Languages Inquiry: current developments; making the most of KS3 schemes of work; integrating new technologies. Fee: pound;50, pound;35 members. There is also an Austrian day for teachers being held at the Austrian Cultural Institute, London on December 2, members free. ALL, 150 Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HN, tel: 01788 546443;;

Teachers of A-level and GCSE are invited to a free teachers' day devoted to Russian and East European Studies at Birmingham University, December 2. Lecturers from The Centre for Russian and East European Studies and the Department of Russian will teach aspects of Russian history, politics, literature, society and culture and advise on how to find source material. A small charge will be made for refreshments, if booked. Dr Steve Webber, tel: 0121 414 6357;; or CREES, Birmingham University, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT.

"Motivation for all! Languages for life!" is the theme of the next Language World conference and exhibition taking place at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, April 6-8, 2001. Subject areas include: new GCSE specifications; classroom practice; teaching the full range; technologies; European Year of Languages; international dimensions; professional creativity; developing learners' skills; and information and communications technology workshops. Exhibition entry is free. ALL, as above.

Whether you wish to spend 2-4 weeks in Florence learning Italian or to immerse yourself in Italian culture for an entire year, The British Institute of Florence has the course for you. Watercolour painting, history of art, opera, Dante and cooking are also on offer. During the stifling hot month of August, the short courses move to the medieval hill town of Massa Marittima, close to the Tuscan coast. New this year are accredited courses for pre-university and university students in association with Bristol University. Prices start at pound;285 for a two-week Italian language course. Accommodation can be arranged in Italian host families from pound;12 a day and hotels from pound;24 a day. British Institute of Florence, Language Centre, Palazzo Strozzino, Piazza Strozzi, 2, 1-50123 Firenze, Italy, tel: 00 39 055 2677 8200; e-mail:;


Germany's biggest language fair, EXPOLINGUA Berlin 2000, takes place, November 17-19. More than 100 exhibitors from over 30 countries are represented and visitors can learn about language schools and language travel, au-pair and studying abroad programmes, foreign language publications, dictionaries and the latest software. An accompanying seminar and workshop programme ranges from foreign language learning in the early years to Computer Assisted Language Learning. Isabel Vogt or Frank Williges, ICEF Berlin, Niebuhrstr. 69A, 10629 Berlin, Germany,Tel: 00 49 30 32 76 140;. E-mail:


The Sheffield Multilingual City Project and initiatives on family language learning for primary schools run byDallam school, Milnthorpe, and breakfast Italian run for Year 6 pupils by Gosforth high school are among 15 projects which recently received European Awards for Languages. Open to schools, colleges and adult education institutions, the awards recognise innovative and effective practice in language teaching and learning across Europe. Several of the projects focus on increasing access to language learning for different groups. The Priory school in Spalding, for example, which caters for pupils aged 11 to 16 with learning difficulties andor autistic spectrum disorders, developed their language speaking abilities and their understanding of other countries and cultures. And Aberdeen College and Banchory Academy opeated a distance learning project to teach Spanish to senior pupils of the Academy. The winning projects, which cover a total of 17 different languages including community languages, are each awarded a certificate signed by the European commissioner and a range of prizes donated by sponsors. Further information from Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research, 20 Bedfordbury, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4LB, tel: 020 7379 5101;

A new Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies has been established at Southampton University. Part of the UK-wide Learning and Teaching Support Network, it is one of 24 such centres covering the range of disciplines taught in higher education institutions. It will provide an information service to educators and host workshops on topics including ethnography, residence abroad, information and communications technology and issues arising from the Nuffield Inquiry. LTSN, School of Modern Languages, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ. Tel: 023 8059 4814; e-mail:; WEBSITES

Following three years in Japan on the government's Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme, Richard Graham has set up an internet company at, where parents and teachers can seek inspiration for teaching children to speak any language. Ideas for games include the Star Wars Saber Battle and Mr Bump and there are several songs, many written by Richard Graham himself, which can be incorporated into lessons. Teaching materials, including a CD of the songs, are available by mail order.

BBC Education's language website at allows anyone with a basic knowledge of Spanish, Italian, German, French and Welsh to improve their language skills by working through a series of activities. The sites use video and audio clips from the BBC Learning Zone programmes and access is free. There are also French and German courses for beginners.


The UK launch of the European Year of Languages 2001 will take place at the North of England education conference in Bridlington, January 3-5, followed by the European launch in Lund, Sweden, February 18-20. A Welsh event is planned for March, one in Northern Ireland in April and a Languages Challenge and a Youth Festival are being organised for the spring and summer. Other key dates include: a German language exhibition at the Goethe Institut London, 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7, May-June, a languages festival in October and a conference in Manchester on linguistic policies. Further details from CILT, as above or See page 14

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