The School of Modern Languages and Cultures has been contributing to Durham University's programme of outreach activities since this was significantly expanded almost ten years ago.
We provide full and half-day sessions on the University's annual Higher Education Summer Schools for pupils in Years 10-12. The aim is to provide talented GCSE and A-level students, from schools and colleges throughout the region, with the opportunity to experience language-learning in a university setting and to discover the range of activities and study options this can include. The sessions are run by staff from the language departments in Durham with classes in students' main language(s) and taster sessions in languages such as Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian.
We also contribute to Explorer Days run by the North East Excellence Hub, the regional excellence hub for Young Gifted and Talented (for which Durham University is the lead partner). Here again we offer intensive language sessions to GCSE and A-level pupils from local schools and colleges, usually during school holidays.
Staff and students from the School also visit local schools and colleges to talk about the benefits of continuing language study at GCSE and A-level and at university, to explain the options available at undergraduate level and the benefits of incorporating the study of modern languages, including the year abroad, for future career prospects.
There are also many, one-off events, such as the short introductory lecture on the French film The Class (Entre les murs)given to 80 sixth-formers and their teachers by Prof Christopher Lloyd on the 20 October 2009 at the Gala cinema, as part of National Schools Film Week.
To find out more about Summer Schools: http://www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/schools/summer/
To find out more about North East Excellence Hub activities: http://www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/schools/neeh/
To invite a member of staff from a local university to give a presentation on studying languages at university to pupils at your school or college: