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National language conference in Birmingham

13 September 2002

National language conference in Birmingham

ASTON University kicks off the celebrations for European Day of Languages (September 26th) with a national conference on Tuesday, September 24th.

'Teaching European Languages in a Multilingual Context' is attracting to Birmingham teachers, languages advisers, careers advisers and delegates from a wide variety of business and education organisations and from all over the UK.

Professor Nigel Reeves, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Aston University, and himself a linguist, will welcome participants with the challenge: "Making the world your oyster: life opportunities through foreign languages".

An impressive line-up of speakers includes Isabella Moore (National President, British Chambers of Commerce), Hilary Footitt (Chair of the Universities' Council of Modern Languages) and Terry Lamb, Sheffield University (President of the Association for Language Learning). There will also be contributions from teacher practitioners with experience of working in schools with a wealth of cultural and linguistic diversity.

The event will also include input from Aston University's own language graduates, and will feature an introduction to the new website "Languages for Life" (www.les.aston.ac.uk/langlife), which was set up to encourage more young people to study modern European languages at university. Students from four local schools will interpret the theme "Let's Connect" in several European languages.

Isabella Moore is the recently elected (and first ever woman) President of the British Chambers of Commerce. Speaking about the importance of languages in relation to business, she says: "Businesses need employees who can operate successfully in the global marketplace. Success means more than one language under your belt. As a buisnessperson, offering a language service, I am concerned about the standards of language teaching in schools and the potential shortage of foreign-speaking teachers. I look forward to giving my view, as an employer, to the conference."

Details can be found on the Council of Europe's website: http://www.ecml.at/edl?l=E

To book a place at the conference or receive further details, contact Annie Bannerman at a.bannerman@aston.ac.uk or on 0121 204 3000. Tickets, which include lunch and delegate pack, cost �10. Some teacher bursaries are still available.�

ENDS

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

The University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) was established in 1993 and is the national organisation which represents the interests of modern languages, linguistics and cultural and area studies in higher education throughout the United Kingdom, and works with corresponding bodies in other countries.

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) was founded in 1990 and is the major subject association for those involved in teaching modern foreign languages at all levels and in all languages.

Isabella Moore is the first woman president of the BCC. She was educated at St Andrews University and gained a Masters degree at Warsaw University and is managing partner of COMTEC Translations in Leamington Spa. She was previously chairman of the West Midlands Confederation of Chambers of Commerce.�

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