Julia is widening participation

Posted on July 28, 2014 by

Julia Kolkmann, a LEL PhD student and President’s Doctoral Scholar, has been serving for the last year as a Widening Participation Fellow for English Language and Linguistics. In the role, she’s worked with school pupils of various ages and backgrounds to help spread the word about the study of language. Her activities have included:

  • the co-organization of a full event day called “Insight into Language”, split up into a Modern Languages and a LEL bit and including:
    • subject taster workshops
    • informal introductions to the study of languages in higher education
    • information on funding sources and admission-related facts
    • study abroad opportunities
  • the delivery of subject taster workshops to various levels (Year 7-Year 12) on various programmes (e.g. Gateways and Insight Days) on topics such as:
    • dialectology
    • accentology
    • language change
    • sociolinguistics
    • psycholinguistics
    • general linguistics
  • the delivery of Raising Awareness lectures to Year 12s at Year 1 undergraduate level
  • the delivery of EPQ workshops to Year 12s
  • the development of subject-specific and level-appropriate materials, including ice-breakers, group exercises and hands-on activities
  • German language taster sessions with Roma pupils

It sounds like Julia’s been a great ambassador for the study of languages. In her report she says:

Another thing I wanted to achieve in this role and which, when it did happen, made me extremely happy was to correct the image that many a HE Languages department faces: that studying language is merely about learning a foreign language and memorising the rules of grammar. Not many pupils who attended my workshops and lectures were really aware what linguistics was all about, so to have rectified that by the end of each session was very satisfying.

Manchet thanks Julia for her wonderful work on behalf of LEL, and hopes that others will follow her example in the future – applications are open!