Dr Alice Corr and Dr Norma Schifano, both lecturers in the Department of Modern Languages, have been awarded a £8,000 grant for the project ‘Tackling the UK’s languages crisis: a role for linguistics in schools’ (in collaboration with Prof. Sheehan, Anglia Ruskin University; Dr Havinga, University of Bristol; Dr Kasstan, University of Westminster) from the AHRC/OWRI-funded flagship project ‘Language Acts and Worldmaking’.

The award will be used to fund a series of workshops involving the project members and a team of UK school teachers aimed at designing and building linguistics-based lessons for A-level students of Spanish, French and German, in line with the aims and objectives of the ‘Linguistics in MFL project’. 

This multi-institutional initiative, which for the last three years has been trialling a Linguistics programme of study with Year 12 MFL students in UK schools, is concerned principally with taking drastic action to address a crisis in MFL teaching and learning. It puts forward the case that the inclusion of Linguistics in the AS/A-level curriculum can augment MFL study at Key Stage 5 by offering new and different ways of thinking about and engaging with languages.

The ultimate aim of both projects is to drive stronger uptake and results in MFL study, and to enthuse and better prepare candidates for entry into MFL at university by bringing about a change in the curriculum. For updates about the project, follow @inmfl on Twitter.