¡Viva languages!

Are you about to decide on your GCSE options? Or are you teacher supporting students making this choice? This page is for you.

Whether you love languages and have already decided to continue at GCSE - or whether you are still making your mind up: we have put together this page for you to find out where languages can take you. Our students at the University of Manchester study a huge variety of languages at degree level, or as an extracurricular subject in our language centre

Have a look at the videos below to hear from current and former languages students at our university - and have fun exploring languages further through our activities links and taster sessions.          

Videos & Resources

Why study languages? Introductory talk

There are many ways languages can enrich our lives when it comes to future careers, cultural knowledge and being a citizen in the world and in a multilingual society. See how in this video. 

The talk is supported by further resources for students (with pre-, while- and post-listening activities) and resources for teachers:

  • Pupil activity sheet (pdf / word)
  • Teacher resources (pdf)

On a mobile? You might watch the video more easily on YouTube   

Our students: How we study languages at university

Do you like languages but aren’t sure what taking them further would look like? Our students found themselves exactly at that point when they were your age – so let them talk you through what they did to get to university, and what it’s like.

What do you study on a language course?

Ben

Ben studies Russian and Spanish – Russian from beginners level, Spanish from advanced after his A-levels. Hear him talk about his path to uni and his favourite modules now:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Isabelle

Isabelle also does Spanish after completing an A-level in it, and picked up Italian from scratch. She speaks about why she chose to do languages at university and her favourite module, “Cultures of Revolutions in Latin America”:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Brigitta

Brigitta studies French and Italian. Here, she discusses her favourite aspects of the course and her amazing plans for her Year Abroad in France, Canada and Italy:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

What is the Year Abroad?

All our language students spend a year studying or working in a foreign country/countries. This is an important and exciting part of their course and it happens in the third year of their four-year modern languages degree.

Adam

Adam studied Business and Management and Japanese. He spent his year abroad at a university just outside Tokyo:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Nathalie

Nathalie spent a year studying in Spain and working in Portugal – and it’s fair to say that she loved it:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Valentina

Valentina's course took her to Beijing:

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Our alumni: Careers with languages

Think that language experts can only work in the field of education or as translators? Hmm…
Discover what some of our former students have gone on to do. You might also like to check out what the University's Careers Sevice has to say about careers with languages.   

Written profiles

Some of our alumni (=former students) have written short pieces for us:

Video Profiles

Others have recorded these short videos:

Georgia: Software Company

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Grace: TV Production Company

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Robert: English Teacher in Italy

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Alicia: English Teacher in France

On a mobile? You might be able to access this more easily on YouTube: click here

Explore further

Taster sessions – try a new language

Try our introductions to new languages here (you may spot some familiar faces from the videos above)

Ling your Lang Game

Ling your Language  (supported by UoM, but outside link)  - How good are you at identifying languages? With multiple difficult levels and some facts to learn about world languages, this is a great one to play alone or against your friends. 

International Mother Language Day

Join in when Manchester celebrates the 200 languages spoken here! Hosted by Manchester City of Literature with partners from around the city, you can explore a programme of online events from 16-28 February 2021. We would particularly recommend these:

  • Our colleagues at Double Helix History have prepared two pre-recorded workshops suitable for KS3 & 4 with supporting worksheets. 
    Prof Jerome De Groot presents a session on how DNA can be understood as the building blocks of our city and Dr Jo Taylor takes a Digital Humanities approach and shows how maps can be used to reflect on (Manchester’s) linguistic diversity, identity – and how to produce our own mini map.
  • Mother Tongue, Other Tongue - Our friends at Manchester Metropolitan University host this wonderful poetry competition   

Explore Chinese Culture

This year, Chinese New Year falls on 12 February and we will celebrate the year of the Ox, an animal that symbolises strength and determination. The team at the Manchester Confucius Institute have put together some cultural resources  to enjoy:

  • The Legend of Nian -  Why do people wear red or set off fireworks as part of the festival? Hear the legend of Nian, the beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains and only comes out at the end of the year. 
  • New Year Craft - Make a Chinese paper lantern.