Languages and employability (10 March 06)

Date: 10 March, 2006
Location: Online
Event type: Multi-site video seminar

Video seminar on what Language graduates and others with language skills go on to after graduating

Registration | Programme | Download flyer

Organised by LLAS/CILT Cymru Partnership.

Purpose of the seminar

The idea is to get together, on line people from different backgrounds, who rarely meet, but have a common interest in what happens to those with language skills at different levels in the jobs market.

Who would want to participate?

1. MFL specialist teaching staff, could participate to find out more about what happens to graduates in MFL, which they can use in recruiting students, developing and delivering degree courses and advising undergrads on how to prepare for life after graduating.

2. Staff in non-specialist language units/centres catering for students who want to add modest language skills to their specialist knowledge in the degree subject could participate to find about the career benefits this will bring to them. These staff can explain to potential students doing degrees in other subjects the benefits of also acquiring MFL skills, mostly modest.

3. Staff in lifelong learning departments, could participate, exchanging info and opinions on what beneficial effect acquiring a language, (mostly to a modest, but some to degree level) has on their personal and working lives.

4. Undergrads from Year 1 to 4 could participate to learn about what awaitsthem in the world after graduating and to start to prepare for that rather than leaving it until the very end of their studies or after they havegraduated.  Putting it off will probably create professional and financial problems, which could be attenuated if tackled earlier.

5. Graduates themselves would be ideal contributors, drawing on personal employment experience to show language teachers, careers advisors etc what happens to those with language skills at different levels in the world of work. I expect they will not be easy to contact but it would enrich the event if we can get them along to any of the studios.

6. School/FE Careers advisers and employers could participate, on the one hand to give well-founded advice on the value of language skills to pupils and on the other to see their hard financial value in business terms.

HE Careers Advisors and Researchers will be the main contributors, of course. They are the experts on what all graduates do, not only in helping students get jobs, but in reporting on what happens in their HEIs annually to HESA and a mass of other professional experience.

Programme and format of the seminar

The Seminar is all squeezed into the morning of March 10th.

Details of the major contributors are in the Programme below

Provisional programme for 10 March 2006
Time Session
09.15 - 09.30 Studio link-ups checked
09.30 - 09.35 Welcome and introductions
Prof Eric Sunderland (Chair, CILT Cymru Advisory Board)
09.35 - 09.40 The purpose of the seminar
Keith Marshall (Assistant Director-HE- CILT Cymru)
09.40 - 10.00 The UK and international angle
Anne Davidson Lund (Assistant Director-Business/Lifelong learning, CILT UK)
10.00 - 10.30 The European Studies angle
Joanne Gibson (Career Consultant, Cardiff University)
10.30 - 11.00 The Bangor angle
Jennie Preece (Careers Adviser, UW Bangor)
11.00 - 11.15 Break
11.15 - 11.45 The longer term angle
Becky Allan (Researcher, Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Subject Centre (LLAS), Southampton)
11.45 - 12.15 The Business Studies angle
Alyson Twyman, (Manager, Career Development Service, UWIC)
12.15 - 13.00 Plenary discussion
  • Issues covered by speakers overall
  • Current gaps in our knowledge/understanding of value of languages in the jobs market
  • What MFL lecturers and careers advisers can do together to help students prepare themselves better for the world of work

The event will be chaired by Prof Eric Sunderland, experienced in running video-link meetings. He will invite the main contributors to make their presentations and other participants to ask questions and make comments from different studios, all within the framework of the Programme Timetable.

All but one of the major contributors has a 30 minute slot. They are expected to use a maximum of 20 mins for a presentation, leaving 10 mins for immediate questions. But each of them is free to spend less time on the presentation and more on immediate questions/answers/comments.

A plenary discussion at the end (45 minutes) is the time for a discussion which takes account of all the presentations and looks to possible future collaboration between participants.

For this seminar to really succeed, all the participants need to be in their studios for pretty well the whole of event. It would be a lot less successful if the major contributors were only in their studios for the time they needed to do their bit. It will be much better if they are listeners and commentators as well as talkers. The minor contributors will also be more productive as participants and get a fuller picture for themselves, if they also are there for the whole event and comment/ask questions as well as listen.

On-line video seminars are not familiar means of communication among most HE professionals, but how else could you cover so much ground with such diverse folks from different parts of the country in just one morning? Moreover, this particular subject is one on which few Careers Advisers and MFL Lecturers are able to spend as much time as it needs.

So why not give it a go, since registration and participation are so easy to arrange...


Last date and time for registrations: Wednesday, March 8th, 18h.00.

To participate in this on-line confab is very simple.

Email Virginia Giannelli ( at University of Wales Bangor, with:

  • Your name;
  • Your university’s name;
  • Your department and campus location.

We will tell you which video studio in your university to go to.

Be there at 9h.15 on Friday March 10th.

For any queries by phone, ring Dr Virginia Giannelli, 01248 382099