Please do come to one of our regular twilight information meetings, covering all routes into teaching for both Primary and Secondary Postgraduate programmes, are held at the Institute of Education, RG1 5EX.
Following on from the Institute of Education (IoE)’s successful Early Years conferences of the last three years, we now turn our attention to ensuring change is sustainable and long lasting. This year’s Early Years Conference has as its theme, Sustaining change: enabling environments, skilled practitioners and partnership with parents.
Our identities are shaped in highly individual ways – and if you have more than one language, probably even more so! Academics, teachers, students, artists, poets and other interested parties came together on 2/3 February 2018 at Reading University’s Institute of Education (IoE) to exchange ideas on creative multilingual identities. The IoE’s very own Professor Suzanne Grahamstrand leader for the Creative Language Learning section of the large-scale AHRC-funded Creative Multilingualism programme which the conference was part of, welcomed delegates to the first day. Suzanne introduced some splendidly varied presentations by early career researchers on topics such as translation, translanguaging (yes that’s a word,) language learning, and bilingual poetry and art. I flew the flag for the IoE with some examples of my research on how teenage German learners use metaphors – see what I did there??
Professor Suzanne Graham introduces key note speaker Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele (Birkbeck, University of London) at the IoE-hosted Creative Multilingual Identities conference
A lively panel and audience then debated whether Modern Languages in the UK needs a new identity. No easy answers, but plenty of thought-provoking questions to think about.
On the second day, we heard about nature’s many languages, and how linguistic and biological diversity complement each other perfectly in the area of conservation. Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele gave a highly entertaining and enlightening talk about diversity, linguistic and otherwise: culture cannot exist without it. Society needs people who don’t fit into the usual pattern.
There was not a dry eye in the house when Amerah Saleh and Bohdan Piasecki, ‘Free Radicals’ from the Beatfreeks Collective moved the audience to tears for all the right reasons with their multilingual poetry in Arabic, Polish and English. Powerful stuff.
Next up were two hands-on workshops, which were also joined by many local teachers. Dr Anna Wolleb from Reading University’s Centre of Literacy and Multilingualism helped delegates to explore the roles different languages have on the lives of multilingual speakers, and Carey Mayzes from the Association for Language Learning got participants to try out a new language as part of her talk on Language Futures, an initiative for primary and secondary schools to develop languages beyond the classroom.
Then Rinkoo Barpaga , an amazing storyteller and comedian, took the stage and had us all enthralled. Rinkoo is deaf and used sign language and an interpreter to communicate with the audience.
Finally, Professor Terry Lamb chaired a panel on community languages in schools. A lot of good work goes on here already which sadly does not receive much publicity, but it’s crucial that teacher education should support multilingual classrooms in the UK.
An inspiring two days passed by in a multilingual flash, but the ideas and connections made will stay with us for a long time. If you’d like to follow up on conference contributions, have a look on the Creative Multilingualism conference page .
We want to ensure that you have everything you need to succeed in your studies and have a great time at university. That is why we take the National Student Survey (NSS) and other surveys extremely seriously – it means we can listen, understand and act on your views.
This year, for the first time, we will be asking all of our undergraduate students to complete a survey, whether or not they are in their final year of study. This will provide us with the most accurate overview of our students’ individual experiences, what you think is working well and where we can improve.Further information about each of these surveys, and how to access them, is available below.
If you are in your final year of undergraduate study at Reading you will be asked to complete the National Student Survey (NSS), which will be open from 29 January to the end of April 2018.
The NSS is an important measure of student satisfaction. It is anonymous and independent, carried out annually by Ipsos MORI. The survey asks questions about eight key areas: teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, overall satisfaction, and satisfaction with the Students’ Union
Check your emails and find one from Ipsos MORI with the subject line ‘Thank you for taking part in the National Student Survey 2018’
London Road students, visit the Support Centre, next to The Dairy, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday during term-time to collect your free and recyclable paper cup for use with any of the Freestyle drinks machines on campus – nearest one The Diary.
Whiteknights students may visit the Careers Reception on the first floor of the Carrington Building* between 11am and 3pm Monday to Friday, show them the confirmation email (this can be on your mobile phone), and collect their free cup.
Take your cup to any of the catering venues with these Freestyle machines (Park Eat/Park Bar, Eat at the Square, SportsPark, The Dairy, Wantage Hall and Eat at Northcourt) and select your drink.
If you are a current undergraduate non-finalist, we will be running two surveys between February and April for you to complete as follows:
UK Engagement Survey (UKES) – independent, run by the Higher Education Academy from February to April, with questions relating to your academic experience
Reading Student Survey (RSS) – run internally by the University from February to April, with questions relating to our provision of support services and other campus facilities
You will receive an email with a link to access both surveys. If you think you are eligible to complete the survey and have not received an email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Win a £20 Amazon voucher!
The surveys should take around 20 minutes each to complete and, as a thank you, we will enter all students who fill in either or both surveys into a prize draw to win one of five £20 Amazon vouchers.
“There are unfair barriers hindering some young people,” says Dr Carol Fuller of the University of Reading’s Institute of Education (IoE).
The educational sociologist suggests that in the formal atmosphere of our current schooling system, with its focus on academic performance above all else, some children can feel they are a failure and just don’t belong.
She and other academics from the field of childhood learning will present a provoking symposium in February that will look at how greater equality can be promoted through education so that both children and society can benefit. Organisers will question the long term impact of our current education system that prioritises academic performance over other important skills.
Carol and her colleagues are set to share their important – and sometimes startling – findings on childhood equality and well-being at the event, titled “Promoting Educational Equality: from the bottom to the top”.
They hope that the discussions and ideas shared during the symposium at Westminster’s Portcullis House on 27 February 2018, will help start a movement that will eventually redress social inequality in children’s educational experiences.
“I am very much informed by my research and the idea that every child has a right to achieve their full potential. But there unfair barriers do exist and my work looks at how resilience, confidence and self-efficacy can aid children break down those barriers. Not only is it the right of every child to achieve their full potential but this naturally has benefits for society as they become contributing adults.
“In the research I am working on with the Ufton Court Education Trust, we are scrutinising the role of outdoor residential experiences on under achieving students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. We are exploring whether these activities have an impact on the children’s educational attainment. The impetus for this research was my longstanding ambition to help children achieve and become the best they can be.”
Carol is passionate about how children’s personal achievements can not only help the youngsters themselves but also benefit society as a whole, producing more resilient, productive adults. Raising the aspiration and achievement of all children and in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds must be achieved to reach a fairer and more balanced society, she believes.
Carol’s Ufton Court research has seen the study group of children developing the confidence to speak up and participate, sometimes to a startling degree, in a way they wouldn’t have in the traditional classroom.
What is powerfully interesting is seeing how these positive effects translate back in the classroom, producing statistically significant outcomes. Persuasive anecdotal evidence is also pointing to the activities having an all-round benefit to the children’s lives outside of school too.
The Promoting Equality symposium will focus on how best to encourage much greater equality via what organisers term a “bottom up approach to education as well as a more holistic approach to learning”.
This approach can be reinforced by resilience building activities such as those Carol is exploring in her research at Ufton Court. Not only could this improve educational outcomes, but in looking forward, it could also support children’s mental well-being – an increasing area of concern – and the character traits needed to succeed both at school and in adult life.
So how do we foster the qualities that support young people in meeting life’s changing demands? What skills and knowledge will they need to succeed educationally?
This research-led event will examine these issues closely and look at the value of alternative places and spaces for learning with a particular focus on children and young people who, for differing reasons, can face a future of disadvantage and marginalisation. The symposium will draw on a range of expertise to consider how to ensure a fairer future for all children.
Reserve a place to join these important discussions by emailing email@example.com.
Promoting Educational Equality: from the bottom to the top