Department of European Languages and Cultures

French and Francophone Futures

A one-day workshop organised by the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (AUPHF), co-sponsored by the Society for French Studies, on changing mindsets and rethinking the value of languages.

About the workshop

As signalled by the British Academy, a recent all-parliamentary group on Modern Languages, and numerous press articles, the UK is facing an unprecedented languages crisis: recruitment figures in schools are at an historical low; University Language Departments are closing or are being ‘repurposed’ to prioritise the delivery of modern foreign languages to students from non-MFL programmes; and whole areas of the UK, and England in particular, are at risk of becoming monolingual. French has been particularly hard hit.

This one-day workshop, organised by the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (AUPHF), co-sponsored by the Society for French Studies and the French Embassy, represents a practical attempt to respond to this national crisis and to generate discussion about how to tackle it. Bringing together stakeholders from Universities, Schools and Cultural Institutes, it aims to celebrate and share positive examples of French and Francophone teaching of both language and culture, in addition to outreach and public engagement activities.

Programme in brief

9.15-10.00 AUPHF Annual General Meeting

10.00 Welcome


  • Sue Simson (Bordesley Green Girls’ School and Sixth Form, Birmingham), ‘French Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) for Transition’
  • Annette Götzkes (University of Edinburgh): ‘Languages Beyond University: a new Student-Led Course in Collaboration with Edinburgh City Council’ 
  • Philippe Sibeaud (Education Attaché, Institut Français d’Ecosse: Outreach and Widening Participation in Scotland), ‘Coopération éducative France-Ecosse: quelles actions pour développer l’enseignement du français?’

12.30-1.30 Break


  • Emma Gilby (University of Cambridge), ‘Learning Together: Teaching French Literature and Film in HMP Whitemoor’
  • Thomas Bak (Co-Director ‘Bilingualism Matters’, University of Edinburgh), ‘The effects of language learning on cognition and wellbeing: from empirical studies to public engagement’
  • Debra Kelly (University of Westminster, Co-I and Deputy Director on the AHRC-funded OWRI project, Language Acts and Worldmaking),Worldmaking as a Way of Transforming (Modern) Languages’

3.00-3.30 Tea / coffee

3.30-4.30 Roundtable: Advocacy, Lobbying and Policy Making

Confirmed speakers:

  • Claire Gorrara (Chair of University Council of Modern Languages)
  • Simon Lambert (Academic and Cultural Liaison Officer UK, Wallonie-Bruxelles International)
  • Marion Schmid (President AUPHF)
  • Louise Glen (Senior Education Officer, Languages, Education Scotland)

  • Hélène Cornu (Languages 1+ 2 Policy manager, Scottish Government)

Light refreshments provided at 3pm. There are plenty of places to buy lunch nearby.


The event is free, but registration in advance on Eventbrite is strongly advised.

Take me to Eventbrite to book my place

[Background image: martin-dm/Getty Images]

Sep 20 2019 -

French and Francophone Futures

A one-day AUPHF workshop on changing mindsets and rethinking the value of languages.

Project Room (1.06)
50 George Square