About Me: Tallulah.

Author: Tallulah Machin
Published: 4th June 2021

I first joined the project as a mentor back in 2016 whilst completing my BA in French. The following year, during my MA in Translation Studies, I took on a part-time role on the project team to support the creation and delivery of interdisciplinary workshops in Cardiff and Oxford. I’ve stuck around ever since. My studies, in particular my MA, have given me a nuanced understanding of the role that languages play within everyone’s lives. I aim to help dispel the misconceptions around cultures and languages by helping both our mentors and mentees see the integral role that language plays in everything we do.

In 2018, I became the first Regional Coordinator for Language Horizons, taking what I had learnt in Wales and putting it into practice in England with the same ethos driving our work. As the project grew, I became the Operations Manager to support our Hub Manager and two new Regional Coordinators. Working for Language Horizons further developed my project management, research and resource creation skills. Despite the close of Language Horizons in March 2020, I stayed with the project, moving back onto MFL Mentoring and into my current role.

As Operations Manager, I help to support all aspects of the project from delivery and design to strategy and research. I thoroughly enjoy the range of responsibilities in my role as it allows me to have a full view of the project to ensure each aspect works together, maximising efficiency and efficacy. I seek out innovative solutions to the decline of language learning by trying different approaches and using different technologies. This year, I’ve managed the move online for both our mentor training and mentoring sessions. I’ve also designed and quality assured a wealth of mentoring resources to ensure that our mentors, mentees and teachers have the best experience possible.

I am equally keen to ensure that, whilst on the project, mentors develop their professional skillset and consider career options available to them as linguists, regardless of what degree programme they are on. Having been through the project myself, I have seen first-hand how it transforms the way our university students approach languages and offers them invaluable experiences alongside their studies. I was keen to give mentors something tangible to put on their CVs and so I led on the creation of a two-unit accreditation in language advocacy and mentoring, awarded by Agored Cymru. In the first year of running the accreditation, over a third of our student mentors completed a unit alongside their full-time degrees. It was very rewarding to help them go deeper in their understanding of the methodologies that underpin the project.

As I build my own career, I look increasingly towards generating research outputs and offering consultancy, most recently for the SHAPE initiative, which aims to raise the profile of social sciences, humanities and the arts across the UK.

Follow @TallulahMachin on Twitter.