My Four Years with MFL Mentoring

Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world, but didn’t know where to start? For me, that journey began in 2018, when I applied to be an MFL mentor during my second year of university. I was drawn to the program because of my passion for promoting languages, cultures, and academia. What I have learnt during my four-year experience has been invaluable.

The first thing I discovered was that you can tell whether a career is right for you from the very first training day. MFL Mentoring training never failed to impress, with everything from the warm welcome to the delicious food. Not to forget the amazing staff who made the whole experience unforgettable.

My first year of mentoring was at St Martin’s School in Caerphilly, where I worked with a large group of mentees who were engaged and enthusiastic. For every session, we focused on a language and culture, with one mentee presenting it by starting the day with a good morning introduction in the chosen language. We looked at how language is connected to our identity, culture, other subjects, translation, performance, and journey, by creating posters, performing, and playing games.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the program shifted to online mentoring. Although it lacked in-person interaction and delicious food, I was impressed by the quality of the online training, which included workshops, coffee breaks, and activities, all through Zoom. During these two years, I learnt about online session planning and delivery, as well as using the tools of: Sway, Padlet, Zoom, Teams, and Aula. I even had the opportunity to plan online events such as quizzes, Christmas events, and film events. I made mentor friends not just from Cardiff University, but also from other universities all around Wales as well.

This year, I was thrilled to return to face-to-face mentoring during my master’s degree. I even had the opportunity to help out during training, which gave me a deeper understanding of the project and helped me learn new skills, such as active listening, leadership and initiative skills. I was placed in Brynteg School in Bridgend, where I was delighted to find that the headmaster was the same one I had in comprehensive school. He was standing outside early in the morning, greeting all his students with a smile to welcome the start of a new day. As I have tweeted before, what a brilliant school, with brilliant teachers and learners. It was a lovely way to close this mentoring journey.

I’m incredibly grateful for this experience, which has influenced and developed both my personal and professional life. Being an MFL mentor has helped me grow and shape the individual I am today. I’m forever thankful to the MFL Team: Lucy, Tallulah, Glesni, Rebecca, Becca, Sian and Beth. Thank you for your kindness, motivation, encouragement, and hard work. Each one of you has inspired me and continues to do so.

Finally, as I now graduate I would like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful teachers, the enthusiastic mentees, and the fellow mentors I have met along the way. They have all inspired me and helped me become a better mentor and person.