What's your role?

I’m also an Education and Project Coordintor at MFL Mentoring.

I officially joined the team in September 2022, but before that I mentored with the project for 2 years as a student, and then completed an internship with MFL Mentoring after graduating!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in Bristol, close to the border between England and Wales.

My mam is from Cardiff, and although I didn’t get the chance to learn Welsh when I was younger, we would spend a lot of our weekends and school holidays in Wales, so I’ve always had a strong relationship with Wales!

Despite my largely monolingual family, I studied French and German at GCSE. When I was in secondary school, it was compulsory for everyone to take a language at GCSE. I remember hearing lots of my classmates complaining that the language classes were ‘boring’, that they couldn’t study any of the languages that they actually wanted to learn, or that the content wasn’t relevant to them. I really connected with this last point, as I wanted to explore my specific interests, not just follow the standardised topics that the curriculum prescribed. I was really lucky that my German teacher was able to plan “off-piste” lessons – my favourite was when he asked us to find a German recipe, and then we actually cooked and ate the food in class-time. Apfelstrudel is still one of my favourite dishes to this day!

I went on to study French at A-Level and French and Spanish at University. I’m now refreshing my German while finally realising my dream of learning Welsh!

Aside from my obvious love of languages (you will usually catch me learning more than one at once!), I also love yoga 🧘🏻‍♀️, getting crafty 🧶, books 📚, plants, both tea 🫖 and coffee ☕️, and both cats 🐱 and dogs 🐶 (and clearly do not like choosing favourites!)

What do you enjoy most about the project?

Having been both a student mentor and a team member, I love seeing the immensely positive impact the project has, not only on learner’s GCSE choices, but on their confidence, their motivation, and their passion for languages, among so many other things. The project (and the wonderful mentors that make it what it is) help to open learners’ eyes and broaden their horizons to the different ways languages form part of their identity and everyday life, and the ways in which they can learn (and hugely benefit from!) languages, which they’d never thought of before. It truly is magical! I believe that everyone deserves to experience language-learning in this transformational, exciting and inspiring way, which is exactly what MFL Mentoring (and the Curriculum for Wales!) aims to do – to empower learners to explore ALL languages and cultures though a variety of different framings which are tailored to learners own interests. It not only fosters essential, transferable skills in learners, but also brings joy and personality back to language-learning. It puts the emphasis back on communication and human connection over fluency, and everyday within the project, we are witnessing the immense positive impact this brings!