Last month saw the MFL Mentoring team bringing together some of our amazing mentors to discuss their experiences with the project.  It was a truly inspiring morning which left the team energized and enthused for planning the upcoming year.

We were so blown away (as always!) by our mentors and the insights they shared with us. With such a diverse group of mentors this year, the MFL Mentoring team wanted to highlight the range of experiences and perspectives of this wonderful group of people. As role models in their schools, we also felt that their life experiences and personal journeys naturally lended themselves to inspiring our community more broadly.

So, we thought, what better way to demonstrate the value of our project and its mission to spread cultural awareness than to celebrate our mentors and their diverse stories. Whatever race, gender, sexuality, religion, or community you belong to – MFL Mentoring welcomes and celebrates you!

The focus group was a perfect opportunity for our mentors to reflect on their mentoring journey, the highs and the lows. Some of the key things that mentors shared with us were:

“It’s amazing to have a community that understands the importance and the beauty of languages and spread it all over. It’s like lighting a candle in darkness, brightening minds…”

– Basma, Swansea University

“I have realised how important it is to be a role model for the mentees and encourage a passion for languages. I could have benefitted massively from this.”

– Elliott, Cardiff University

“With the current negative narrative around trans rights, it definitely feels good to have a community that not only respects my identity but actively encourages me to stand up for myself, use my name, use my pronouns, and be myself when I work.”

– Jules, Swansea University

“Diversity is massively represented in the mentors. The way the sessions are designed inherently promotes cultural exchange.”

– Dom, Cardiff University

“I have been recommending this to other international students. It is an eye-opening experience, including the mentoring and seeing how the project team works, and as a way to promote intercultural communication and connections by using ourselves as the instrument.”

– Zhen Ni, Cardiff University

The way in which the project brings our mentors together to celebrate who they are, unapologetically, is one of the most amazing things about MFL Mentoring. There is pride and hope invested in our mentors as they share their stories with young learners across Wales, and they may just be the role models that our learners have been looking for!

It was such a privilege for the team to be a part of the fantastic discussions and reflections that took place and, cliched as it sounds, we were genuinely touched by the ‘journey’ that our students had experienced as mentors. The mentors’ desire to show respect for each other, to learn from each other, but also to do better for each other was truly inspiring. To all of our mentors, from the bottom of our hearts, a huge diolch yn fawr iawn for trusting us with your stories!