The Language Show Live 2011

A Chinese taster class at the Language Show 2011

The Language Show Live is a brilliant place for language lovers to share their thoughts, inspirations and passions. This was the Language Show’s largest event to date; there were over 160 exhibitors, from the British Council to the EU to GCHQ, and more than 20 different languages being taught in taster classes (ranging from French to Arabic to Sign Language) and additionally a TEFL forum which not only gave seminars but provided the opportunity for networking and finding potential jobs.  I was fortunate enough to be at this event with other students from the University of Buckingham.

With seminars ranging from “English – a rare language! Interpreting for the EU” to “The quickest and easiest routes to becoming an employed EFL teacher”, the Language Show Live opens up many doors to people who are interested in careers with languages. Interestingly it was not just interpretation and translation that was focused on; Joanna Walter held a seminar on “linguists and the common good”, which delved into the realms of voluntary aid around the world, from helping victims of hurricanes to children in East Africa. As well as helping those in need you can also gain valuable experience which is important in the current economic climate.

Another hugely popular section of the fair was the newly added TEFL forum. For those considering teaching abroad this was extremely useful as it advertised trustworthy companies and prepared many for what was necessary on this career path.

Aside from all the lectures and demonstrations done through song and dance, a highlight for many was the taster classes. Only half an hour in length, these sessions served to inspire, attract and encourage many people, plus I can now happily order coffee in 7 different languages!

The Language Show Live is free if you order a ticket beforehand, and with the MFL Department paying for the transport of any student who studies a language as a minor, there are no reasons to not take part. This event highlighted the importance of languages in all aspects of the professional world, and as the University of Buckingham offers languages as minors, free choices and voluntary subjects you should feel encouraged to pick up a language, and join us on our trip next year.

Report by Caitlin Cronin (MFL student and President of the Language Society at Buckingham)