Aston encourages languages links

Links into Language
Links into Language

2nd December 2009

Language teachers and educators from across the region are invited to attend a special briefing at Aston University on Tuesday, 8th December at 4.30pm to find out more about the Links into Languages Scheme and possibilities for funding for language projects through the LinkedUp Award Scheme.

This national programme is funded by the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) to build a learning community of all those working in the world of languages across primary, secondary and further education institutions. The aim is to develop increased access to support services, including information, advice, networking, project funding and professional development opportunities.

Links is a consortium led by the Subject Centre for Languages (LLAS) at the University of Southampton with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and the Association for Language Learning (ALL).

Aston University acts as Links’ Regional Centre for the West Midlands, and offers training sessions, networking opportunities and access to resources. The programme director Pam Moores (Executive Dean of the School of Languages and Social Sciences) commented how Aston is delighted to be engaged in the Links into Languages programme. ‘Through a systematic and comprehensive network covering the entire country, and working across all sectors from Primary School through to Higher Education, Links genuinely offers the opportunity for joined-up planning, professional development and success.’

Satu Raitala, who is Links’ Regional Manager for the West Midlands, said: ‘Aston is Links’ regional centre and links with affiliated centres have been established in Walsall, Warwick, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. Our aim is to nominate at least one centre per county to support teachers in the whole region so that they will be able to participate in some of the high quality CPD courses that Links into Languages provides nationwide.

‘We offer various professional development courses for primary, secondary and further education institutes, concentrating for example on the language learning in primary, the renewed framework, new GCSE and A level and on curriculum improvement and ICT. Our trainers are all nationally recognised speakers.’

Aston is also involved in the national LinkedUp award scheme, which offers funding for curriculum development projects carried out by groups of language teachers and other partners working in primary, secondary or 16-19 education in England.

There will be a chance to learn more about Links into Languages and to meet the LinkedUp team and ask questions about the award at the December 8th event. Representatives from the first nominated project for the scheme as well as the project lead Kathy Wicksteed from ALL will be on hand to chat to participants about their experiences.

Satu continued: ‘The scheme will help networks which already exist to take innovative and effective ideas further and encourage new networks to come together to develop projects. LinkedUp will also encourage collaboration between different organisations and sectors, and seeks to also fund projects with links to businesses or cultural institutes. We welcome applications from primary, secondary and special schools, 16-19 colleges, universities, local authorities and other organisations.

‘Each project will be allocated a mentor, and Links into Languages will ensure that the results of the project have impact and sustainability by publishing resources and ideas in a national resource bank accessible to all teachers.

For further information about Links into Languages or to book a place at the December 8th event contact Anna Olatokun on 0121 201 3111, or email 


For further press information please contact Sally Finn on 0121 204 4552 or email


Notes to editors:


Please let us know in advance if you would like to attend the briefing on December 8th.

The national Links into Languages website is at