A privilege and a pleasure: Professor Ian Roberts reviews OPS 2015

Photo: Perry Hastings

Photo: Perry Hastings

Delegates lead the discussion at OPS 2015

We’ve just published a review of OPS 2015 from our President, Professor Ian Roberts. The article gives a great sense of what it was like to attend the event, as well as looking forward to OPS 2016.

You can read the review here.

Cambridge and MML Faculty Open Days 2015/16

The next Cambridge MML Faculty Open Day takes place on Friday 11 March 2016. Booking opens at the end of December 2015.

In the meantime, you and your Year 12 students might be interested in attending the University of Cambridge Open Days, which take place this year on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July 2015. Booking for these dates opens later this month.

Follow the links above for further details.


Photo: Perry Hastings

Cambridge MML Faculty Lecturer Dr Napoleon Katsos talks with colleagues Dr Henriëtte Hendriks and Dr Theodora Alexopoulou at OPS 2015.

OPS 2015: what a success!

“Thank you for organising such a brilliant conference. On a personal level I found it thoroughly stimulating, and I enjoyed speaking to, and sharing experiences and ideas with, new acquaintances from a variety of schools.

“On a more “global” level I left armed with inspiring information and ideas to share with both my colleagues and my students – starting with Year 7 boys on the first day of the new term!”

OPS 2015 delegate and grammar school German teacher, North Yorkshire

Thanks to all our speakers and delegates who made OPS 2015 such an enjoyable and stimulating event.

We were delighted to have such a diverse group of teachers join us from schools up and down the country:

  • 104 delegates attended across the two-day meeting. 82 joined us for OPS 2014.
  • 75 per cent of the secondary school teachers attending were new to OPS.
  • 42 per cent of the secondary school teachers attending represented the state sector.
  • 38 independent schools were represented at OPS 2015.
  • Several longstanding members of the Society were present, including one delegate who has been coming to OPS annual meetings for the past 50 years.
  • Our target regions remain the North East and South West of England, and Wales: spread the word and come along next year!
Photo: Perry Hastings

Photo: Perry Hastings

Delegates get to know each other at OPS 2015

A round-up of the event from OPS President and MML Faculty Chair Professor Ian Roberts will be published online shortly, along with further information from our speakers. But for now, here’s some dates for your diaries:

The Oliver Prior Society Meeting 2016
20 and 21 March 2016
Downing College, Cambridge

Linguistics Essay Prize for Year 12 students

OPS 2014 speaker Dr Napoleon Katsos recently announced the inaugural round of the Linguistics Essay Prize for Year 12 students, hosted by Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Essay Prize aims to raise awareness of the systematic study of language as an interesting and multifaceted subject in and of itself. It is hoped that the Prize will encourage students with an interest in linguistics to explore this further and to apply for a University course in this subject.

The particulars of the competition can be found here.

Napoleon has also drawn the attention of OPS to forthcoming event Hold on to your tongue! Hold on to your tongue! is for teachers, school language coordinators and parents. It focuses on community languages, addressing questions such as ‘How can we encourage take-up of languages among young people?’, ‘Should we support qualifications in community languages?’, ‘What’s good practice?’

Hold on to your tongue! will be held between 3 and 5pm on Saturday 28 February 2015 in Cambridge English Faculty at West Rd, Cambridge, CB3 9DP. Admission is free, but booking is required

For more information about either the essay prize or Hold on to your tongue!, write to us via the Contact Us section of this website

Independent school day rate reduced

We’ve now reduced the rate for independent school teachers wishing to attend OPS 2015 as ‘Day’ delegates.

For those teachers attending the academic sessions and conference dinner on Sunday 29 March, the fee is now £75.

For those teachers attending all session on Monday 30 March, the fee is now £60.

To request more information and a booking form for OPS 2015, visit the Contact Us section of the website.

OPS 2015: talks titles announced

With OPS 2015 not far off, we’re very pleased to announced titles of the talks to be given by members of the Cambridge MML Faculty:

Dr Rory O’Bryen – Candelario Obeso on the Shores of Politics: Popular Republicanism in Nineteenth-Century Colombian Poetry
Dr Henriëtte Hendriks – Does the language you speak influence the way you think?
Dr Nicholas White – 1870-71, or the War before the First World War
Dr Abigail Brundin – “Only a pen can ease my pain”: voices from Italian convents

We’re also really looking forward to hearing from Elspeth Wilson and Dr Theodora Alexopoulou from the Cambridge Bilingualism Network and from Sarah Schechter, Project Manager of Routes Into Languages East.

You can view the full programme here. If all this piques your interest, don’t forget there’s still plenty of time to book a place at OPS 2015: the final registration deadline has been extended to 27 February 2015. Contact us to request a booking form.

GCSE students talk multilingualism to the Cambridge Bilingualism Network

OPS was fascinated to hear from OPS 2014 speaker Dr Napoleon Katsos about Your Languages, Your Future: a short film recently commissioned by the Cambridge Bilingualism Network.

In Your Languages, Your Future, a group of multilingual GCSE students describe the many advantages of speaking more than more than one language, and having a qualification to show for it. The film also features University of Cambridge academics who work on languages, and Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who was UK born in Wales to Polish parents.

You can watch Your Languages, Your Future here.

This film is part of the activities of the Cambridge Bilingualism Network, which was set up in 2010 by Cambridge researchers to promote the public understanding of of bilingualism through their work with schools and communities.

OPS 2015: Jocelyn Wyburd confirmed as after dinner speaker

We’re very pleased to announce that Jocelyn Wyburd, Director of the University of Cambridge Language Centre and Chair of the University Council of Modern Languages, will be our after dinner speaker at OPS 2015.

Jocelyn Wyburd

Jocelyn Wyburd

Delegates can expect an expert perspective on MFL teaching, access and outreach programmes UK-wide from Jocelyn, who was nominated to chair the National Advisory Board of Routes Into Languages in 2013.

OPS 2015 will be held at Downing College, Cambridge on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 March 2015.

OPS 2015 shapes up

The schedule for next year’s OPS meeting is really starting to take shape. Delegates will be hearing from the following members of the Cambridge MML Faculty:

Nick White (French)
Henriëtte Hendriks (Linguistics)
Abi Brundin (Italian)
Rory O’Bryen (Spanish)

Further details about the programme for OPS 2015 will be posted here as soon as they become available, and circulated more widely in October.

OPS 2015 will be held at Downing College, Cambridge on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 March 2015.