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Business and Languages Workshops 2016

The Business and Languages workshops took place on the 9th December.  The workshops involved 120 young people in S3, all of whom are studying either French or Spanish, and most of whom are also studying Business.  They were supported by staff in the school, including Rosario Pacheco-Cobos, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages, Louise McCafferty, Principal Teacher of Business Education (me!), Louise Davidson, Teacher of Business Education, Nadège Millet and Julie McKinnon (Teachers of Modern Languages), Anneta Kata, Learning Support Department and Andrew Laing, Careers Advisor.

A series of talks and workshops was delivered by a range of businesses and organisations, including SCILT (The Scottish Centre for Languages), Dundee Rep Theatre, Tokheim, Michelin, Glamis Castle and Dundee, Angus College and Dr Gary Mulholland, Associate Director of Innovation and Enterprise at the University of Abertay Business School. There was also representation from Developing the Young Workforce.

The young people had the opportunity to hear a keynote introduction delivered by Dundee Rep.  They broke into groups and rotated around each of the talks and workshops delivered by the above businesses and organisations.  The intention of this experience was to enable young people to make links between the Languages and Business subjects that they are studying, and to recognise the relevance of the skills that they are learning.  They had the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role of languages in the business environment and to gain an understanding of some cultural differences when conducting business in different countries.  This will enable them to make links between the work they are doing in school and its purpose in their future careers.  Attending the talks and workshops also enabled them to develop a range of skills which will be essential for their future, including literacy, team-work and interpersonal skills, as well as languages and business skills.  

These workshops were a further development of work which Louise McCafferty and Rosario Pacheco-Cobos have been driving forward for three years now.  The original work was a partnership with the University of Dundee Humanities Faculty, and in conjunction with them, we organised a Business and Languages event in which all local authority secondary schools in Dundee participated.  We were awarded the British Academy Schools Language Award for Scotland for this work, and the funding which we received enabled us to run a similar event again earlier this year.  It has also enabled us to develop a partnership with the University of Abertay Computing and Business departments, and earlier this year a group of young people spent two days working with students and lecturers to develop and market an app for visitors to Dundee, which incorporated the use of European languages. This year we were also involved in delivering a Business and Languages transition event for our cluster primary schools, based on the event organised at the University of Dundee.


We are very keen to continue to promote the importance of studying Business and Languages  and the relevance of these subjects for the future workforce in the city.  Our work has also enabled us to promote Dundee as a city for work and leisure and the app which the young people started to develop generated considerable interest from the business community.