School of Modern Languages and Cultures

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Student Mobility

Student Mobility

Placement Abroad

Subject Area: Hispanic Studies

Type of Activity: Placement Abroad as part of Degree


Student: Ellen Rothnie

As a compulsory part of my Spanish degree, I went to Arévalo, in Castilla y León in Spain as a British Council English Language Assistant in a secondary school for 9 months. Immediately disappointed by the rural and ostensibly ’nothing’ location I was given, I went with very low expectations. However, I tried to keep my year abroad aims in mind: to improve my knowledge of Spanish knowledge and culture and to get an insight into language teaching by getting a a bit of experience. Not only did I by far surpass these, I got so much more out of my time there than I had bargained for: friendship, travel, integration into the community, and personal development. Was it easy the whole time? Of course not, but overcoming the bumps outside of the comfort zone of home can be even more fulfilling in the long term. The positive nature of my experience was such that I felt it was ending prematurely, and that I would gain more still by extending the assistantship, and deferring my return to Glasgow by a year. That’s exactly what I did, and remembering to keep an open mind, spent an EVEN more rewarding academic session in Bilbao, in the Basque Country.

Staff Exchange

Staff Exchange

Digital Methods for Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

‌Subject Area: German

Type of Activity: Staff Mobility

Funding: Erasmus (Staff Exchange)

Lead: Dr Katrin Uhlig

In June 2014 I taught an interactive module on E- and Blended-Learning with a particular focus on foreign language teaching methodology. This was part of a Master's course in Foreign Language Teaching at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. The module introduced students to key concepts such as the role of the teacher and modes of communication in E- and Blended learning, time management, error correction etc.
The aim of the collaboration has been to enable knowledge exchange and discussion between both institutions regarding digital learning and teaching concepts and to discuss and develop new teaching methods and materials for
future use within and beyond SMLC. As a result of this collaboration I have submitted an article on E-learning Techniques for Foreign Language Teaching Practitioners to Deutsch Lehren und Lernen, the Association for Language Learning's (ALL) online journal for German teachers. Professor Schmied and I discussed the potential for future collaboration and it is envisaged that a similar, interdisciplinary project will follow.

For more information on this project follow the link.

Plenary talk at the Universidad de Salamanca as part of Staff Erasmus International Mobility Exchange

‌Subject Area: Hispanic Studies

Type of Activity: Staff Erasmus International Mobility Exchange.

Funding: 1832.80, Erasmus (Staff Exchange)

Lead: Dr Nathaniel Gardner

My plenary talk “The varied writings of Elena Poniatowska” was a key part of my Staff Erasmus mobility exchange to the Universidad de Salamanca. This was a public talk held at the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation which shortly preceded the awarding of the Cervantes Prize (the maximum literary prize in the Spanish language) to Elena Poniatowska in Alcala de Henares, Spain. My plenary talk had the purpose of providing both context on Poniatowska’s writing and a public forum where her contribution to Hispanic letters could be discussed. The event was attended by both members of the public and staff and students and the Universidad de Salamanca.  

Work of Art

‌Subject Area: The Language Centre

Tyope of Activity: Production of learning materials

Funding: €20,000

Lead: Bill Guariento


With European partners including, Centro Europeu de Línguas, Lisbon (Portugal), Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków (Poland), ISPARTA EĞİTİM GÖNÜLLÜLERİ DERNEĞİ, Isparta (Turkey), Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza im. St. Staszica w Krakowie, Kraków (Poland), Förderband e.V. Kulturinitiative Berlin, Berlin (Germany), the pilot explored the language skill needs of museum / art gallery visitor staff, e.g. visitor service-team members, exhibit guards, cloakroom attendants. 

The underlying concept is that any phrase offered to a foreign visitor in their own language, however simple ('The exit is on the left', 'We close at 7', even 'Please don't take photographs') can positively influence the visitor-experience by enhancing hospitality. The project, with its unusual target group (often older, outsourced, less computer-savvy, limited foreign language skills), is potentially interesting in terms of outreach impact.

The preliminary exploratory phase is now complete.  The next phase, if pursued, will involve production of teaching materials, the complexity of which will depend on the funding and staff-time available.


For further information


International Research

International Research

Travelling Texts, 1790-1914: The Transnational Reception of Women’s Writing at the Fringes of Europe

Subject Area: Hispanic Studies

Type of Activity: Collaborative Research Project, Sept 2013-Aug 2016

Funding: € 958,372, Humanities in the European Research Area / EU (FP7)

Lead: Dr Henriette Partzsch

Cultural encounters through reading and writing have shaped modern cultural imaginaries. Travelling Texts explores women’s participation in this process from the perspective of five countries located at the fringes of 19th-century Europe. By tracing and comparing the networks created through women’s writing we will question the relations between centre and periphery from a gendered point of view. Working with large-scale sources and using a Virtual Research Environment, the project will contribute to the development of new, transnational models of writing the history of European literary culture. Outputs will include a conference at Glasgow Women’s Library, peer-reviewed articles and book publications. These activities are complemented by workshops, seminars, sessions at literary festivals and exhibitions.