A half-day workshop on French Studies and Employability supported by AFLS will take place online on 23rd April 2021, between 9.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event will be on Zoom.

This is a free workshop – please send an email to Claire Cuminatto (c.cuminatto@uea.ac.uk) to register before April 9th.

Are we preparing our students for the professional work? In his foreword to Employability: a Handbook, Mike Kelly reports that “recent research for the ‘Born Global’ project suggests that languages are not identified as a priority by employers at the time when staff are recruited. Applicants for jobs need to satisfy other priorities at that point. The language advantage comes into play at a later stage”. Fluency in French is of course a prerequisite for industries such as translation or MFL teaching, but many graduates will not use French at the beginning of their future career. They will, however, certainly use the acute problem solving, proofreading, public speaking and many more skills they also developed while at university. They might also use some technical skills developed during their French degree, such as video/audio file editing, or text analysis tools.

During this workshop, colleagues will present activities/projects they run in class with a particular focus on transferable skills awareness, or on the development of technical skills, and/or research on French and Employability. The morning will end with a discussion on how, in the context of the pandemic, we can help students of French adapt to the new world of work, and on learning points for the future.


09:30 – 09:40

Opening remarks

9:40 – 10:10

Paper 1: Using the CEFR to talk about employability

Barbara E. Hanna and Alicia Toohey | The University of Queensland

10:10 – 10:40

Paper 2: Language for Professional Communication: Using the project-based approach to enhance employability of language students

Sabrea Oughton | University of Portsmouth

10:40 – 11:10

Paper 4: Authentic language learning through partnerships with businesses: project with final year undergraduate students of French

Claire Cuminatto and Ilse Renaudie | University of East Anglia

11:10 – 11:20:

Comfort break

11:20 – 11:50

Paper 3: Career entry of French Studies graduates: A research study

Rosamond Mitchell | University of Southampton

11:50 – 12:10

Paper 5: Public Service Interpreting: collaborating with local professionals

Claudine Tourniaire | University of East Anglia

12:10 – 13:00

Questions and discussion: French Studies and Employability – helping students of French adapt to the new world of work. What learning points for the future?


Ms Ilse Renaudie, Associate Professor in French Language at the University of East Anglia

Ms Claire Cuminatto, Associate Professor in French Language at the University of East Anglia


Corradini, Borthwick and Gallagher-Brett (ed.). 2016. Employability for Languages: a Handbook. Research-publishing.net.