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Work begins on new languages and cultures department

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Colleagues from Modern Languages & European Studies (MLES) and the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) have started work on bringing together the two teams in a new merged department – named the Department of Languages and Cultures – that will be operational from 1 August 2019.

They are part of the Modern Languages Implementation Group that will oversee the transition. Catherine Léglu, Daniela La Penna, and Enza Siciliano Verruccio represent MLES on the group, and Chiara Cirillo and Alison Nader represent IWLP. 

The Implementation Group is chaired by Mark Fellowes (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic Planning & Resources) which also includes Gail Marshall (School of Literature & Languages), David Carter (International Study & Language Institute), Lillie-Mae Firman (RUSU), Cindy Becker (SLL Director of Teaching & Learning), and colleagues from HR and Marketing.

Mark Fellowes said the Implementation Group will work with colleagues and students in shaping the new department. “We are looking to build a well-integrated community of modern linguists who deliver strong teaching, research and student experience. Colleagues in IWLP and MLES and our students are key to achieving this and they will be working with their representatives on the Implementation Group”.

The Implementation Group will meet monthly with the immediate focus being on having the new department in place by 1 August. Among its priorities will be agreeing the department’s leadership and management structure; planning and allocating teaching for the next academic year; building a collaborative and supportive team culture; and agreeing a plan to promote the new department.

Catherine Léglu, Daniela la Penna, and Enza Verruccio said, “On the basis of our recovery plan, which outlines priorities and opportunities over the next five years, we will ensure that Reading’s Languages degree programmes and research are both resilient and open to further initiatives.“

Chiara Cirillo and Alison Nader said, “We are working hard to ensure continuity of provision. IWLP colleagues will continue to provide language opportunities to all members of our University community – and our success and broad language portfolio will benefit a wider constituency of students.” 

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