Meryl James, Professional Development Officer

    A Welsh speaker from Aberystwyth, Meryl is an enthusiastic advocate of other languages and cultures. At University Meryl initially read Russian and German, later Swedish. On graduation, her knowledge of French proved to be an effective springboard for learning Italian whilst working in Rome for two years with homeless people. Following this experience, Meryl trained as a nurse, then midwife, so that her knowledge of languages could be married to a practical skill. Meryl has always been very interested in health issues. These two aspects ,languages and health matters, took Meryl to Romania (where she helped to set up mobile health clinics in rural areas) and later to China, where she joined a team looking at the use and effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine in various regions in China.

    Meryl spent eight years as a secondary teacher before she became a Modern Languages Support Officer for Perth and Kinross, where she worked for another eight years teaching in both primary and secondary schools, providing CPD sessions, MLPS training, support for the launch of the Confucius Classroom and Foreign Language Assistants. Meryl has also presented at a variety of conferences both in UK and abroad and over time has formed associations with schools and universities in Europe and Asia. These contacts extend from Brittany to Beijing, from Finland to Bangladesh.

    Most recently, in light of CFE and 1+2, Meryl has focussed on developing cross-curricular approaches to language teaching. This was initially to provide support for the teaching of Mandarin in primary schools. Her work has been shared with other interested parties such as the University of Leiden, who are also exploring the most effective methods for the teaching of Mandarin and this work has greatly influenced Meryl’s approach in the teaching of European languages.

    Contact:
    LH-232 Lord Hope Building
    University of Strathclyde
    141 St James Road
    Glasgow, G4 0LT

    0141 444 8176
    meryl.james@strath.ac.uk 
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