The British Library, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The Tower Bridge: if you're planning to visit London as a tourist, these places will certainly be on your 'must-see' list. But now you can also discover them by listening to Block 2 and 3 students from the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature.
As part of their course, these students have the opportunity to take part in an educational trip lasting a few days to a foreign city to practise their language skills and enhance their knowledge of a foreign culture. This year's destination? London!
From the first term onwards, the students were supervised by the teaching team in the Germanic Languages and Literature Department as they developed this audioguide project. "The basic idea was to ask them to create short presentations in English on some of London's most emblematic sites", explains Dirk Delabastita, Professor of English Literature. "But we thought it would be more effective to record these talks in audio form, given the difficulty of being heard by a whole group in the street", adds Professor Lieven Vandelanotte, head of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature.
A list of 23 London sites was then drawn up, and the subjects divided among the students. Supervised by Noémie Nélis and Louise Dumont, assistants in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the students were first asked to put their proposals in writing. "We had to make sure that the content was correct in both form and content," explains Noémie Nélis. "Then an initial sound recording was made via smartphone to correct the pronunciation", she continues. A few weeks later, the apprentice tourist guides were able to record their podcasts in the studio of UNamur's audio-visual department. "We were able to benefit from very professional advice and guidance from the audio-visual department," says Noémie Nélis.
The end result? 23 podcasts, each around 3 minutes long, giving an insight into the history, role and workings of London's major landmarks! All with a touch of humour and a few anecdotes! They're available to everyone, free of charge, in just a few clicks: find out more about these podcasts.
"These podcasts were tested during our trip to London at the end of March with the whole group. And the feedback from both the students and the teaching team was very satisfactory. The students enjoyed the experience despite the workload involved. And from an educational point of view, the results were also positive, as it enabled them to develop various skills, such as a command of English, in the particular register required by podcasts, and a knowledge of English culture", says a delighted Lieven Vandelanotte.
And it has already been decided that the experience will be repeated on future educational trips.