European Day of Languages
On Monday 26 of September and during that week, countries across Europe celebrated the European Day of Languages. This event aims to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe and encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs or for pleasure and exchanges.
At MSJ, we had a whole school assembly when Sixth Formers and Language students were able to share their thoughts, feelings and experience of learning languages and girls took part in a short quiz. The assembly clearly demonstrated that both MFL staff and students feel that languages are really important in today’s world and essential for students in the current global job market.
Our catering department organised a special themed lunch that day, serving delicious European delicacies, such as Beef Bourguignon and vegetable Moussaka. During the week, KS3 pupils had the opportunity to take part in a photo quiz competition and learn about other languages and countries through a range of exciting activities.
MSJ is a multilingual school and we are very fortunate to have many nationalities and a wide range of languages. Pupils not only bring their own languages, but also a wealth of traditions and culture which makes our school very special. As well as studying in an international school, our girls also live in a multilingual global society. It is therefore important to learn other languages besides our own as a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences. Here at MSJ we offer French, German, Mandarin and Spanish as well as a range of extra-curricular languages including Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Sign Language and Thai.
Studying languages also allows the discovery and appreciation of foreign films, literature, music and art. Reading in a foreign language not only helps to develop language skills, but also deepens knowledge and understanding of the country, society and culture. Our girls agree that learning languages is an enriching experience, wonderfully rewarding and of course enjoyable, which is explained by the students below.
“I have decided to study A level Spanish because I enjoy it and it opens up travelling and job options, enabling you to meet new people and experience new cultures. I want to go travelling and work in South American countries using my language skills.” Philippa Wollen
“I am studying AS French and Spanish. I find it very interesting to find out the different expressions and words people from different countries use and it is important to learn about different cultures. Also, languages are a valuable asset in the world of work!” Eve Garland Hellewell
“I am studying French and Mandarin. I have decided to study languages mainly because of the benefits gained from the lessons such as quick thinking and confidence. In languages we learn to look at words differently and learn to communicate with people from different countries.” Andrea Rugasira
“I was always passionate about languages. The curiosity to understand other people and other cultures slowly overtook me. I speak Ukrainian, Russian, English and French. At the same time I continue to enrich my knowledge of each language. You see, when you study a language the learning process never really stops. I even took up Mandarin this year, just because I wanted to study it again, and it is one of the most spoken languages on the planet. Studying languages obviously gives you opportunities and challenges your brain, but it gives you much more - a chance to see the world from another perspective.” Margo Bondarchuck
"I am fluent in Portuguese and I am studying A level Spanish because of my future job, as it involves traveling to different countries. My passion for languages began very early due to my dad's influence as a translator." Filipa Yekini
“I study French, German, Russian and Latin at A-Level. It's never easy starting to learn a language from scratch - it definitely requires effort, determination and patience. But the sense of fulfilment you feel, even just ordering a coffee or a croissant in a different language, makes it all worthwhile. In June, I worked in a creperie in France and in August, I went to school in Germany. When I started learning French and German, I never imagined being able to do such exciting things, meeting such great people along the way and having so many different experiences, but it's definitely possible.” Lucinda Hobden