European Day of Languages
To mark the European Day of Languages on Tuesday 26th September, students and staff of the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department organised a whole school assembly. They took the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences of learning languages with the whole school.
The theme of the assembly was that language and culture are closely related as a language can be viewed as a verbal expression of culture. In particular, it looked at Chinese characters and how when learning how to write Chinese characters, this is a very good example of how we acquire cultural background knowledge, when learning a new language.
The girls talked about the value of spending time in a foreign country as a fantastic way of immersing yourself in a different culture.
“During the Easter holidays of last year, I went to Salamanca in Spain for a week studying Spanish grammar and conversation skills at a school and staying with a host family. It was an incredible experience for building confidence as I had to speak Spanish for most of the day, and also discovering more about the culture and history of a beautiful city since during the afternoons and evenings, we were free to explore Salamanca.” Eve Garland Ellewell, Year 13
“Choosing to learn a modern language opens up so many options, giving you the opportunity to travel, study, work, and even live in other countries. For example, I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Physics at A Level, hoping to go on to become a doctor. Learning German means that I am not restricted to studying and working in the UK, but could instead choose to experience the healthcare system in Germany if I wanted to. It is not only useful in terms of a career, but also in making friends and experiencing different cultures.” Ellie Manns, Year 13
In addition to language activities in classes, the girls and staff were treated to a truly international menu for the day consisting of full English breakfast, Italian minestrone soup, French beef bourguignon, Greek vegetable moussaka, German zweibelkucken, Polish salads, Russian apple pie and a Spanish tapas evening. Delicious!