Students see excitement in languages study
Taking on role-play in Spanish and constructing a sentence in Chinese – these were amongst the highlights for students who visited Manchester University this week.
The Viva Languages Event introduced Year 8 students to the many opportunities available to people with foreign language qualifications. A national decline in the numbers taking languages to GCSE and beyond makes the qualifications increasingly valuable. Later this term, Year 8 students choose their options for GCSE courses.
Aimed at encouraging students to study foreign languages, the event introduced The Radclyffe School students to basic Chinese. They learnt songs about the capital Beijing and practised simple greetings and numbers. Students at the school already have the opportunity to study Japanese to GCSE, and sampling Chinese showed the students the similarities and differences.
Later in the day the young people played out some stories which they had chosen themselves – a heat of Masterchef in Spanish, and the experiences of survivors of a plane crash! With the support of undergraduates as well as older language students from the school, they wrote and performed their own scripts, which were filmed to create a DVD of the day.
The student’s enthusiasm made an excellent impression on staff from the university. Teaching Assistant Chris Taylor said, “The event was really valuable for students who are choosing GCSE options this term and will be looking at the value of studying languages. They enjoyed the activities, asked lots of questions and got involved.”