Upton Hall Language Week - 17 to 20 October 2011
Life has been even more international at Upton Hall than normal! Tuesday started with a visit from Chris, an Arabic translator from GCHQ in Cheltenham, speaking to a group of 100 students from Years 10 to 13, including some guests from St Anselm’s College. Chris spoke about the job opportunities for good linguists to learn a new, usually non-European language, and to play their part in supporting national security. Arabic, Russian and Mandarin are amongst the most important languages in this regard. In the afternoon, those students learning languages to A level had the opportunity to learn two new languages out of Arabic, Hindi, Russian and Hieroglyphics. Although the new sounds and unfamiliar scripts were challenging, there was also a lot of laughter, as Years 12 and 13 students overcame the difficulties.
On Wednesday morning, a father who works for an American telecommunications company came to speak to Years 10 and 11 about opportunities in the commercial sector and how those opportunities are enhanced by a good knowledge of foreign languages. This was followed by talks by A level students who have recently taken part in our exchanges with partner schools in France, Germany and Spain to encourage younger students to consider taking part this coming year. The enthusiasm of the Sixth Formers was clear and although it is more demanding than a stay in a hotel, they realised that they had gained much more both personally and linguistically.
Year 8 pupils ended the half term with an afternoon packed with cultural activities. Again, we were able to benefit from the kind offers of parents and friends to help us: Spanish dancing, French crêpes, Brazilian food and presentation, Chinese writing and Italian for Beginners were all on offer. It was a fantastic end to an extremely busy but enjoyable week!