Visit by Year 8 MFL to Manchester Metropolitan University, January 2016
A group of 27 Year 8 students were chosen to attend a Language Enrichment Event held at Manchester Metropolitan University in January. The event was organised by The Routes into Languages North West Consortium, who work with young people across the region to encourage them to study languages, with the aim of increasing the take-up of languages from school to university.
Students began the day by listening to a talk by guest speaker Carmen Herrero in which she explained how important and useful studying a foreign language can be. Some of the facts and figures shocked our students. For example, only 33% of British people can speak a second language. At Ridgeway High School, all of our students study either French or Spanish. Another eye-opening statistic is that 75% of the world’s population speaks no English whatsoever. This definitely puts an end to the common misconception that everyone around the world speaks English! In fact, there are over 5,000 different languages in the world. Businesses say that, in the future, the three world languages which will be most in demand are French, Spanish and Mandarin.
Our Year 8s loved experiencing a taste of university life for the day, and were especially fascinated by the lecture theatre. Did you know that celebrities including JK Rowling, Jonathan Ross, Lucy Liu, Rory Bremner, Fiona Bruce, Chris Martin and Nigella Lawson all studied languages at university?
We began with traditional Arabic dancing, which we know better as ‘belly dancing’. As you can see from the photos, our students found it hilarious. Next up, they tried their hand at Chinese calligraphy – much more difficult than it looks!
After lunch, we attended both an Arabic and a Farsi taster lesson. Students quickly mastered the basics and before long they were having a short conversation!