Celebrating Languages at Warwick School
Classrooms and corridors at Warwick last week were echoing with vocabulary and conversations in a myriad of different European languages in celebration of the European Day of Languages.
Many of our Year 7 pupils kicked off the week with a teacher/language hunt, during which they tried to identify a phrase in one of the many European foreign languages carried by members of our staff. This certainly opened the eyes of many to the vast number of different languages spoken on the continent, and it was brilliant to hear pupils and staff alike trying to wrap their tongues around the foreign language phrases throughout the day. Congratulations to Gregory K who managed to accurately identify 26 of the European languages!
Monday also saw the first of our two culinary events to celebrate European language and culture. The catering staff offered up some delicious German-inspired food in the dining hall, including German dumplings or Knödel, Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat, and Apfelstrudel. In the words of some Year 8 pupils, the food on Monday was “super lecker!” The catering team have continued with their European-themed menus; a French menu was on offer on 5 October and Spanish dishes will be served on 12 October. On Tuesday it was the sweet smell of various European-themed baked goods which filled the corridors of the Modern Languages building, as many of our Year 7 and 8 pupils entered the “Great European Bake Off”. From south-German Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte to Spanish bizcocho, we were delighted to celebrate the culinary cuisine associated with the modern languages studied here at Warwick. The categories for prizes were taste, presentation, and creativity/risk-taking, and William B (Y7), Harrison P (Y8), and Logan C (Y8) won the top prize in these categorise respectively. Well done to all who entered!
The Sixth Form had the opportunity on Thursday to expand their knowledge of different writing systems, alphabets, and etymology in their form time quiz. We discovered that the oldest language script is the cuneiform script, which was used for over 3 millennia in cultures such as the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hittites, and that the Latin alphabet was borrowed from the Etruscan language.
What was most inspiring during this week of language celebration, however, was that so many of our pupils and staff engaged in conversations about their experiences of language learning. Indeed, it highlighted just how often we rely on our knowledge of other languages, or simply our experience of learning another language and the skills picked up along the way. We encourage you to share some time with family and friends discussing your own experience of learning languages – you might want to use these prompts to trigger conversation:
- Do you already speak another European language?
- If you could learn another European language, which would you choose and why?
- Describe a situation in which knowing a foreign language (even a little bit!) helped you out in a difficult scenario
- Describe a situation in which knowing a foreign language (even a little bit!) would have helped you out in a difficult scenario
- What is your favourite foreign word and why?
- How do foreign languages fit into your daily life, work, interests?
Mr Stingemore | Head of Modern Foreign Languages