A group of students from Saint Paul’s took part in a Languages workshop at Xaverian College Manchester organized by the University of Cambridge designed to encourage an interest in foreign languages and an interest in studying languages in the future at university.

The Year 9 high flyers met with staff from the university and engaged in an interactive question and answer session on the importance of studying and speaking foreign languages.  The university is keen to promote transition and progression from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4; from Key Stage 4 to Sixth Form and from Sixth Form into studying languages at university level.

The next activity for the pupils was taster sessions in languages which varied from Arabic to Portuguese and Italian to Chinese. These sessions gave the pupils the opportunity to have a glimpse at languages they had not previously learned and to consider how it would feel to study them.

“The students all responded very positively and their behaviour was fantastic throughout the day,” said Mrs Anna Maria Shah from Saint Paul’s. “It has made them think of languages as an option to take at university either by itself or combined with another subject, something they were unaware of prior to the day. They found the glimpse into languages with characters other than the English alphabet fascinating. The day spent at the college, together with the input from the university staff and student ambassadors, has certainly motivated our students into raising their aspirations.”

“At Saint Paul’s, we recognise the value of foreign languages and we want to encourage our students to be able to use more than one language,” commented Miss Amy McCarron Head of Modern Languages at Saint Paul’s. “Learning other languages and valuing other cultures promotes tolerance and understanding at home and abroad. Also, as it becomes increasingly important for firms to compete on a global scale, employers are placing more and more value on those who can offer an additional language.”

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