Channing has been celebrating Languages Week. We have had inspirational talks from writer, broadcaster, historian and most importantly, linguist, Misha Glenny, from Jon Benjamin, Director of the Diplomatic Academy and Nicola Davis, Head of Languages at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the importance of languages for one’s professional portfolio, particularly in these most uncertain of times. The annual MFL Poetry Competition saw some superlative performances across all age groups in Spanish, French, German and Russian. Learning a poem in a foreign language is no mean feat. Reciting it in front of the whole school deserves all our admiration. Pupils have had the opportunity to do taster lessons in Mandarin, Italian, Danish and one of the most difficult languages of all, Turkish. Thank you to Year 8, who cooked up a storm for the European Bake Off, producing everything from Tarte Tatin to Griesstorte to Tiramisu. Luckily the Spanish hula hooping preceded these delights!
As part of Languages Week at Channing, A-level and Year 9 language students were lucky enough to hear Jon Benjamin and Nicola Davis, both senior figures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, discuss the importance of modern languages for a career in diplomacy. Having heard their inspiring talk, I, for one, am seriously contemplating a future in the FCO and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to study languages at Channing at a time when the number of entries for GCSE Modern Foreign Languages nationally is dropping significantly. Thank you very much to Jon and Nicola for giving up their time and answering all our questions, and also to Ms Kyle and Ms Pavlopoulos for arranging their visit. – Clementine Butler Brown, Year 13
On Monday we were extremely fortunate to be visited by journalist and linguist, Misha Glenny, as a part of Languages Week. Sixth form students had the chance to speak with Misha and hear his views on current political issues, the presiding being Brexit, and how being linguistically able could impact this. This was followed by a Q&A session where he emphasised the paramountcy of languages in everyday life and how learning languages can create a host of opportunities. He urged us to persevere with language study and shared his experience of foreign exchanges in countries such as Germany, which laid the foundation of his linguistic abilities today providing him with both the confidence and the experience needed in order to speak foreign languages. – Mimi Hammell, Year 12.