Sunday 26th September was the 20th European Day of Languages. This initiative, by the Council of Europe, celebrates the linguistic diversity of all languages spoken by people living and working in Europe.
It was a chance for us, here at The Mount, to celebrate and promote multilingualism, reflect on why languages are worthy of celebration and reflect on the wide range of languages spoken by staff and pupils across the whole School.
Pupils in Years 3-6 took part in the “Zoo Challenge” and had to be language detectives, looking for patterns and using their de-coding skills to sort words for animals in five languages. They also looked for links to English and used knowledge of Harry Potter to help categorise the words. Together, we discussed why the word for elephant was the same in all five languages, but why the word for bird was totally different in all five.
The celebrations in Senior School began with a Morning Meeting about the European Day of Languages. Girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in an Escape Room activity. Year 7 did an additional challenge based on identifying key words in a sentence which was translated into a number of languages, for instance in Portuguese, Swedish and Italian. Year 8s shared their best piece of advice for learning a language. All girls from Junior to Senior School were invited to decorate the outline of their hand in a way that celebrates languages. We will later create a display of these hands for the whole School.
In the final celebration of the European Day of Languages, pupils and staff in Senior School are invited to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest challenge. They need to locate the ten QR codes around school, listen to the song, identify the language and then complete some tasks related to the language and culture of that country. House Points and edible prizes are up for grabs!!
By Lisa Gibbs, Head of Modern Foreign Languages