‘I enjoyed doing all the little competitions and challenges and I liked learning about the culture of France’- Grace(Y9)
‘I enjoy languages as it makes my mind churn and makes me realise that English is not the only language. I also believe it is a great way to make your logic skills grow as you must try and figure out what the words might mean’ – Rishy(Y7)
‘I enjoy languages because it is interesting learning about new cultures and about how different people from around the world communicate in a way which is different to our country. They bring variety to my day and they are something different to everyday lessons and assemblies. I have decided to study languages at GCSE because I believe that they will be extremely important to my future and upcoming jobs. Also I would love to go travelling around the world or maybe work in other countries and by being able to speak the local language this will help me get a job there and join in in local culture’ – Oscar(Y9)
‘People always seem impressed that I’m studying French – it’s clearly a valued subject and it goes well with so many curriculum areas’– Adam(Y13)
‘So far, my modern language experience has been exceptional. This year I have had even more chances to explore my modern language education, in particular French. I have been introduced to GCSE style questions and experiences. We have covered all kinds of topics in French that have deepened my knowledge of the language. I really enjoyed learning about French holidays and festivals, as I could understand much more about the country and see the language in context. In October I went on the French trip were I could actually use the skills I had learnt in lessons and experience the language outside of the classroom. These are just some of the reasons as to why I have chosen to continue to study French at GCSE. I look forward to what Modern languages has to offer in the future’ – Belle(Y9)
‘‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ (Nelson Mandela) – I think that this quote sums up my love for languages as life is a series of interactions, and having the ability to converse in a different language enables you to connect with and understand others on a different level. The experience that understanding another language gives you, in terms of conversation, culture, tradition.. is unique and opens the door to so many different opportunities, especially internationally. Also, the process of learning a language is an ongoing one – there will always be new words, new ideas, to learn, which keeps it exciting’– Pippa (Y12).
‘The French debating competition is a brilliant opportunity to boost your confidence and spoken language as you learn to adapt quickly while under pressure. Planning the motions requires you to think critically and gain new insight about French culture. Whatever the outcome, the experience is both enjoyable and rewarding’– George (Y13).
‘Taking languages at A level is much more varied than GCSE: not only is the language mastered at a high level, the literature, film, history, politics and more broadly the culture are studied. This makes the course more interesting as you learn about how another society differs from your own. Skills gained through the course span cultural intelligence – necessary for an increasingly globalised world - communication and attention to detail.
The genuine ability to pursue your own interests – academic or otherwise – is something else unique to the study of languages. While the independent research project is built into the syllabus, in your own time when completing the ‘wider reading’ required for A levels, interacting with anything in the target language counts: from watching Netflix, to travelling in the country and reading the news.
The dedication of the department at Berkhamsted as well as a passion for the diverse subject matter has led me and many others to pursue languages at university’– Tommy (Y13) .