Sruthi Vemuri and I were recently selected to attend Girton College’s Modern Languages Day: it was a great opportunity to engage in learning about familiar and new languages – and their cultures – as well as meeting other students and exploring the options ahead of us.
During the day, we were introduced to the courses at Girton and given a talk on the advantages of studying a language, including employability. We then participated in two workshops: culture and language. The culture workshops gave us insight into the country and some historical background, which was very interesting – the workshops ranged from literature (French or German) and linguistics to Spanish Civil War art, where we learnt about Spanish propaganda posters and the meaning behind Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. One of the highlights of the day was taking part in the language workshop, where we got to learn about slang amongst young people in France – it was fun to learn about modern speech patterns and how people our age are modifying their language.
Later on, we learnt about the actual experience of studying a language at university level, but also how this related to us at our current (GCSE) stage. The course involves a year abroad, plus more focus on books, films, politics and current events (the culture in general) in your chosen country. Students on the course told us lots about their experiences – the time spent abroad is a great chance to develop your own independence and fluency in the language you study. Overall, the day was interesting, informative, and an exciting opportunity to explore our interest in languages!
Anna Bailey 11P