Portsmouth High hosts ten schools for festival of languages

Portsmouth High School was delighted to host ten visiting primary schools for its sixth Festival of Languages. The annual festival provides the opportunity for the school’s Languages department to share its passion for languages and to celebrate some of the languages spoken by pupils in the school.  

Pupils from the Senior School joined specialist teachers in leading the sessions to teach a carousel of ten taster lessons, with languages ranging from Japanese, Chinese and Finnish to Russian, Urdu and German.

According to research, people who speak at least one other language enjoy 8% more earning power than those who only speak one language.

‘Today is a joyful way of celebrating all the languages spoken in this school,’ said Head of Languages, Miss Susie Humphreys. ‘Opportunities for our pupils to get a chance to share their love of languages, opportunities for other schools to hear different languages spoken and an opportunity to showcase the joy of languages around the world.’

The event was for local primary and junior school pupils in Years 5 and 6 and the morning was designed to ignite a love of languages and also to celebrate the rich diversity spoken by pupils in schools across the county. Research shows that the best age to start learning a language is seven and this can help the brain to grow and develop.

‘This is a marvellous opportunity for the girls to be exposed to the fun of learning other, non-standard, languages,’ said Mrs Stockton, a teacher at Oakwood School. ‘It has been lovely for the Portsmouth High girls to be interacting with the visiting girls and inspirational for them all.’

‘I’ve been teaching the girls Mende,’ said Monica-Harrette Koroma from Portsmouth High’s Year 8. ‘It is a language mainly spoken in Sierra Leone but I have been speaking it all my life at home.’

‘I have really enjoyed learning the different languages,’ said Hannah Brown from Fernhurst Junior School. ‘We only learn French at school and I would love to learn more Russian.’

‘I’m really interesting in learning more German,’ added Amelia Gladstone from Highfield School.

‘I liked doing the treasure hunt around the school,’ said Alina Pilsworth from St Swithun’s School. ‘It was all written in Spanish so it was quite hard, but fun. My favourite language to learn today was Japanese.’

There are believed to be 7,000 different languages spoken around the world, with more than half having no written form. All the visitors had a taste of a few of those at Portsmouth High School.