On Friday 3rd Feb, 45 UV and LVI Form linguists from St Mary’s, along with six visiting schools, took part in the first ‘Why Learn Languages’ event held in conjunction with Cambridge University. Four visiting lecturers from the Modern and Medieval Languages Faculty, along with Mrs Alison Auvray (mother of a LV pupil) came to speak to our budding linguists about why learning Languages is becoming ever more important in our post-Brexit world, and ran taster sessions in some of the Languages that would be available at university.

Alice Corr started off the event with a very engaging talk on ‘Why learn Languages’ which certainly piqued everyone’s interest with her different analysis of the different reasons for continuing with MFL. Felipe Schuery ran an excellent Portuguese session, Elena Pinnen a very interactive Italian session, Justin Winslet an introduction to Mandarin Chinese, and Alice Corr delivered a fascinating lecture on Linguistics. Mrs Auvray delivered the Arabic session, drawing on her own experiences of learning the language and then using it in her career – her thoughts about the importance of Arabic speakers to the future of our economy were of great interest to the girls. 

We were thrilled to welcome six local schools to experience this with us (Abbeyfield, John Bentley, Sheldon, St John’s, Marlborough College and Dauntsey’s) and to see how much enthusiasm there is for language learning in Wiltshire – we are certainly bucking the national trend, which is very exciting to see.