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July 1, 2009

Language Skills in the Community

It is a common misconception that there is no need to learn another language as everyone speaks English. However, 75% of the world’s population speaks no English at all. It is also reported that children who speak at least two languages do better at school than those who speak only one.

Year 9 pupils at the Grove School know all about the importance of learning a language. Jo Small, Education Director at Optima Training (UK) Ltd, recently launched a project at the school to get pupils thinking about the importance of language skills and how they can promote this to others in their local community.

Jo with students from Grove SchoolApproximately 60 pupils are working in teams to develop a leaflet or poster and five minute presentation to promote the importance of learning languages to their chosen target audience – either school pupils, businesses or the general public. The judging will take place at an event on 15 July at Newark Beacon and will be opened by the Mayor of Newark. The teams will deliver their presentations, with the winners being judged on the level of research demonstrated, audience appeal, creativity and clarity of communication skills.

The judges are Stef Hanson, Modern Foreign Languages Coordinator from John Hunt Primary School; Dean Hyde, Chairman of Newark Business Club; Stephanie Bilton, Magazine Manager of It’s All About You; Barbara Nielsen, Consultant for Primary Languages, Learning and Achievement Team at Nottingham County Council. Watch out for the next edition of It’s All About You as the top three groups will have their posters printed in the magazine. The overall winners will receive a voucher to dine out at Via Italiano. Frankie, Manager at Via Italiano, was keen to support the Grove pupils with their language project and said 'Skills are important - languages are one of the secondary items that you need these days'.

If you would like to talk to Jo about this project or perhaps even help her out, please contact her on 01636 653030 or contact us through the website.