Year 9 Languages Day

On 29th January, the year nine timetable was changed. Languages Day had arrived, along with several other language teachers, who would educate pupils in new languages that were different to the normal French and German classes. The taster languages included: Japanese; Basque; Spanish; Russian; Arabic and Italian. Each student had already chosen two of these choices above and would have a forty minute sample of each one. The morning commenced with eighty minutes of learning two fresh languages and then rounded off with a French Play. I had chosen to study Japanese and Basque.

Basque, spoken around the Spanish and French border, was odd, brisk and informal, ranging from tongue-slurring phrases to simple one-syllable words that could mean a whole sentence. Japanese on the other hand was far more complex. Japanese speech is made up of many components, including two types of symbols and a whole new way of saying words. In short, to have mastered Japanese, you must have learnt at least 3000 significant emblems and know how to pronounce each detailed character. It was interesting though, learning numbers up to one thousand, and repeating basic phrases. To finish this lesson off, we made frogs using the ancient paper art of origami.

Next came the French Play. To some people this may seem formidable, but the play was easy to understand and used audience participation to explain phrases and make it a more enjoyable experience. The subject matter was amusing and sometimes ridiculous, featuring a sixteen year old boy, Jean-Paul, who unfortunately had no luck when it came to attracting girls. Throughout the play, several ‘magical' young women climbed through his window and tried to help him in his quest of asking out a certain Angelica. These girls, (and some were dressed in the most bizarre attire,) would persuade him to become a vegetarian, or take up boxing or dress differently. One left a skull behind in his room. The play as a whole was entertaining and funny, making some people giggle (especially the students who had the good fortune to go on stage.) (Laura Simpkins 9N)

Created: Thursday, February 11, 2010 | School News Page

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