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IT’S a school where 17 languages are spoken.

And to mark that extraordinary figure, Portsmouth High School in Kent Street, Southsea, held its second annual Festival of Languages.

The day encouraged pupils to teach others about their second language.

A recent audit of the school found that they had at least 17 different languages that were spoken by students at home or to family members.

The school invited 12 primary schools to learn from the students.

Activities were held during the morning including a treasure hunt where they had to look for letters which spelt out the French word for language, and Spanish games created by the Year 7 students.

The pupils were then split into groups of their schools and learned numbers and letters for the different languages. Pupils learned Japanese, Hindi, Catalan, Bengali, Urdu, Arabic and Mandarin among others, with 12 languages learnt in total.

Yasamin Naser, a Year 9 student, was teaching Farsi which is spoken in Iran.

The 13-year-old said: ‘I speak Farsi at home and I went through the language with pupils from the other schools.

‘I taught them how to say the numbers, how to recognise them and how to say hello. The morning was enjoyable and I did it last year as well.

‘It’s really fun and I think the younger students find it fun too.

‘It’s good that the school is encouraging us to use our other languages and share them with others.’

For head of languages Susie Humphreys, the festival stops the students being embarrassed about their second languages.

She added: ‘It is a celebration of what the girls can do and it gives them the chance to showcase it.

‘It means the girls don’t become embarrassed of the other languages they know.

‘The morning went very well and the groups were 
a really great way for the pupils to get a taster of the different languages we had on display.’

 

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