Different languages celebrated as Portsmouth school hosts festival

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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MOTHER tongues from around the world were celebrated as a school hosted its sixth Festival of Languages.

Portsmouth High School invited 10 primary schools to take part in the annual event which celebrates the different cultures in the school.

The languages department gets students at the Southsea school who are bilingual to teach the visiting Year 5 and Year 6 pupils different phrases and words.

Held earlier this week, the event is an opportunity for the school to share its passion for languages with taster lessons ranging from Japanese, Chinese, Finnish, Russian, Urdu and German.

And both sets of students enjoyed the day. Monica-Harrette Koroma, Year 8, said: ‘I’ve been teaching the girls Mende.

‘It is a language mainly spoken in Sierra Leone and I have been speaking it all my life at home.’

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Hannah Brown, from Fernhurst Junior School, added: ‘I have really enjoyed learning the different languages.

‘We only learn French at school and I would love to learn more Russian.’

Amelia Gladstone, from Highfield School in Liphook, said she enjoyed learning German.

Throughout the day, the younger pupils moved around different workshops to learn the language completing games and activities. Alina Pilsworth, from St Swithun’s School in Southsea, said: ‘I liked doing the treasure hunt around the school.

The Festival of Languages is a joyful way of celebrating all the languages spoken in this school.

Susie Humphreys

‘It was all written in Spanish so it was quite hard, but fun. My favourite language to learn was Japanese.’

As well as being taught by the students in the 10-minute workshops, Portsmouth High Schools’s language teachers also helped.

Susie Humphreys, head of languages, said: ‘The Festival of Languages is a joyful way of celebrating all the languages spoken in this school.

‘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.’

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Research shows the best age to start learning a language is seven and this can help the brain grow and develop.

Susannah Stockton, a teacher at Oakwood School in Chichester, said: ‘This is a marvellous opportunity for the girls to be exposed to the fun of learning other, non-standard, languages.

‘It has been lovely for the Portsmouth High girls to be interacting with the visiting girls and inspirational for them all.’

Schoolchildren take part in the Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School      Picture: Malcolm Wells  (180125-4732)

Schoolchildren take part in the Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School Picture: Malcolm Wells (180125-4732)

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Festival of Languages at Portsmouth High School. Picture: Malcolm Wells