St John Plessington Catholic College

Routes into Languages Trip ​​​​​​​

On Wednesday 29th November, Mrs Smart took 23 Y8 pupils to the University of Liverpool for a Routes into Languages Film and Culture event. We travelled by train and had opportunities to practise speaking in Spanish on the journey with our Foreign Language Assistant Maria. During the day we had a series of lectures and seminars which gave us a taste of life at university and our student guide for the day, Robyn, answered the pupils’ questions about studying at university.

In the first session we were surprised to learn that 75% of the world’s population doesn’t speak English and that 60% of English companies cannot conduct business in a foreign language due to a shortage of language skills. This highlighted to us how useful it is to learn another language. 

The second session focused on a Spanish film called ‘Ocho apellidos vascos’ which is a comedy celebrating cultural difference in Spain between the Basque Country in the north and Andalucia in the south. Our pupils were particularly impressive in the quiz and were able to use their knowledge of Spanish to match up the vocabulary and to complete the gap fill task. 

For the rest of the day the pupils sampled taster language sessions of Mandarin, Italian and Catalan. Here are some of their reflections on the day:

Jake - I learnt a few words and symbols in Mandarin. I learnt about Catalonia wanting to be their own country. Shea - I learnt that my name in Mandarin is ‘who’ and a lot of new Italian word and phrases. Lulu - I loved the Italian lesson, I want to learn to speak Italian now. 

Natalia – On the trip I loved learning Mandarin because it was fun trying to draw the alphabet. Overall I enjoyed all of the tasters because I think learning languages is wonderful and opens up opportunities. 

Molly – I enjoyed the Spanish trip because it was interesting when we learnt different languages. It was also interesting learning about Spanish films. I really enjoyed the trip!

Luke – I really enjoyed the Routes into Languages trip because now I know a bit of: Chinese, Italian and Catalan. I also know more Spanish. I would like to be on a trip like this again.

Harry – When I went to Liverpool University I enjoyed going and listening to the Catalan language and the independence movement between Catalan and Spain. I also enjoyed the Mandarin even though it was very difficult and challenging. Learning about human towers sounded really fun but scary as it said they had to climb over 15m high!