After a brief talk on ‘Why Study Languages?’ by Mizumi Nango of York St John, the students participated in three language taster activities. The first activity was Japanese. The students enjoyed learning the numbers 1-10 by throwing balloons to each other and counting each time they caught one. The Japanese theme continued with the students making jumping frogs in origami and gaining an insight into Japanese characters.
York St John’s Stuart Gilliland kept them on their toes in the second session, communicating by sign language for the first half an hour before revealing he was in fact a hearing person. The students then began learning the signing alphabet and how to exchange simple facts about themselves.
St John Fisher students have been studying Latin at school, so the third activity revolved around this classic language. James Harrison of Bootham School ran a quiz on Latin words and names that are still used in English today. This was followed by a whistle-stop tour through the essential points of Latin grammar.
The students were thrilled to be given an extract of Harry Potter in Latin to read. A tour of the University Campus rounded off a captivating day of linguistic activities as well as being an insightful look into university life.
Head of the Languages Department at St John Fisher, Russell Pearce said:
The day was an excellent opportunity for our students to experience the range of possibilities for studying languages at university and opened their eyes to the importance of linguists for the British economy. On a lighter note, it was great fun and they were, as ever, a credit to themselves and the school.”
The trip was part of St John Fisher’s Gifted & Talented programme, aiming to build on the link between the school’s and University’s Languages Departments.