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Linguists from five schools join us for our Y9 Languages conference

Keen Year 9 linguists from King Edward VII, Tapton, King Ecgbert, Fir Vale and Notre Dame schools, about 150 students in all, were invited to join us on Thursday 9 February for an exciting new Languages Conference presented by Sheffield Girls’ in association with the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The event started with guest speakers: Professor Neil Bermel from the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Sheffield University, and Linda Billam, from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, talked to the students about the 'the global graduate' and how studying languages can open up a world of opportunities to individuals, give an insight into other cultures, and develop many useful transferable skills.

Professor Bermel said:  ‘Languages are a real accelerator. Our alumni regularly tell us that being able to speak a language has got them amazing jobs. They go onto so many career paths, everything from the more common roles like teaching and interpreting to working for the Foreign Office, in Humanitarian and Charity work, for Sports Federations and in the Oil and Gas Industry.’

Linda then introduced motivating talks from two young Languages Ambassadors, Symone Garvey and Kamilla Rakhmat, also from Sheffield University, who have just returned from their year abroad experiences. They had lots of stories to enthuse and inspire our languages students, giving them an idea of possible careers paths and provide them with key information on how they can use a language in the future.

Students then had the opportunity to do three taster sessions in new and exciting Languages, with a choice of Russian, Italian, Latin, Mandarin, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Dutch and Korean, run by Languages staff and students from Sheffield Girls’ and by students from the University.

The Year 9s left their comments at the end of the day. One girl said ‘I didn’t realise how useful languages can really be!’

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