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Mind the Language Gap

Six dual linguists in Year 11 had a day testing their languages skills, winning the University of Sheffield’s Mind the Language Gap Competition on November 30th.

The event is a partnership between the University of Sheffield, The Rail Alliance and Business Language Champions and is an insightful opportunity for pupils studying French, German or Spanish, aiming to showcase the many career paths they can pursue by being bilingual in business and engineering fields.

One major industry focused on during the day as being an excellent place of work for languages pupils is the rail industry. Trains as a method of travel are rapidly gaining popularity as they become more sophisticated, offering faster and more environmentally friendly journeys across the UK and beyond. With partnerships in countries across the world, rail companies have lots of opportunities for employees to use languages in a business context.

Linking with train travel, the day included a business challenge themed around the rail industry, in addition to a keynote talk by Lucy Prior MBE of the Rail Alliance. The rest of the day was packed with chances for pupils to put their knowledge of languages into practice and learn key employability skills, including a language taster in Japanese, a presentation by pupils in their target language, and the opportunity to meet business people working internationally.

The girls really embraced the creative and tricky challenges and communicated spontaneously in French, German and Spanish, with Year 11 Jenna commenting on the day, “This is the most fun I have had with my languages ever!”. The team of Yasmin, Isobel and Anubhuti went on to win the competition, and Jenna and Lucy were also awarded prizes for language skills.

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