The Gregg School

Broadening Business Opportunities Through Language Learning

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 6th of February 2014

On 30 January, six Lower Sixth Form Oundle School pupils studying Russian visited Nottingham University for an 'Unravelling Russia' day organised by Business Language Champions.

The day was aimed at pupils aged between 13 and 18 interested in studying Russian at university and highlighted the benefits of studying a second foreign language at university level.

Jasmine Brar (16) commented, 'Upon arrival we listened to a variety of speakers who explained how studying Russian broadened their business opportunities. We then had a taster session in Russian or Polish if you were already studying Russian. Throughout the day we were given the opportunity to speak to students who were in their final year of a Russian degree to discuss their year out or the course specification and also listened to their presentations on their year abroad.'

Participants were asked to devise a product and business pitch for the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi using their knowledge of Russian. Oundle's Max Farnsworth's (16) team won the challenge - producing the most innovative product - a Sochi branded sledge souvenir with Ellie Berry's (16) team placed second with gloves featuring the Sochi logos that allowed you to still use your iPhone whilst wearing them. Sammy Shair was awarded the prize for being the most enthusiastic participant in the Challenge.

Jasmine concluded, 'We were given a brief tour of the university campus and enjoyed a 'carousel' of activities which consisted of Russian writing practice, learning new verbs and a introduction to Russian culture and food we were able to taste a variety of dishes, including 'Kvas' a drink made from fermented rye bread and dried fish.'
Head of Modern Languages and teacher of Russian, Sara Davidson commented, 'It was a superb day which gave the pupils an excellent insight into the Russian language and culture. They were able to spend time with university students who gave them tips for learning Russian, discussed the Sochi Winter Olympics with a University Professor and were able to sharpen their business skills.'

Oundle's New Languages Centre

The opening of Oundle School's Adamson Centre in October 2013 marked a new and exciting phase for the Modern Languages Department and is the latest completed project in Oundle's comprehensive and ongoing development plan. A stunning blend of traditional architecture and contemporary glass features, the Adamson Centre, formerly the Sir Peter Scott Building, has been redesigned specifically with the teaching of foreign languages in mind. In addition to welcoming over 900 pupils a week, the Centre will also provide a hub of excellence within the wider community of teaching, with staff hosting conferences and lectures to promote the development of languages.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department is one of the largest in the School, with seven languages being timetabled: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. More pupils than ever are learning two or more languages, with many more taking advantage of the breadth of clubs, societies and lectures on offer outside the curriculum. A Level and Pre-U results continue to rise; last summer saw pupils gain 45 A* and A grades at A2, with 20 Oundelians going on to read one or more languages at university.

The building is named after major benefactor and former pupil David Frederic Dobell Adamson who left the School in 1937. He requested that 'this bequest be used to improve facilities for and give opportunities to students to learn to speak and communicate in foreign languages'

The Adamson Centre facilities include:

* 14 Teaching Rooms: Each classroom focuses on a single language and culture and is equipped with high quality audio speakers, an interactive whiteboard and projector.
* 2 Sony Language Laboratories: Two dedicated PC suites combine all the features of a traditional laboratory with the latest multimedia technology, including Sony Virtuoso language software.
* 6 Language Assistant Pods: Fully equipped with touch screen computers, these modern glass fronted rooms are designated specifically for conversation classes and oral examinations.
* The Raymond Lee International Suite: The centre-piece and 'hub' of the Department, this Suite provides a perfect venue for language conferences, films, lectures from visiting speakers and competitions. It is equipped with the latest Skype technology, blu-ray cinema system, projector and blackout blinds.

Former pupil, George Hammon commented, 'Oundle has always been a pioneer in modern languages. As I look back on working in Paris for many years, on graduating from France's top business school, and on my life now in Geneva, I am very grateful for the excellent grounding I was given, and with it, access to the global world of today.'
Broadening Business Opportunities Through Language Learning - Photo 1
Hazelwood School
Grace Education