A world of words explored in inaugural Perse Languages Week

A kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions from across the globe were celebrated during the first-ever Perse Languages Week.

From German to Japanese, a variety of exciting workshops, talks, quizzes and productions took place to highlight the importance of modern foreign languages.

Language students from Year 10 to Upper Sixth showcased their acting and linguistic skills with performances of short plays in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre.

Performed in Spanish, the Mexican ghost story La Llorona portrayed the complexities between the dynamics of conquistadors and indigenous women during the colonial era, with references dating back to Aztec mythology.

Further tension came in the form of an extract from Goethe’s Faust in the original German, while a heart-warming retelling of The Enormous Turnip in Japanese lightened the mood.

Upper Sixth French students joined forces to write and perform their own play Le Diner de Quand, a murder mystery based in a restaurant, while there were also readings of Chinese prose and poetry.

The aim of the drama showcase was for students to engage with literature, folklore and storytelling outside of the classroom environment, improve their pronunciation and confidence in speaking and performing in an informal setting, as well as gain a better understanding of the culture and history of the language.

Pupils enjoyed a talk from Old Perseans Alex Carmichael and Evelyn Edge-Partington (both 2019, pictured above right) about studying languages at university and had the chance to take part in a fun linguistics competition, solving problems around the structure of different languages.

Japanese was explored with a screening of the award-winning film My Neighbour Totoro and a cultural workshop with quizzes and the opportunity to make miniature origami samurai helmets.

Creative skills were on display with workshops based around Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, Chinese calligraphy and German ‘karneval’ masks.

Students did a joyful jig during an Irish dancing workshop and picked up some Persian with a special taster session before an Italian cuisine quiz provided a fun food finale to Languages Week.


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