Languages in Action
As part of our commitment to the Business Language Champions Scheme, Language Connect is proud to partner with the Convent of Jesus & Mary Language College, in North London. We work together throughout the year to provide the students with insight into the world of work involving languages through hosting workshops and work experience programmes.
We were honoured to be invited to attend the year 9 students’ International Business Day last week to act as judges for their multi-language marketing competition.
The students teamed up in groups of four to create and deliver a marketing concept for a hotel of their dreams situated in the target country that they have been studying: France, Italy or Spain. Each group designed a poster and a leaflet to advertise their hotel. Some included clever details like fold-out maps, brochure pockets and tear-off discount offers. Key recurring themes included a multi-coloured tropical paradise and a heart-laden romantic city getaway – one even featuring a crèche for the kids! (We considered that perhaps the romance was a little premature considering the students’ age, but that’s a separate discussion!) The students included both English and foreign language copy on the posters; an intuitive acknowledgement of the ‘Brit abroad’ stereotype: a British tourist who doesn’t speak the language of any country they visit. Schools like CJMLC are of course fighting for a different future for the next generations.
When we arrived, the Assistant Head teacher informed us that the students had only been briefed about the project that morning and therefore had to think on their feet and immerse themselves quickly in order to invent their concept and deliver a poster and a leaflet which conveyed the hotel’s key amenities, style, and clientele using their foreign language.
My colleague Jessica and I, along with the other two judges, agreed that it was an extremely difficult decision to try and choose a winner from each language; all the work was of a really high standard. We looked at design, colour, image, and above all foreign language content. The grammar was near-perfect and we spotted several subjunctives (correctly used!). After some deliberating, we managed to agree on 1 winner per language.
The students’ hard work was displayed in the school assembly hall, a backdrop to the gentle buzz of excitement as they awaited the results with increasing anticipation.
Jess and I gave a brief talk about the importance of languages in business, and how studying a language does not only mean a career as a teacher or as an interpreter or translator, but can also open doors to many different jobs and pathways in the future. Studying and practising a foreign language develops your communication, analytical and critical thinking skills, all of which are highly sought by employers.
As the afternoon drew to a close, the 3 winning teams were announced. One-by-one, with enthusiastic whoops and applause, each group came up to the front to collect their prizes, offered by another member of the BLC Scheme. All students received a certificate for their hard work.