Trend Defied as Pupils Enrol on Foreign Language Degree Courses

A Yorkshire school is defying the trend of declining numbers of modern foreign language learners with 14 pupils going on to study the subjects at university.

More than three-quarters of the language exams sat at St Peter’s School, in York, resulted in either A*s or A grades yesterday’s results reveal. Students are now going on to study a range of languages at university ranging from Chinese to Arabic. One student, Sarah Coidan, studied both French and Spanish at A-level and is now preparing to read Italian at St Andrews.

St Peter’s headteacher Leo Winkley said: “Independent schools are leading the way in modern languages teaching. The ability to communicate and connect with people from all kinds of settings is a vital 21st century skill.

“With no fewer than 14 of our leavers going on to study language degrees at university, modern language learning is flourishing at St Peter’s.

“A good language teacher can teach so much more than just the language. Language learning lends itself beautifully to cultivating independent thinking and creativity, as well as an appreciation of how other people think and feel.

“Good language teaching is not just about developing skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing – it’s about providing a window on different cultures. Language learners develop self-confidence, respect for others and an outward-looking mindset.”

This year St Peter’s has also launched a Latin GCSE which is available to school pupils across York.

Taken from the Yorkshire Post: 19.08.11