Local schools celebrate language and culture at UCLan

28 September 2017

Region’s schoolchildren visit University for European Day of Languages event

Schoolchildren from around the region have come together at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to celebrate language and culture from around the world.

More than 150 pupils from nine schools across Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester gathered at the University for the annual European Day of Languages event.  They met international students from around the globe, learned about opportunities to study abroad and took part in taster sessions in language such as Arabic, Japanese and German.

Speaking at the event, Jacques Burgess, 15, from Moor Park high School in Preston said: “A person who knows two languages is as useful as two people and I also feel like learning additional languages gives you a new perspective on life.”

His teacher, Faculty Leader for Modern Foreign Languages at Moor Park Charlotte Foster, commented: “We want to show how learning additional languages opens up new opportunities and raises aspirations.  The pupils have really enjoyed meeting students from the University and hearing what it’s like to study abroad and also practising their language skills with some of UCLan’s international students.”

Natalia Hajdacka, 15, from Hodgson Academy in Poulton-le-Fylde said: “I really enjoyed meeting the students who have studied abroad and I’m particularly interested in learning Chinese.  I already speak Polish and I think in modern society having additional languages is important.”

The event was established by the University more than 10 years ago to encourage young people to learn about other cultures and international opportunities

"We want to show how learning additional languages opens up new opportunities and raises aspirations."

Raees Rashid, a 15-year-old pupil from Hyndburn Academy in Accrington, said: “I think it’s becoming more important to speak more than one language and it’s great to be able to come here and see how we can further our knowledge and experience new cultures.”

Senior Lecturer from the School of Languages and Global Studies Silke Engelbart organised the celebration.  She added: “We’ve run this event for the past 11 years and the schools really seem to get a lot out of it.  Our aim is to inspire and encourage the young people to be open to new cultures and feel more confident in developing their languages skills.

“All of the UCLan students who take part in this event do a fantastic job of engaging with the schoolchildren and enjoy sharing food and traditions from their native countries.”