Pupils put language skills to the test

Language Development Workshop. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES
Language Development Workshop. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

Brechin High School pupils, along with other Angus secondary school pupils, took part in an ‘on the job’ workshop to test their language skills.

The event saw pupils having to provide a solution to two real-life humanitarian crisis scenarios, and it required them to work on a solution and present the solution in French.

The first of the two scenarios involved the pupils assisting an engineer or medic from the Royal Navy to make them understood when they are operating within the challenging situation of a humanitarian crisis.

The solution had to be weather proof, easy to use, durable and effective. The pupils were also shown examples of what may or may not work and be asked to identify useful phrases that need to be included.

In the second scenario, pupils were asked to use their language skills to explore the properties needed for a building to withstand a Tsunami. Each group was given a budget and had to design a village within these constraints.

The top eight winning teams were selected from each project by the school staff and they will now compete in a Dragon’s Den Panel consisting of Naval, Angus and SCILT staff on December 17.

The winners will then be invited to explore one of the new Naval ships when it docks in Aberdeen and will also receive prizes from SCILT and Angus Council.

Angus education team worked in collaboration with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT), based at the University of Strathclyde, and the Royal Navy to raise awareness of the need for language skills in the work place for secondary pupils.

Councillor Sheena Welsh, Convener of Angus Council’s Children and Learning Committee, said: “I’m delighted to see this innovative approach to teaching our young people how important it is to learn languages in addition to their own mother tongue.

“The world is changing rapidly it is important that our schools prepare young people so they can flourish and succeed in the globalised, multilingual world we live in.”