Embracing Foreign Languages at Blatch
Here at Blatch we are delighted to be developing a new multilingual library as well as introducing foreign language reading groups and an Arabic club!
Students have been reading in different languages during registration time for the last year or so, but since September we have been trying to develop the groups by increasing the number of students accessing them and in turn, increasing the number of languages in our multilingual library. We currently run two groups that meet weekly during form time; Tuesday is Mandarin and Japanese, and Wednesday is Italian, Spanish, Greek and Russian.
The students who attend the groups all read in their home languages and the books have been sourced from families or staff who have kindly donated books. We’ve also been investing in books with money and Amazon vouchers kindly donated from the RIC and a local company. So far we have books in the following languages: Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian and Polish! We are just about to buy Greek and French books, and are always looking to expand our multilingual library. Students are able to read the books in the RIC and take them out on a short-term 7 day loans.
The students have been really enjoying the multilingual library and year 10 student Amel said it was ‘a great way to start the day’. Thank you to everyone who has donated books to us – they’re certainly being put to good use!
Our Arabic Club also meets regularly on a Monday lunchtime and is space for Blatch’s Arabic speakers, or anyone who is interested in learning Arabic, to meet up and discuss Arabic language and culture. So far the students have created short films and a display on the influence of Arabic on the English language (did you know the word ‘sugar’ is derived from Arabic?) as well as devising assemblies for the rest of school! At the moment, the students are reading an Arabic folk Tal each week - a couple of students take it in turns to read in Arabic and then translate the text to English.
Blatch is also pleased to announce that from September 2019 we will be offering an Arabic GCSE to our Key Stage 4 students! Moving forward, we will also look at offering Arabic as part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum in order to make the course accessible to those who have no prior experience of the language.
At Blatch we are always proud to embrace multiculturalism and hope that by encouraging students from a range of backgrounds to share and discuss their languages and cultures, we can create an environment where everyone feels welcome and proud of their multicultural identities.