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School life | Year 10 at the Festival of World of Languages

02 May 2018
Gold medals were seen being carried by our year 10 Spanish pupils last Monday. Ms Sanz, Modern Foreign Languages Teacher, tells us why… Last Monday, we celebrated The Festival of World Languages at Soong Chin Lin School where more than 150 pupils from schools around Shanghai participated in exciting and challenging experiences in English, French, Spanish and Mandarin. The purpose of the festival is to connect pupils who are passionate for learning about world languages and cultures, while deepening their interest for linguistic studies. Intercultural awareness and language learning are extremely important at Wellington College, as we are a truly international school with over 40 nationalities represented by our pupils and staff members. We started the day at Wellington having a lively breakfast together, sharing ideas and enjoying the anticipation of the festival with some Spanish music. During our bus trip, I was very impressed to see how engaged the pupils were, as they worked with each other on speeches and statements for their debate motions. Upon arrival at the festival, pupils launched into a demonstration of their skills through different events including declamation, impromptu speaking, live skit and/or debate. Our pupils decided to participate in two categories of the language mastery section: impromptu speaking and debate. They worked hard on preparing their categories, which involved applying previous knowledge to speaking tasks, answering unprepared questions and adapting the register as required. The audience enjoyed the impromptu speaking very much, especially given how creative and analytic the pupils were in their preparations, as they created their own scripts. Our debating team also used their meta-thinking and linking skills to debate the following motion: “Teenagers should have the right to decide what time they arrive home after a hard school day or during weekends.” The debaters were assessed on subject knowledge, relevance, logical reasoning, definition, refutation, persuasiveness, appearance, language knowledge, accuracy, and intonation/pronunciation. Our pupils worked as a group and it was wonderful to see them so engaged and helping each other to achieve their best. Their concluding speech was truly inspirational! This festival was not meant to be a competition between schools, but rather a celebration of world languages and pupils’ academic achievement in challenging experiences. Our IGCSE pupils did some outstanding work and all gained gold medals. Un trabajo excelente! I am extremely proud of their achievements!  
A pupil’s perspective on the festival
The 2018 Festival of World Languages at Soong Ching Ling school was an unexpected triumph. Our small, close-knit Spanish class of 10 enthusiastic pupils walked in not knowing what to expect, and not entirely confident in our Spanish skills when facing high-caliber Sixth Formers with much more experience than us. We spent the week leading up to the event preparing tirelessly for the two categories we would be participating in: debating and impromptu speaking. On the day, with the support of our ever-encouraging teacher, Ms Sanz, and a steady attitude of teamwork and communication — every single one of us managed to walk away from the festival with a gold medal. Walking up on stage was a proud moment for all of us, not only pleased with the concrete proof of our Spanish abilities, but happy that we were able to proudly represent Wellington’s Spanish department. It was an extremely fulfilling experience, and I hope that we will be able to participate, and even host, many more events like this in the future. Mia Wu IGCSE Year 10