This year, Habs Languages Week introduced new ways to celebrate linguistic diversity and cultural exchange.
The week began with a student-led assembly courtesy of the Modern Foreign Languages Committee. Consisting of Boys’ and Girls’ school students, the assembly highlighted both the pure enjoyment and importance of learning another language.
Citing real-life examples such as improved cognitive skills, the chance to make friends and connections abroad, plus the enhancement of career prospects, the assembly was followed by a busy calendar of events.

A taste of France
The French Biscuit Bake-Off got the week off to a sweet start. Led by Madame Lavelle, it added a flavourful twist to language exploration. Students were asked to bake traditional French biscuits to honour the Gallic culture and determine Habs’ own star baker.
A fun fact regarding the event is that just like a biscuit, the word itself can be broken into two parts; bis- a way to say ‘two’ or ‘twice’, and cuit– meaning ‘cooked’.

Acting in Spanish
Continuing the fun, a group of Upper Sixth A-Level Spanish students performed a hilarious play called ‘La madre del año’, translated as ‘Mother of the Year’.
The story featured four contestants competing for the title in front of a judging panel, only for the competition to be disrupted by a surprise last-minute entrant. The students’ performances were near professional throughout, with the lecture theatre filled by audience laughter.

Talents and treasures
The Talent Show was a great opportunity for students to display their hidden talents and it was really interesting to see how they related to languages. Better still, performers in both the play and the Spanish play and the Talent Show commented on how it improved their confidence around speaking in another language.
Meanwhile, the Lower Four Treasure Hunt was another highlight, providing students with an engaging and collaborative experience. Encouraging both teamwork and problem-solving, it also came with the added challenge of being in another language.

Language Day fun
Lower Fifth Language Day went beyond the curriculum, giving Year Ten students a platform to explore foreign languages in a practical, immersive way. In a different approach to the typical GCSE lesson, the “Learn a New Language” event offered an invaluable opportunity for students to expand their linguistic horizons. Being off-timetable, it also promoted a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse languages and cultures.

Creating a buzz
Rounding things off, the week finished on a high with the Spanish, German and French Spelling Bee. The competition tested students’ linguistic abilities to the limit, until there was only one left standing for each language.
The event not only assessed their knowledge, but also honed in on their listening skills, with contestants having to grasp the words audibly before accurately spelling them out. For any students looking to study languages beyond GCSE or even A-level, these events were a useful tool for building confidence and learning how to apply their language in a practical context.
I, for one, witnessed how the week generated new enthusiasm among students and teachers. While the final day was mainly focused on student learning, teachers were encouraged to get involved with their own mini competition. This added an extra layer of excitement, as they had to infuse multilingual elements into all their lessons for the entire week.

A week of wider learning
This inclusive ethos extended beyond students studying Modern Foreign Languages, exposing everyone to a medley of linguistic possibilities. At the end of the week, students were encouraged to vote for the most multilingual teacher. The new phrases introduced by teachers added fresh words to our vocabularies, sparking excitement among students and teachers to learn a language.
Geography teacher Miss Wakefield was just one teacher invigorated by the week. “This experience reignited my passion for the French language and inspired me to pick it up again.”
The Habs Languages Week was a resounding success, fostering a spirit of inclusivity among all year groups. It left both students and teachers keen for 2024’s event. The Modern Foreign Languages Committee is grateful to all teachers who helped organise events, and to all students who took part.
Sophie (HGL6), Habs Girls’ School – Modern Foreign Languages Committee

The winners