University of Kent Languages la Carte trip

On the 15th of March, 14 students from The Malling School participated in the Languages à la Carte event at the University of Kent Canterbury Campus. Different language lecturers and native speakers provided a series of taster sessions in unusual languages and students had an opportunity to sample Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin and Italian. Students were able to introduce themselves in Portuguese, as well as order food in Japanese. Our students also won the quiz on Portuguese culture and history! Did you know that Anglo-Portuguese Alliance is the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world, dating back to 1386? This is why the British love their Port wine so much!

The day started with an interesting lecture on how language works in the brain. The speaker focused on interesting areas, for example, on how the brain stores language in different areas of the brain, with an area for memory and recall and another area for production of meaning. Dr Christina Kim also spoke about how the brain perceives a string of sounds, rather than words with meanings when we do not know a language. She also spoke about how different languages split the colour spectrum, with Japanese only having one word for both blue and green, but with Russian splitting blue into two further word colours for different shades of blue.

To round up a great day in the spring sunshine and a taste of languages in the context of University life, students attended a presentation by a 4th year student of French about spending a year abroad as part of the university course and what it means to study a language at University level.

Languages are a skill for life and something that you will own forever once you learn them.

Studying a language means that you can make links with other people and cultures and you will have an array of life opportunities opening up to you.

Some of the comments from the students that came on the trip:

‘It was a great experience’

‘It was fun and useful’

‘I thought it was amazing and interesting’

‘Very good experience, informative and fun’

‘It was very useful, interesting and inspiring’

#languagessquadgoals