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New links with German association to benefit hundreds of local childrenNovember 25th, 2016
An innovative school has partnered up with a dynamic German cultural association to promote the take-up of languages by children across the region.
Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls has been invited to be part of The Smart Choice: German Digital Network, the aim of which is to strengthen the teaching and learning of the language nationally.
Run by the Goethe Institut, the project will enable HMSG to organise inspiring outreach activities for local children and share resources with other schools via its website.
Links between HMSG and the Goethe Institut have been strong since 2014, when Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Helen Smail, won the German Consulate Teacher of the Year Award.
Mrs Smail said: “This is a huge honour and underscores the achievements within the MFL department, which teaches French, German and Spanish and enjoys excellent results at GCSE and A level.
“The partnership is very flexible. Alongside running clubs for our preps, Inglefield House and The Grange, we will be contacting local primary schools and using our existing network to organise joint events.
“Learning languages is absolutely vital. As well as raising cultural awareness and promoting sensitivity towards other cultures, learning a language helps pupils to improve their English. German is accessible to younger learners because it’s very close to English.
“I believe that, if a school is focusing on teaching the languages of Europe, it is helpful for them to have access to both a North European language and a romance language, such as Spanish or French.”
She added: “Being able to communicate with people is a door-opener. At a time like this, when the uptake of languages is so low nationally, any child who has knowledge of a language sets themselves apart and gives themselves a huge advantage in the workplace.
“As former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, once said: “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, then you must speak German.””