Speakers inspire children at motivational languages evening

Fri, 17 Nov 2017
From left: Timothy Penn; Major Charlie Walsh; Bernadette Holmes MBE; Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Monmouth School for Girls, Helen Smail; Marlies Höecherl; Dr David Clarke and Alex Stoecker.

More than 200 children from schools in the area were told about importance of learning foreign languages in an inspirational evening in Monmouth.

Bernadette Holmes MBE, a Director of Speak to the Future, said the country’s economic prospects would be vastly transformed if everyone had 1,000 words of another language.

Entrepreneur Timothy Penn, Capital Law partner Marlies Höecherl, University of Bath’s Dr David Clarke, Major Charlie Walsh and Master’s degree student Alex Stoecker all spoke about the exciting opportunities which will exist post-Brexit.

‘Your Future in Languages’ took place at Monmouth School for Girls on Thursday night for children in Years 9 to 13.

“Our society and our economic prospects will be vastly transformed for the better if everyone has 1,000 words of another language,” said Bernadette Holmes.

“There are two disadvantages with the global language arrangements. One of them is not knowing English but the other one is knowing only English. But how much other language do we need?

“There are 24 official languages within the European Union and 28 countries while Britain is still there.

“Around the world, the World Trade Organisation deals with 164 different cultures and countries.

Bernadette Holmes MBE

“Clearly, we are not talking about everybody learning multiple languages but we can certainly think about learning at least one or two more.”

Timothy Penn told the students: “Having languages is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from the crowd in this highly competitive world.

“An ability to operate across languages and cultures has provided many business and career opportunities where these skills are at a premium.”

Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Monmouth School for Girls, Mrs Helen Smail, who organised the evening, felt it had been a huge success.

“It was an incredibly motivating evening and we heard from people from different walks of life,” she said.

“The young present from different schools in the area were introduced to the opportunities available in languages and found the speakers very enriching and very inspiring.”