How often have you heard it said that we live in an ever-shrinking world? Politics, trade, diplomacy, law – all of these reach beyond national boundaries. There has never been a better time to learn a modern language. The ability and willingness to communicate with others, as well as an understanding of different cultures and attitudes, are key assets in almost any walk of life. At St. Swithun’s, we aim to equip our girls with the tools to cope in an international context. Learning any foreign language gives you an understanding of how language works and so facilitates the acquisition of further languages later. We therefore ensure that all our students have the ability to communicate with our European neighbours and economic partners in France, Germany and Spain, whether it be the L4 learning to talk about themselves and their hobbies or the U6 discussing weighty political, cultural and environmental issues.
Learning a language is fun, too! Lessons are lively, with plenty of opportunity to practise speaking and understanding. We have regular visits to France, Germany and Spain to enable the girls to put their knowledge into practice, and a well-equipped department gives more advanced students access to authentic materials via magazines, internet and video. Italian is offered as an additional subject in the sixth form. There also are sixth-form links with Winchester College, plus opportunities to try out your foreign language debating skills and tackle the challenge of the Linguistics Olympiad