The Modern Foreign Language Society gathered yesterday evening for dinner and an address from Old Oakhamian Abigail Chell. Abigail is currently at Bath University studying French and Spanish and is about to enter her third year of the course, during which she will work as a teaching assistant in a lycée in France, then spend several months working in Spain.
A healthy number of Form 6 students– more, it transpired, than there are in the University of Bath’s entire Language Faculty, listened with interest as Abi talked about the transition from A-level to university, why she had chosen languages, and what she thought the future was likely to hold for her contemporaries. As Mr Milner, The Head of Languages, stressed in his introduction, young Oakhamian linguists and their ilk are the future of Modern Foreign Languages in the UK. There is a huge national shortage of language skills in this country, a fact recognised by government and business. In the climate of Brexit these abilities are likely to be ever more in demand and those who choose to pursue language study in Form 6 and beyond are likely to have a huge range of future opportunities in business, government and other fields which may remain closed to monolingual candidates.
Our second Old Oakhamian speaker Lara Clift, now the Head of International Sales for a publishing company specialising in children’s books was unable to attend because of last minute business arrangements. She is looking forward to coming back to school for a follow up address later in the new year.