European Day of Languages 2023

The international community at Robert Gordon’s is celebrating European Day of Languages with various events and activities across the week.

Recognised on Tuesday 26th September, European Day of Languages is an opportunity for countries across Europe to celebrate languages around the world.

Kicking off our celebrations earlier this week, Mr Campbell, Head of Languages, wrote a blog for HMC on The Power of Language in Today's Global Landscape.

In collaboration with the Senior School Charities Committee, pupils hosted a charity bake sale in support of Maggie's Aberdeen, where pupils and staff could purchase home bakes representing various countries. 

Mrs Eadon, Teacher of French and German said: “I was delighted that so many pupils got involved, baked cakes of all shapes and sizes which not only looked good but sold quickly and were delicious too!” 

Miss Clyne, Teacher of French and Spanish and one of the College Charities Committee Coordinators, was thrilled to report that we raised £163 for Maggie’s. She shared: “I was so impressed by the number of pupils who got involved in baking some real showstoppers over the Founder’s Day weekend. Their creativity and attention to detail really shone through, which will make choosing our very own Star-Baker a tough challenge!” 

Ms Speidel, Teacher of German, created a Form Class quiz for S1 to S6 to complete throughout the week in their morning form period. With her Higher class, Ms Speidel also shared some German Oktoberfest themed snacks to introduce pupils to some local specialities. Sehr lecker! 

Mrs Adam, Teacher of Mandarin, hosted “Ballad of Mulan” where Primary 6 and 7 pupils welcomed Michelle Yim, Actress, to the Craig Centre for Performing Arts. Bringing the Chinese folk tale to life the audience was mesmerized by the solo-show which toured throughout the UK. At the end of the show, pupils asked the actress some very inspired questions about Chinese history. Michelle Yim was very impressed by their knowledge of China and Chinese culture. 

Dr Alexander, Teacher of Classics, gave a fascinating talk at lunchtime on Wednesday about the Rosetta Stone, one of history’s most famous linguistic puzzles. It led to the decoding of the enigma of Egyptian hieroglyphics and unlocked many of the secrets of Egypt’s ancient civilization. Pupils came along to find out what it is, when and where it was discovered, and how it was deciphered. They also did some puzzles to decode the names of important figures in Graeco-Egyptian history in hieroglyphs and ancient Greek letters.

Our Languages Ambassadors, S5 and S6 pupils studying Higher and Advanced Higher Languages, hosted an assembly with S1 and S2 year groups where they highlighted their different reasons for continuing languages studies throughout their school careers as well as their plans for the future at the College and beyond. Some also talked about the fact that, at times, they found language learning difficult to begin with, but, like riding a bike, it takes time and patience to develop the initial skills, before your journey becomes much smoother.

Mr and Mrs Duncan, Teachers of French and Spanish, are collating the annual pupil and staff survey to see how many languages are spoken throughout our community. We look forward to sharing the results soon!

Mr Campbell, Dr Galbraith, Assistant Head of Languages, along with our native Language Assistants (Lucy Marie, Jade, María José and Xiaoming) share more below about learning a language at Robert Gordon’s from Nursery through to S6. Subtitles are included if you are not fluent in French, German, Latin, Mandarin or Spanish.
At Robert Gordon’s, pupils have the opportunity to study a wide range of languages, learning not just vocabulary and grammar but also widening their knowledge of other cultures, traditions and lifestyles. Throughout their language journey, Junior School pupils can experience French, Spanish, German and Mandarin, with this provision continuing into Senior School where Latin and Classical Greek are also on offer. Classical Studies is available to pupils in S6. During S1 and S2, pupils study two languages. In S3, all pupils continue with at least one language to National 5.