We were delighted to welcome Aliyah Pike, Class of ‘22 back to the Modern Languages department to hear about how she is getting on with her language studies at Heriot-Watt University. 

Selecting French and Spanish from National 5 up to Advanced Higher, she commented: “Having the opportunity to study languages is so important and RGC encourages language study in so many different ways throughout primary and secondary school. 

“When I was younger I wasn’t certain what I wanted to study at university but having the opportunity to study different languages helped me find my desire for a career in the field. The continuous support and guidance from the Modern Languages department is one of the reasons why I now study French and Spanish at Heriot-Watt University. Particularly at Advanced Higher, having the chance to hone my spoken language skills with the French and Spanish assistants and get advice and support from them was so rewarding and something that I am extremely thankful for. 

“Coming back to the College and being able to see my former teachers was so incredible and I was so pleased to have been able to speak to some of the current language pupils. I think it’s important that they have an insight from someone who has continued language study to a university level and for them to exercise this skill and take full advantage of the facilities available in the Modern Languages department at Robert Gordon’s College.”

Mrs Lamont, Head of Modern Languages said: "The Higher Spanish class had lots of questions for her and they thoroughly enjoyed hearing about life at university. They were especially impressed by her new found skills in a different language as in addition to French and Spanish she is also studying British Sign Language.

“Language teaching is at the heart of our curriculum where we focus on the skills of Talking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Offering a wide range of languages at early key stages encourages pupils to continue with their chosen language all the way through to S6.

“Nursery pupils begin to discover Mandarin and French from the age of three during their weekly lessons. Language opportunities continue in our Junior School with weekly French lessons from Primary 1. There are also Spanish, German and Mandarin clubs for those who are keen to explore other languages. In Senior School, our pupils can study two modern languages, French, German, Mandarin or Spanish, during the course of S1 and S2 which is in addition to Latin. In S3, all pupils will continue at least one modern language to National 5 level as well as having the opportunity to continue with Latin and take Classical Greek.

“We have native language assistants in all four modern languages who work with pupils either individually or in pairs to help them improve their spoken skills and build confidence and fluency. We also have strong links with schools in China, France, Germany and Spain and have very successful exchange programmes established. S3 pupils can visit Paris as part of our ‘sporting languages’ exchange which focuses on developing communication through sport. There are also cultural trips to Spain which help to put learning into a real life context. 

“Thanks to the integrated 3-18 approach of language learning at Robert Gordon’s College, many pupils leave school with a high level of proficiency in their chosen languages and many continue their studies at university often as part of a joint degree with another specialist area such as law, business or international relations.”

Aliyah joined Robert Gordon’s College in S1 and enjoyed languages throughout her school career.  She studied French from Primary 1 and then Spanish from S3.

Language offering inspired Aliyah to continue studies at a higher level