Harrogate students tackle world languages

Harrogate Grammar School language deptartment Faculty Leader Jamie Gutch with language students. Picture : Adrian Murray (1311121AM1).
Harrogate Grammar School language deptartment Faculty Leader Jamie Gutch with language students. Picture : Adrian Murray (1311121AM1).

Students have become the teachers at one Harrogate school which is handing pupils, parents and staff the chance to learn up to 24 languages.

A deal with language learning company Rosetta Stone means those involved at Harrogate Grammar School can access software to learn languages such as Dutch, Greek and Russian.

Use of the software runs alongside GCSE and A-level studies, and does not necessarily contribute to attainment of grades.

But it does mean the school’s finest linguists are taking the opportunity to use their skills to help teachers improve their own knowledge.

Teacher Adrian Stipetic has worked on his Chinese pronunciation with students Ying Ying Lai and Qian Zhang ahead of a trip to the country later this year.

Qian Zhang said: “We worked on his pronunciation and it was quite strange to be teaching one of the teachers.

“He is very hard working!”

Jamie Gutch is the school’s Languages Faculty Leader.

He said: “Many of our sixth form students are going to study languages at university.

“All students have access to the languages app.

“It comes on the back of our languages results which are really good year on year.

“While clearly useful for AS and A2 students, Rosetta Stone also provides students with the opportunity to make a new start in a language of their choice.”

The Rosetta Stone software is used more often by younger students in the school.

Sixth former Jasmine Bown is helping younger pupils who are studying for their GCSEs.

Jasmine explained: “I am helping with Year 10 at the moment.

“I go into their lessons three times a fortnight and help out with any questions they have and check their work and make sure they are pronouncing things OK.”

Student Chris Foschi is currently studying Greek.

Mr Gutch said: “ We are trying to let teachers and young people know that learning languages can be fun and interesting, and that is better coming from someone else than me.

“Chris wanted to improve his Greek and that’s not something e could do without Rosetta Stone.”

The school welcomed Chinese Assistant Xiaoxiao in September, fully funded by the British Council.

Around 60 students are learning Chinese at HGS.

In 2012-13 the school’s languages results at AS and A2 level each rose by 12 per cent with a total of 80 students taking a language in the sixth form.