Students Celebrate Benenden's Native Languages Week

24 Feb 2023
General, Lectures


In honour of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s International Mother Language Day on Tuesday, Benenden students have created and shared a number of workshops to celebrate the School's Native Languages Week.

Several students worked together under the leadership of Six Two (Year 13) Katie to make an exciting and interactive assembly on Monday, which focused on promoting the value of languages. As part of this, a language workshop was held each day featuring languages such as Spanish, Ukrainian, Turkish, Mandarin and Cantonese. 
Lower Fifth (Year 9) Pilar's workshop was about the Spanish language and Spain's fascinating history, specifically focusing on when the Spanish reached South America and the country's globalisation. Pilar also spoke about Spain's culture and some of the country's traditions (and ended with an impromptu flamenco demonstration!).
Kylie and Nancy, both Six Ones (Year 12s), used their Cantonese and Mandarin workshop to go through a brief history of the languages and to examine how their characters have developed, some of their main differences, as well as a short interactive quiz. 
Six One Mariia's workshop built on the idea that the Ukrainian language is often called nightingale language because of its melodicity. The workshop talked through aspects of Ukrainian culture to understand the language better, and gave the audience a chance to learn a few basic phrases in Ukrainian.

Sara, a Fifth (Year 10), prepared a presentation on Turkey (Türkiye) in which she spoke about the culture, language, and incredible cuisine of the country, along with a few fun facts and an interactive speaking slide at the end. Sara also won over her audience with a few Turkish snacks.

UNESCO's International Mother Language Day has been observed annually worldwide since 1999, on the anniversary of the day in 1952 when the people of Bangladesh fought for the recognition of the Bengali language, leading to the deaths of four students. At Benenden, to celebrate the students' cultural diversity, this is marked with a week of language-based activities.