For the first time, Year 8 and Year 9 non-native modern linguists competed against each other this year in the ‘Routes into Languages’ Foreign Language Translation Bee. This competition began last September, in Year 8 and 9 French, German and Spanish classrooms, all over the country.
Building on the requirements of the KS3 curriculum, with its emphasis on translation and grammatical manipulation, the aim of the Translation Bee is for students to practise and improve a range of skills vital to preparation for starting a GCSE course: vocabulary, pronunciation, memory, verb conjugation, tenses and sentence formation.
At the beginning of the competition, students were given a list of vocabulary to learn and a ‘toolkit’ of simple sentence combinations to translate into the target language. There were two inter-school stages: in stage 1, the students were tested on the present tense; in stage 2, they were tested on the present and future tenses.
Winners of stage 2 earned a place in the regional final at the Queen Katherine Academy in Peterborough on Tuesday. This third stage tested the students on the present, future and past tenses. Winners of the French stage 2 round were Ruby R and Tom S; German winners were Zara D and Michaela H; and Spanish winners were Poppy H and Michaela H (again!).
Well done to all of the contestants who took part in each stage, and particularly to Michaela H for reaching such a high standard in both the German and Spanish competitions. The standard at the regional final was extremely high and although we did not get through to the national final this year, the pupils showed courage, self-motivation and perseverance and have certainly benefitted from taking part.
Why students should learn a foreign language - By Mrs Laura Robertson, Head of Felsted MFL