Start learning languages as early as possible | Portsmouth High School

Start learning languages as early as possible

Prep School girls spent a themed day immersed in modern languages finding out about explorers and conquerors. Pupils learnt about the Silk Road in Mandarin and about Alexander the Great in Greek. They researched Christopher Columbus in Spanish and learnt a French song about travelling around the world. 

At Portsmouth High Prep School the teaching of languages starts in the Pre-School where girls enjoy lessons with a specialist teacher. In Reception Class, French lessons are timetabled twice a week with a teacher from the Senior School, and girls have the option to attend Spanish Club once a week which has proved extremely popular.

Reception Class teacher Sarah Holden said ‘In addition to our language tuition in Reception we also have bi-lingual children in class who share their home languages with us as a natural learning extension. Recently we all enjoyed a pupil singing Frére Jacques to the class in German and another pupil showed us how the numbers 1-10 are written in Farsi’.

Jane Arthers, Head of Languages at the Senior School, said ‘It is important children start learning languages as early as possible in order to profit from a young child’s natural ability to copy and imitate speakers without inhibition.’

‘Language learning should be explorative and progressive and woven into the whole school curriculum rather than being taught as a ‘bolt-on’ subject. Today the girls have been true explorers in languages and this is a great foundation from which to further their learning.’