Imogen Tate, Claudia Lavender and Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis, girls from Senior 4, Senior 5 and Upper Sixth respectively, recently took part in the Routes Into Languages ‘MFL Speaking’ Competition at The Royal High School, Bath.
Each girl had to deliver a short presentation in their chosen modern foreign language, competing against many students from other schools.
Imogen Tate, age 14 from Southsea, took part in the Key Stage 4 section speaking in Japanese. She spoke about special varieties of sweets in Japan and included an anecdote about how she accurately predicted a new variety’s marketing technique when she was last visiting the country. The organisers had to draft in a Japanese judge specifically because Imogen was the only competitor to attempt Japanese for the competition.
Head of modern languages, Mrs Xaviere Harvey, said: “Imogen’s Japanese sounded intensely difficult but really attractive and fluent. We were delighted that Imogen was highly commended in her category!”
Claudia Lavender, age 15 from Wells, took part in the Key Stage 4 near-native speaker section, which was of an exceptionally high standard. Her speech, in Romanian, told of how ironic it is that she has been successful in the pole vault since she is quite clumsy.
Mrs Harvey added: “Claudia took a bamboo stick with her to demonstrate her pole vaulting technique, which she then accidentally kicked across the stage, creating much laughter from the Romanian judge and from those in the audience. Claudia excelled by being awarded runner-up.”
Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis, age 15 from Ireland, took part in the Key stage 5 section, which was the biggest, containing nearly 20 sixth form students. She incorporated mystery, suspense, imagination, dramatisation and intellectual depth in her speech about dreams. She made links between symbols she observed in one of her own dreams and those of the world of famous Spanish surrealist painters, poets and playwrights of the 20th Century. She dressed in keeping with her theme and brought a quill pen and a well-researched slide show to illustrate it to great effect.
“Naivasha is academically advanced for her age and she is studying and competing as an Upper Sixth student even though she is still only 15 years old,” said Mrs Harvey. “Her competitors are a full three years her senior. This makes winning her section by some distance even more impressive.”
Naivasha and Claudia have now been invited to take part in the South West region finals on June 25 at the University of Bath.