Farewell to our Foreign Language Assistants: Fostering a Love of Languages

30th April 2024

On Monday 29th April, we celebrated and gave a warm Wakefield Girls’ farewell to our Foreign Language Assistants for this academic year. 

After joining us in November our Language Assistants Julia, Isabel and Othilie, very quickly became an integral part of our school community and got involved with school activities and traditions.

The Language Assistants have been of great benefit to our whole school and the Language Department in particular. They have shared their culture in their language starter clubs and culture clubs, but also throughout their many small groups and 1:1 speaking sessions with students in Year 9 – 13. Their native knowledge of their local culture and language helped to bring fresh ideas and new exciting content to our modern language teaching.

Whenever one walked through the Languages corridor there was always some French, Spanish or German to be heard, exciting topics being discussed or tasty treats being shared. We really hope this has further encouraged our students to continue learning a language. The benefits are plentiful: it makes international travel easier, helps one to appreciate and immerse oneself into foreign cultures, it can bolster  career opportunities and can even lead to a higher salary than monolingual peers

We feel very privileged to have been able to host such wonderful language assistants. Julia has won everybody’s heart with her wonderful German Starter sessions where they danced polka, sang songs, decorated Lebkuchen, ‘cooked’ Schnitzel and were flying the grammar pig whilst discussing deep questions about life in Austria during her conversation sessions.

Isabel engaged our younger classes with exciting games and immersed herself in hispanic culture topics which not only made our A level students reflect their British culture but also made her get to know her own country from a new perspective. 

Othilie was sharing in her group sessions not only France’s culture but opened up to all those other French speaking countries, she unfolded stereotypes and involved herself in debates which could not have prepared our Yr11s and 13s better for their upcoming GCSE and A level oral exam. Othilie has also supported our A level students at the St. Peter’s Debating Competition which will be a long lasting memory for all parties involved.

All three are now returning to their home countries where they continue their studies to become fully qualified teachers themselves.

Here are our students experience of working with our Language Assistants:

  • ‘Othilie and Julia have helped me to improve so much in French and German while also teaching us more about their cultures. With their feedback and support, I have been able to develop all of my language skills, particularly in speaking, as I found it really useful and valuable to have the opportunity to listen and speak to a native speaker and to receive advice from them on pronunciation. We will really miss them’. – Lilly P, Year 10.
  • ‘I have really enjoyed speaking with the language assistant for French this year. I feel like it has helped us massively improve with our speaking, we are very grateful for their advice’. – Charlotte , Year 11.
  • The language assistants have really made the language clubs special. I have really enjoyed going to their clubs and learning about different cultures. Without them the clubs wouldn’t be the same’. – Florrie A, Year 7.
  • ‘Othilie has really helped me feel so confident and happy with my french and every week I look forward to discussing our experiences. I’m so thankful for all our conversations. Isabel has brought so much outside information that’s relevant to the course and intrigued me with different aspects of Spanish culture, I’m so grateful for all her help, articles and guidance’. – Sophia T, Year 12.
  • ‘I really appreciate all of Julia’s hard work. She always puts 100% into helping students through engaging and interactive lessons in a supportive environment, whilst also challenging students to push themselves. The extra resources and time Julia puts into her lessons are excellent and I feel that my German has improved. Thank you Julia for everything!‘ – Ava D, Year 13.


Ms C Donau-Green

Head of MFL Department

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