Senior School News

Languages: A Passport to a Career in Journalism

Mixing it up from their usual German lessons, Upper IV and Lower V girls didn’t just spend their lesson honing their language skills but also learned how languages can act as a trampoline for their future careers. Special speaker Chris Dennis gave pupils an inspiring class on how his language background helped launch him into a flourishing career in Journalism.

As a freelance Sports Journalist, Chris has travelled the world commentating on sporting events. His workshop showed pupils from Upper IV and Lower V some of the skills needed to do the difficult task of broadcasting live on air. In a simulated radio interview, the girls had to think on their feet and answer any questions Chris threw at them about the case study they’d been examining. The case study was on an extract of an interview in German that Chris had carried out with Thomas Röhler, an Olympic Javelin Thrower. The girls did an incredible job, especially considering the speed with which Röhler spoke, and gleaned some new vocabulary along the way.

From Mo Farah and Usain Bolt to Rafael Nadal and Arsène Wenger, Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in the sporting world. Thanks to his languages skills, they have often been carried out in their native language, allowing them to express themselves fully without the need of a translator. Chris explained that coming from a background in languages is a “point of differentiation”, setting you apart from many other correspondents. When he started learning languages, “something just clicked” and languages quickly became his passion. He studied French and German at A-level, before going on to study French and Mandarin at University. He has since picked up Spanish through evening classes and has recently begun “dabbling” with Italian too! Chris’ remarkable career has sparked the imagination of the girls and encouraged them to pursue their languages further. One girl said “I’d love a job where I could travel all over the world using my languages!”

That’s all for now, back to you in the studio!

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