Airport gives language lessons to local school
Published: 18 July 2011
16 pupils from Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School earned a place on a tour of Cardiff Airport in July as part of an ongoing project between the airport and the local school.
The visit was part of a scheme called "Business Language Champions" established by CILT Cymru which aims to encourage pupils to study modern foreign languages at GCSE level and above. The scheme was set up in response to the decline in the availability and level of language skills in the UK.
The project also encourages companies to actively engage in partnerships with a focus on language learning, with businesses asked to share their experiences with school pupils to give a taste of how speaking a foreign language is beneficial in business.
Multilingual representatives from the airport visited the school to discuss the benefits of speaking different languages in the aviation industry, and a languages survey was undertaken by staff based on site at the airport asking what languages they spoke and if it was beneficial to speak other languages in the workplace.
The pupils were then tasked to analyse the surveys and present their findings to airport representatives and their classmates, and to give a language lesson teaching useful French and Spanish phrases which could be used by customer facing staff in everyday airport life.
The winning groups, chosen by the airport, were taken on a tour which included a visit to the air traffic control tower, a demonstration of check-in procedures, a visit to the fire station, a talk by the security team and an insight in to delivering customer services at the airport.
Margaret James, Cardiff Airport’s Contracts and Quality Manager commented: “We’ve been working with Bryn Hafren and CILT Cymru on a languages project for a number of years; however the focus was altered this year to concentrate on how speaking different languages can benefit employees in customer-facing roles. The first hand experience described by staff based at the airport in the surveys enabled us to demonstrate to the pupils that speaking other languages can bring added advantages to everyday life in the workplace.
Once again we were impressed with the enthusiasm and high standards shown by the students towards the task set, and we look forward to developing the relationship with Bryn Hafren further over years to come.”
Danielle Perry, a modern foreign languages teacher at Bryn Hafren added: “The partnership with Cardiff Airport worked well once again this year, and the pupils enjoyed working on both elements of the task.
The project has had a positive impact on the uptake of modern foreign languages at the school, with over 150 pupils choosing to study a language for GCSE level next year.”
Winning pupil Bethan Gould from Bryn Hafren said of her visit: “I really enjoyed the day at the airport because it was really interesting to see all the different jobs available. I now know that languages are very useful to have when applying for jobs and overall the trip was a good experience.”
Chloe Davies, who also won a place on the visit added: “Going on this trip made me realise how important it is to learn languages and all the jobs you could get by knowing different languages. I am glad I had the chance to go!”
Bethan Enticott from CILT Cymru added: "What has been achieved through this project has been nothing short of inspiring. The pupils are thoroughly engaged with the project and have been inspired to carry on with their languages. Thanks to the airport, the pupils realise that there is a real purpose to foreign languages. All credit must be given to the airport as well as the pupils, MFL teachers and students for their invaluable contribution."