Young Interpreters Celebrate Faith and Language Diversity

Four of our Young Interpreters joined the University of Manchester’s ‘Multilingual Manchester‘ at Manchester Cathedral for ‘A Celebration of Faith and Language Diversity,’ in order to share their work with attendees.

Sifat, Usama, Angelo and Mjd presented workshops to members of the public, talking about their language journeys, their training as Young Interpreters and how they feel that languages have enriched their lives both in school and at home.

Mjd, who regularly interprets for Arabic speakers at our Parents Evenings, told the audience about how he felt as a new arrival in Year 7 with very little English, and how he now feels proud to be the one who is helping others in the same position. Mjd has worked hard to improve his English here at Burnage, working after school with the EAL department regularly and making sure that he listens to feedback from all of his teachers.

Usama, who is the youngest at Year 9, recalled the training he received from Mr D’Agostino through the Young Interpreter Scheme. He shared his knowledge of responsibilities as an interpreter, and some of the techniques he learned including the importance of being a good listener. Being fluent in Urdu, Italian and English, Usama told the audience how his languages allowed him to make friends when he first arrived, and that they often mix their languages and speak in a combination of all three!

Sifat, who also speaks Italian but combines it with Bengali, added that he often uses his skills at home to support his family – and that he uses different languages when speaking to different people. Being able to switch between the three is a real gift and languages have helped him to transfer his skills too.

Finally, Angelo joined us to share his experiences. He only arrived at Burnage in January and was immediately faced with his GCSE exams and a lot of work to catch up on! He worked incredibly hard from his first day, and despite having finished his exams is staying with us until the summer. He is helping boys in Year 7 and 8 with his language skills – speaking French and Italian means he has been great in Language lessons and in supporting new students in Maths and PE. He told the audience about how proud he feels to be helping play a part in the education of other students, and that he is very grateful for the way in which teachers treat him and the other interpreters as adults and trust them to do a good job.

We are always looking for more Young Interpreters! If you’re interested, please come and see Mr D’Agostino or Mr Morrison.