OSFC’s bilingual pupils prove poetry prowess in unique writing competition
Oldham Sixth Form College students have picked up awards in a bilingual poetry competition that celebrates the diverse array of languages spoken in modern classrooms. They were taking part in the national Mother Tongue Other Tongue contest that is co-ordinated by Manchester Metropolitan University. Pupils from schools and colleges across region visited the University on Wednesday for a regional prize-giving and performance ceremony. The annual competition – now in its fifth year – is just one of the activities of Routes into Languages, a national programme promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility in education.
Ebony Omo Ikerodah, known as Aisha, a student at Oldham Sixth Form College, was a joint winner in the Year 12 and 13 category of the Mother Tongue half of the contest with her work in Italian.
Another student at the college, Lydia Hood, who is in Year 12, was a joint winner of the Year 12 and 13 category in the Other Tongue section for her entry in French while Year 12 student Tobias Green was highly commended for his Spanish-language effort.
In the Mother Tongue half of the competition, children who do not have English as a first language or who speak a different language at home shared a lullaby, poem or song from their mother tongue and wrote a short piece in English to explain the poem’s significance to them. The winning and highly commended entries were in Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Bengali and Dhivehi, the language of The Maldives. In the Other Tongue section, pupils submitted poems in a foreign language they are being taught at school including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Urdu and Mandarin.
Yasmin Hussain, Project Manager for Routes into Languages North West based at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a fantastic project. The competition is unique as it allows pupils to use their bilingualism creatively. The project has been instrumental in supporting pupils to explore their multiple identities through culture, poetry and language and sharing this with their peers. Being multilingual has many advantages and it is great that pupils learn to value this early on in their lives. Each year the project has gone from strength to strength and we have received over 24,000 entries in over 70 languages.”
Congratulations to Aisha, Lydia and Tobias for their fantastic achievement!