Languages promoted

00:45, Aug 24 2012

Being bilingual opens more doors, says a Polish-speaking student at Marlborough Boys' College.

As part of International Languages Week, which runs until tomorrow, the college students have been learning a new greeting in a different language every day.

Year 9 student Tim Ryan, 14, said speaking Polish at home with his mother helped improve memory and made it easier to learn new things.

It also helped him understand Polish culture.

"You can't really understand a culture unless you speak the language," he said.

Tim has travelled to his mother's home country three times and has a Polish passport. He said he had easy access to the rest of Europe and other cultures.


"It really opens more doors."

South Korean student David Jeong, 15, has been in New Zealand for about five months. He arrived with his father, who is pastor in the Korean community in Blenheim, his mother, and his sister, a student at Marlborough Girls' College.

There are only two other Korean students at the college and it was hard at first to speak English all the time, David said.

Coming from Seoul, which has a population of more than 10 million people, he had found Blenheim very small.

David said his English had improved and he was proud he could say he spoke English and Korean.

Languages teacher Julia Young said learning a new language gave students important skills.

Language week not only helped people learning a new language, but also recognised the diversity of cultures, Mrs Young said.

The college had about 1000 students and they had some sort of connection to about 30 languages, she said.

"It's really a celebration of the diversity of those connections."

The Marlborough Express