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Language Mentoring at Norton Rose Fulbright

On the 6th March 2014 a group of year 10 students from Sacred Heart school of Southwark attended an after school language mentoring session at the London Bridge offices of law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Each month, twenty or so year 10 students from Sacred Heart make the short commute up to the Norton Rose Fulbright offices to meet up with a group of dedicated Norton Rose staff who act as volunteer language mentors. The scheme, which was set up by Southwark EBA, is an example of the success the EBA team has had in its ongoing commitment to foster relationships between local schools and businesses.

Norton Rose Fulbright Language Mentoring 004The one hour after school sessions sees half the students mentored in French the other in Spanish. Thursday the 6th of March was the second language mentoring scheme session of the year and a full compliment from both sides meant that one to one mentoring was possible.

Each month covers a slightly different topic and this month's session was all about pastimes and hobbies. It didn't take long for the students to warm up to the task and start conversing with their mentors about their favourite films and sports, albeit with differing levels of success. Soon enough the conversations filling the room came to resemble a surreal French/Spanish Oscar roll call, '12 años de esclavitud',' Gravité', all the responses one would expect a few days after the Oscars.

The current mentoring scheme is scheduled to run until the end of the school year at which point the students will conduct short presentations in their chosen language. Of these the best presentation could potentially see the winning student rewarded with the fantastic opportunity of a week's work experience at Norton Rose Fulbright.

In as diverse a borough as Southwark it comes as no surprise that Sacred Heart School has seen great interest in the scheme from its students many of whom already speak a second language at home. The benefits of the scheme reach beyond modern foreign language skills.As well as helping the students with their language GCSE's, the scheme has the potential to provide a great crossover between the classroom experience and a taste of life working for a leading law firm in London.Norton Rose Fulbright Language Mentoring 006

This scheme is one of the many that have been set up by Southwark EBA in the borough for the benefit of both students and businesses. For more information, have a look at other projects available for your school or business HERE.

'It's not just helping with their GCSE's, these sessions allow the students to see the place that languages have in the workplace.'

Ms Williams, Teacher, Sacred Heart School

‘The mentors are really friendly and easy to get along with, my mentor has taught me new skills and I think that my mentor can learn from me!'

Priscilla, Student, Sacred Heart School

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