Friday, 26 February 2010

‘Bienvenue à Rugby!’ – Students encourage French visitors to their town

Students in Rugby tested their language, tourism and business skills recently when they were set the task of promoting their town to overseas visitors.

The sixty students from Rugby High School, Avon Valley School and Bilton School listened to presentations by two local business people who use languages in their work before putting their language skills into practise to create posters promoting Rugby as a desirable destination for French athletes taking part in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Gisèle Pellegrini, Director of Positive G and Steven Janes from Wright Hassall LLP, spoke to students about the impact of languages on their careers and helped them to research the vocabulary, images and slogans they would need for their posters.

This event took place as part of the Business Language Champions (BLC) programme.  The programme, run by the Regional Language Network (RLN), aims to bring the world of work into the classroom to raise the profile of languages and encourage more students to continue studying languages.

The schools hope that the winning entry will be displayed in the art gallery in Rugby as well as featuring on the Rugby website and being presented to the Tourism group at Rugby Council.

Yvette Grogan, assistant headteacher at Rugby High School, who hosted the event, was delighted with students’ work and their attitude to the session, she said:

All the students worked diligently and enthusiastically together to produce some eye-catching and informative posters about Rugby. Many thanks to all those involved in organising and participating in the event especially Gisele and Steven who promoted the importance of languages in careers very successfully. We would encourage any other schools interested in raising the profile of languages to consider running such an event.

Gisèle Pellegrini and Steven Janes were both really pleased with the effort students’ put into their posters, as Gisèle commented:

I was impressed by the students' creativity and the effort they put into promoting their town. I am sure they understood how valuable languages can be to open up multiple career options and put them in control of their own prosperity. A very enjoyable day!

Steven Janes added:

I enjoyed telling the students how the languages I learned at school have helped me in my career, from working on the Channel Tunnel project to helping foreign companies set up business in the UK.  The students put a huge amount of effort and enthusiasm into their posters and hopefully many of them will carry that on into studying languages at GCSE and beyond.”

Frances Pallett, BLC project manager at the RLN, confirmed the event was a big success:

Gisèle and Steven brought their very different career paths to this event and made the students realise that languages really are beneficial across all industries.  The level of work produced was fantastic and I hope it has helped the students make that connection between languages and career advancement.” she commented

Caption: (from left to right) Gisèle Pellegrini and Steven Janes with students from Rugby High School, Avon Valley School and Bilton School.


Issued by Regional Language Network West Midlands.  Media contact is Frances Pallett on 0121 329 3297 or 07789 116818

Notes to editors

The Regional Language Network West Midlands helps businesses and individuals to overcome language and cultural barriers and provides a 'first-point-of-contact' for all language and culture-related queries in the region.  For more information please visit the RLN website

The Business Language Champions programme inspires and supports employers and employees to work with schools through languages.  The programme, which is supported by the DCSF (Department for Children, School and Families), aims to encourage young people to understand the benefits of learning languages and the exciting and rewarding careers available to them with languages.

Rugby High School is a specialist science and language college and caters for academically able girls aged 11-18.  For more information on RHS please visit their website  

Avon Valley School is a self-governing 11-16 Foundation School, which is also a specialist performing arts college.  For more information on Avon Valley School please visit their website  

Bilton School is a specialist maths and computing college based in Bilton, Rugby.  For more information on the school please visit their website

Positive G provides Franco-British trade facilitation, helping businesses to enter the French market by providing them with market research, client searches and translation and interpreting services.  For more information please visit
Gisèle Pellegrini is a former Chairman of the Rugby Branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and was one of its Directors from 2004-2006.
Wright Hassall LLP is a leading law firm in the Midlands, providing legal services to both businesses and individuals.  For more information please visit their website


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