European Day of Languages

Last week Melissa from the team had the great pleasure of meeting Lucie Maupetit, a teacher based at Tayview Primary school in Dundee. Melissa asked Lucie about speaking other languages and how important this has been for her personally and professionally. Please read on for the full interview…

 

  • What made you choose to learn English?

I had to learn English in secondary school but when I was 13 years old there was a European festival where I lived, and my village hosted the British delegation which was coming from Dunoon, Scotland. I was so interested in the language and the culture, it sparked a real interest for me to want to learn English even more.

 

  • Do you speak any other languages?

Yes, I speak French and English of course but I also speak Spanish and more recently I have started to learn a bit of Polish.

 

  • What is it like being French living in Scotland?

It’s great, I really like it. It has made me a more confident person because if I say something “stupid”, I always have the excuse that English is not my first language! Also, it is a great way to start conversations because when people hear that I am French they want to know where I am from and a little more about me.

 

  • What brought you to this area?

I have lived in Scotland for 12 years now, I moved to Glasgow as a French assistant to improve my English and I loved it so much that I decided to stay in Scotland. Then I moved to Edinburgh for work and due to family life I came to Dundee in 2015.

 

  • What would be your dream job incorporating languages?

My dream job would be to create resources while teaching my own classes part time so that I can try out anything I create on real classes. It is partially what I am doing just now except that I do not have my own classes.

 

  • Have you worked in any other jobs where your ability to speak other languages has helped?

When I first moved to Glasgow and was working in a supermarket I would regularly get asked to help translate customer’s queries.

 

  • Do you think it is important for young people to learn an additional language? Why?

I think it is really important for our young people to learn languages because we live in an international world where they will be competing for jobs with people who speak two or three languages. Also learning languages helps to improve communication skills, tolerance towards others, accepting differences – all skills that are necessary in our modern world.