Success is the same whatever language you speak

NSW Education language schools win 28 First in Course awards.

17 December 2020
Four students stand on a stage holding certificates.
Image: Students from the Saturday School of Community Languages received 20 First in Course awards in this year's HSC.

Students at NSW Education language schools obviously have a way with words in whatever dialect they speak with 28 awards at today’s HSC First in Course announcement.

The Saturday School of Community Languages (SSCL) secured 20 first places and the NSW School of Languages eight top spots.

Eszter Violet Coombs, from the NSW School of Languages secured two first places in Spanish Continuers and Spanish Extension while Maria Kontou at the SSCL Kogarah High School Centre was also a dual winner for Modern Greek Continuers and Modern Greek Extension.

SSCL principal Sana Zreika said the benefits of language learning were extensive and long-lasting.

“Language skills are vital to succeed in an increasingly globalised world,” she said.

Ms Zreika said students had demonstrated extraordinary strength and resilience given the challenges of the year.

More than 3,200 students at SSCL transitioned to online learning not once, but twice during COVID-19, she said.

NSW School of Languages principal Hilary Hughes said the students who had topped their language courses showed that even a pandemic could not dampen their enthusiasm for learning.

Ms Hughes said she was proud the had students continued to work so well while studying a language through distance education.

“The students have been guided through the online work by our experienced teachers, as well as having weekly one-on-one speaking lessons. This year many of their lessons were conducted through online video chats which gave teachers and students more opportunity to bond and give feedback,” she said.

The NSW School of Languages in Petersham is the state’s leading languages educator via distance education to students in Years 9 to 12, while the Saturday School is the leading provider of face-to-face languages education in the state.

The Saturday School of Community Languages provides courses in students’ background language when it is not available at their home school, operating at 14 high school centres and offering courses in 26 languages to students from Year 7 to Year 12.

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