MFL Poetry Day at the University of Kent - Student Report

On Thursday 14th February, a group of Year 10 and 12 students with a shared passion for languages ventured to the University of Kent to partake in a “Modern Foreign Language Poetry Day” lead by renowned German slam poet Julia Engelmann. Many of the group began the day quite apprehensive to open up, however by the end Julia and the rest of her team had created a really warm and inclusive environment in which everyone in the group was able to express their creative ideas. 

The tasks in the day ranged from writing haikus (a form of Japanese poetry) inspired by our favourite drink, to writing short poems inspired by themes such as “my rapper name”. We went on to spend the afternoon creating mood boards covered in magazine cuttings, glitter and inspirational quotes. This combined with a very motivational Spotify playlist, helped us develop an array of concepts and themes to base our final poems around. It was very special to be able to share our poems at the end of the day, some were based on love, others on travelling and even some on food! Throughout the day, as many as six different languages were used, ranging from the ones we learn at school, to Hebrew and Japanese.  

Personally, I was unsure on what to expect from the day, but I found that I utterly enjoyed my experience. It was quite revitalising to experience languages in a new perspective beyond the constraints of the curriculum. Nobody was there to judge your application of tenses or the accuracy of your pronunciation, they simply just wanted you to give you a voice to express what was on your mind and coincidently, allow you to be enlightened by the beauty of your chosen language. I feel the most accurate reflection of the day was when someone summarised it as “a day of yoga for the mind”! 

It was a real pleasure to be part of such an enriching day and I would recommend it to anyone in the future who has the opportunity  to attend a similar event. I would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Styles and Mr Stalley for enabling us to have such a wonderful day as well as to Julia and the rest of her team, who held this event alongside the University of Kent. 

Amelia Coleman - Year 10

Below are links to some examples of final poetry pieces created