On the 16th January 2015, 30 year 9 students of Spanish welcomed an Engineer from ARUP to their Spanish class.

The attending Engineer, Javier Sierra from Spain, is an Electrical Engineer at ARUP. He has an MEng in Industrial Engineering and have spent most of his career in the building services sector. He has work experience in Mexico, Spain and the UK. On his visit, he was on a mission to explain to the students how useful languages are for a career in Engineering and science.

Following an engaging introduction about his career, Spain, and the use of languages in general the students worked in groups. It started with a quiz to test the knowledge of languages around the world which became quite competitive! It turns out that Spanish is the language used the most in business and engineering.

The groups were then all given a task where they were put in a situation and had to find out how they would use their language skills to help them. For example, only half of their delivery had arrived or they were ill in Mexico and had help from someone who could only speak Spanish. Without a doubt, this exercise was a real eye opener for the students in so far as it made them realise how they could already apply Spanish to a real task.

Also, this activity certainly fulfilled the aim of CILT Cymru and See Science’s partnership. It showed them how versatile languages were and how language can be a huge asset to a career in Science and Engineering. One pupil commented “I didn’t think that you can actually use Spanish in other subjects!” whilst another said “It was really good! I didn’t realise how much I needed Spanish too!”