Love of languages brings HSC success

IGS congratulates Jack Lyons who placed 3rd in the State for Spanish Continuers, and was also recognised as a Distinguished Achiever for Spanish Continuers, French Extension, Economics and Mathematics.

“The state ranking was a bonus for me and it made me feel really proud of my progress in the Spanish language over the past couple of years,” said Jack, who achieved an ATAR of 98.65.

“I want to pay tribute to the wonderful teaching of Ms Juliette Bates who encouraged me at every point.”

Jack explained that he particularly enjoyed his Language courses “as they were the most transferable to the real world”.

“After learning in the classroom, I was able to use what I learned to make connections, get around and just fit so well into different environments, and this was evident when I went to Spain on exchange,” he said.

“Mathematics was also a course that I loved as it taught me important skills that are often overlooked by many people, but have endless applications to the real world.”

Jack was fortunate to live in Israel for some time, adding Arabic to his language abilities.

“At school I learnt classical Arabic, however with my friends, I learnt the language of the street which gave me a deeper understanding of the emotional ebb and flow of the environment,” he said.

“Arabic is something I would love to pursue in order to reach an extremely high level of fluency.”

Jack hopes to utilise his language skills working or study overseas, preferably in Spain or the Middle East.

“I would love to continue studying Spanish and further improve my Arabic alongside a double degree in Engineering/Commerce,” he said.

“I also have considered working as a diplomat and this would give me the opportunity to really make the most of the languages I have learned and do interesting work around the world.”

Jack at IGS Speech Night 2018

Jack credited his teachers for their support, saying they were always happy to help whenever he need it.

“They continually reminded me of what I was capable of to help me achieve it and for that I’m extremely grateful,” he said.

“Their encouragement and support were instrumental in my success this year.”

His love for languages stems from being able to “gain insight into the lives of other people in other cultures”.

“Languages give you the chance to gain a new perspective and, best of all, provide you with the ability to learn the stories of other people, which can sometimes be locked behind a language barrier,” he said.

Jack’s tips for younger students studying languages: “I would urge any language students to really immerse themselves as much as possible by listening to music, reading books and watching foreign news on TV in the language.

“I would also advise any students to go on exchange if they have the opportunity as it was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, and it helped me not only improve my language skills but gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish culture.”

Jack shared that his highlight of IGS was “the culture of the School, the friendliness of the students, the dedication of the teachers and the sense of community which is part of school life”.

“This community spirit is something very special. IGS offers so many wonderful possibilities.”

View other HSC success stories for the IGS Class of 2018.