Oasis Academy Shirley Park, in Croydon, south London is a school that has gained a lot of fame. It is thought to have the highest number of different languages currently spoken in a British school.
Just how many languages are we talking about? 69.
69 different languages – both major and minor ones.
The school has a population of 1,539 children aged between 4 and 19. 422 of them speak English as a second language.
Turkish is the mother tongue of 41 students, Urdu is spoken by 30 pupils while 29 have French as their native language. 28 children speak Somali, 23 Jurdish, and 18 speak Arabic.
Other languages spoken in the school include Kenya’s Kikuyu, Nigeria’s Igbo, Afrikaans, Berber (spoken in Algeria and Morocco), Burundi, Congolese, Croatian, Lithuanian, Mandingo (spoken in the Gambia and other African countries), Mandarin, Oshiwambo (spoken in Angola and Namibia), Papiamento (spoken on the Caribbean ABC Islands), Serbian, Shona (Zimbabwe/Zambia), Slovak, Sorani (Malaysia and Singapore), Telegu (south east India), Wolof (Senegal) and Shosa (south eastern South Africa).
There is also sign language.
The numbers on Kikuyu are unknown.