Vocabularies Stretched at School's Languages' Festival
Friday, 02 December 2011
Year 5 pupils from across the local borough enjoyed a day of foreign language lessons at this year's Bolton School Modern Foreign Languages Festival. The whole day event gave local youngsters the chance to try out a range of new languages including Japanese and Russian, as well as building their understanding of French, Spanish and German.
The Festival is designed to encourage and assist local primary schools to incorporate Modern Foreign Language (MFL) teaching into their curriculum. Small groups of girls and boys from a dozen local schools took part in workshops where they gained an introduction to the language and culture of five different countries and peoples. The schools taking part were Blackrod, Chorley New Road, Clarendon, Eagley Juniors, Heathfield, St Peter's Farnworth, St Philip's Atherton, St William of York, Sunning Hill, The Valley, Walmsley and St Paul's Astley Bridge.
The children were encouraged to join in and have fun as they took part in 35 minute sessions in the school language labs and classrooms, allowing them to benefit from expert equipment and teaching from experienced languages staff, including native speakers. The children were taught basic vocabulary in the sessions, some learned how to count from 1 to 99 in Japanese in a matter of six or seven minutes whilst others used the countdown to the New Year in Puerto del Sol square in Madrid to help them with their Spanish numbers. Some pupils got to write their names in Russian and to discover traditional artefacts and others got to make their very own Japanese hats! At the end of each session the pupils were asked to complete a challenge or quiz to test their knowledge.
The aim was to awaken a love of languages in young people, and inspire them to want to learn about other cultures, people, and the languages they speak, and judging by the enthusiasm shown by pupils on the day, this was achieved.
At the end of the day the children were presented with certificates for taking part and prizes of sweets were handed out to the pupils that did best in each language challenge. Teachers also took away a range of MFL posters.