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Friday, 15 November 2013
This year’s Bolton School Modern Foreign Languages’ (MFL) Day for local primary school children was bigger than ever in the range of taster languages that could be sampled and in the number of schools that took part. The event, which was hosted in both the Boys’ Division and Girls’ Division Senior Schools, gave local Year 5 pupils from across the region the chance to build on their understanding of French, Spanish and German, alongside the chance to try out a range of new languages including Japanese, Chinese and Russian.
The Festival is designed to encourage and assist local primary schools to incorporate Modern Foreign Language teaching into their curriculum. Small groups of girls and boys from 14 local schools took part in workshops where they gained an introduction to the language and culture of six different countries and peoples.
The pupils 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 using props of peas and chopsticks. Some pupils got to write their names in Russian and to discover cultural traditions. At the end of each session the pupils were asked to complete a challenge or quiz to test their knowledge.
During the lessons, the teachers from the primary schools enjoyed a CPD session on ‘Apps in MFL.’
At the end of the day the children were presented with certificates for taking part and all took away MFL posters, bookmarks and card games.
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.
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