European Day of Languages (EDL)
way to raise pupils’ and parents’ awareness of languages in your
school is to organise an event or a series of events to celebrate
the European Day of Languages (EDL). It’s also a brilliant way to
raise the profile of languages by getting colleagues from other
departments and your School Leadership Team involved.
Details about EDL can be found on CILT’s EDL pages.
EDL could be the climax of a whole week’s
activities (European Week of Languages). Talk to your SLT about it
becoming a regular fixture in your school calendar (similar to
Sports week or Science Week) and emphasise the cross-curricular and
whole-school possibilities, it should not be confined to the MFL
department, and does not have to be in the same week as EDL
Many schools organise a week’s activities at other times in the
year to give their school calendar a balance. Use European Week of
languages to promote languages and to emphasise their wider
importance, as well as making language learning fun. You could, for
example, plan a week’s cross-curricular theme with colleagues in
other departments, eg Music, Art, Geography, Science, Drama,
PE. This can be complimented by lunchtime events and
competitions and you can involve the wider school community by
inviting colleagues and parents to language taster sessions or fun
activities, with pupils taking the lead. Your school canteen might
be willing to offer an international menu over the week. You could
promote the week in advance via your school website and parental
newsletter and launch it with an imaginative assembly. Your local
newspaper may be happy to support your event if you send them
details in advance (in the form of a press release) and invite a
reporter and photographer along and remember to involve your school
magazine/student council/PTA for even more support.
Why study languages? Promoting
Languages in Schools
A new student facing website
which contains lots of interactive quizzes, videos and practical
advice for KS3, KS4 and Post-16. The site was written by university
students with recent experience of studying for GCSEs and
Why study languages? 2011
A calendar designed to introduce pupils to a
wide range of languages is available to buy from Routes into
Languages. The calendar features 12 languages, one per month. It
also includes questions that are designed to generate classroom
discussion. Languages featured this year include: Turkish, German,
Brazilian Portuguese, Inuktitut, Catalan, Manx Gaelic, Korean,
Chichewa, Thai, Gujarati, French and Romanian.
Pack of 1 - £6.13
Pack of 5 - £20.42
For further information and to place your order, please go to:
Cross curricular themes
Many secondary schools have successfully
taught units of work from different subject areas via the medium of
the foreign language. This needs careful planning and collaboration
between departments, but schools have been highly successful in
raising attainment and maintaining interest in both languages and
the subject taught.
here to see examples of CLIL in action and further ideas for
increasing motivation and participation at KS4.
We must remember, too, that at KS2 Primary
pupils are being increasingly exposed to languages being integrated
with other subjects. This means they will come to secondary school
with an expectation that this form of teaching will continue and
will have less difficulty than current cohorts of pupils in
accepting this as “the norm”.
The CILT 14 to 19 webpages show examples of
CLIL teaching in action.
Follow the link below to watch a film about
Teaching at Chenderit School on the ALL website.
Ashcombe School in Surrey, International Business Week is seen
as an opportunity to introduce pupils to the role that languages
play in the work place:
For information about the Languages Meet Sport
Click here to see the KS2 QCA schemes of work
for French, Spanish and
Increasing take up at
Many languages departments are struggling to
retain and increase take up at KS4. CILT’s New Pathfinder no.5
“Making the case for languages at Key Stage
4” is a valuable resource for heads of department and is highly
The recent Ofsted report “The
changing landscape of languages” highlights the decline in take
up at KS4 and reports on strategies to raise take up, see in
particular pages 39 to 44.
It is worth considering alternatives to GCSE
accreditation depending on what is appropriate to your school. The
Reshaping languages section of CILT’s
webpages details the different accreditation and qualifications on
offer, together with case studies supported by video clips.
Remember, too, that a language can be an integral part of your
school’s Diploma award, forming the Additional and Specialist
Learning component. Read the CILT pages on the Diplomas for more information.
into Languages has a consortium in each region of England
working to widen participation in languages from KS4 onwards.
cultural agencies which represent the various countries where
foreign languages are spoken offer training and a wealth of
resources (often free of charge). They frequently run competitions
for schools which can help boost the languages departments’ profile
as well as providing an engaging challenge for pupils. Visit
the websites for the Goethe-Institut, the
Français, the Consejeria
de educación and the Italian Cultural
There are also national awards which schools
can compete for. For example, find out more about the European Award for Languages.
The London 2012 Olympic Games provide an
opportunity to promote the significance of languages and culture as
domestic businesses; public services and other organisations
prepare to welcome visitors from all over the world to our capital
Double club is an innovative project which
links language learning and football. It is run in
association with various cultural organisations and Arsenal
football club. General details are available here, there is
also information about the
French Double Club, the German
Double Club and
the Spanish Double Club.