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How to teach a friend a language

Among students at Woodbridge High School in Essex an impressive 50 different languages are spoken and for the past few years they have been sharing the language skills and knowledge about different cultures with friends.

Teach a Friend a Language (TAFAL) has become an annual competition that now involves students from other schools and serves as an inspiration to many more across the UK.

The TAFAL competition brings students together to teach each other their language and some aspects of their culture and customs. The pairs meet regularly over several months to practise the dialogue they will perform in front of the judges on competition day.

Entrants are also judged on their table display and on the national costume.

Woodbridge High received a European Award for Languages for the project in 2002, with the judging panel commenting: "This project not only brings out the enjoyment in teaching and learning a new language, but also helps pupils form a new and deeper friendship across cultures."

* A report on the project, which includes details on how to run a TAFAL competition, can be downloaded from the CILT website

* The World Day for Cultural Diversity, on May 21, and the European Day of Languages, on September 26, would be ideal platforms for a TAFAL competition in any school

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