Skip to main content

Modern foreign languages - In the spotlight

First Orbit: the Russian space story

What is it?

A documentary feature film, First Orbit follows the journey of Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin's orbit around the earth in 1961. It had its online premiere in April last year on the 50th anniversary of the voyage.

It proved so popular that it is now set to be released on a multi-language DVD and Blu-Ray on 12 April this year by independent production house The Attic Room and co-producer IndieGoGo. The Attic Room and IndieGoGo are using crowd-surfing - a modern film-funding phenomenon - to raise funds for the project, encouraging contributions from just $10 in return for a film credit.

How can it be used?

As a starting point for discussing the space race's place within Soviet politics or in a wider debate on the country's political shifts. It is good for improving listening skills.

In the forums

In the TES modern foreign languages forum teachers are debating what GCSE MFL would look like if they ruled the world.

They also go into detail on whether they would support a GCSE system which had compulsory writing and oral exams but no coursework.

Find all links and resources at

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you