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Modern languages - Give your lingo a lift

What the lesson is about

It's that time of year again, when Year 9s (S2s) are becoming increasingly vocal about their plans to carry on with languages - or not. Many departments have drastically reduced in size, often leaving it to one or two people to organise promotional activities, writes Isabelle Jones.

Taking it further

Most departments will organise trips abroad, but if you cannot go abroad, a well-prepared visit to a local French restaurant or tapas bar can provide many learning opportunities linked with topics of food and drink and careers.

A prize such as "linguist of the month" is one way of praising students for linguistic achievements. The faculty should also consider developing a languages web page.

Make the most of cross-curricular projects and creative partnerships, and put language-related events such as the European Day of Languages on the school calendar. Competitions such as the Spelling Bee can also be promoted through classroom activities.

Make the link between languages and the wider world by interviewing foreign language assistants and inviting speakers from higher education and industry. Make use of all the opportunities offered by the British Council through its Comenius and assistants programmes.

What else?

Check out the foreign language Spelling Bee home page for comprehensive vocabulary lists. Want to develop international links in your department? Try the British Council website for more details on e-twinning and other projects.

Isabelle Jones' blog includes advice and information about creative partnerships and the European Day of Languages.

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