My brilliant idea - Squeak spell

Modern languages

All ages

Encouraging pupils to learn spellings is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching a language. However, two squeaky toys have changed that.

I divide my class into two teams and pupils take turns to come to the front of the class and represent their team in le jeu des orthographes. The two representatives are each a squeaky toy, which will act as their buzzer.

They face the class and I write a word from the current topic on the board behind them. As I say it out aloud they grip their toy, and think about how the word is spelt before "buzzing" in to answer.

An intense wait follows as the contestant spells out the word in French while the rest of the class checks the answer against the spelling on the board and team points are awarded accordingly.

This game works particularly well as the whole class is involved in checking that the letters are given in the correct order, and in doing so the spellings are reinforced in their minds

Rachel Godman is head of modern languages at Holmwood House Preparatory School in Colchester.

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