More than 400 children - our entire key stage 3 - recently showed off their French and German during our languages festival day at school.
Each class performed as a whole. Some took popular songs and put new words to them reflecting the unit they were studying. "YMCA" became "Sehen und Tun" (things you can do in a town), the "Dating Song" was performed to the tune of "Summer Lovin" and "Summer Holiday" had a tour of countries of the world. Others chose more traditional poetry or songs, even a bit of Goethe.
Older pupils performed sketches, for example a fashion show or interviews on food and drink. Even the staff felt they could not be left out and did their own number about the trials and tribulations of being language teachers.
The event was inspired by Association for Language Learning president Steven Fawkes, who judged the event last year. It was brilliant to see pupils of all ability levels gaining prizes, not just the usual high achievers. Local sponsors raised the money for the prizes.
The impression was one of tremendous enthusiasm and enjoyment. It's true little of the curriculum was covered in the weeks beforehand, but it was well worth it and helped get across the message that languages are fun.
Elaine Pratt, head of languages, Keswick School, Cumbria
Languages Subject Focus, pp30-37