Modern languages - Give your lingo a lift

13th January 2012 at 00:00

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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today