What it's all about
French has always been popular with students at my school, but we still seek new ways to increase take-up and raise standards. So when we had a chance to teach French in the gym with Technogym's "active learning" gym equipment, it was too good to turn down, writes Derek Peaple.
The touchscreen on the equipment is set up in the target language and the students can access presentations and internet sites while they exercise. As they train, all their instructions come through the equipment in their target language, so it's practical. And they find it fun.
The project helps students who are more passionate about sport than languages to feel comfortable, while boosting their self-esteem and performance in the language.
Teaching MFL in the gym may seem unusual, but our students are used to working in a variety of sporting contexts to boost learning.
As well as promoting physical benefits, the scheme has had a radical impact on results. Our Year 10 (S3) class that trialled the project benefited from an 85 per cent improvement in their writing grades. It has also helped to reinforce the language they have learned, which they can put into practice.
Despite a national drop in the number of students studying languages, they are still popular with our students. We believe our approach has kept them motivated and helped them to recognise the value of language learning. The multi-gym has been part of that.
Maths, science and technology also get a boost from lessons in the gym.
Try lucydeutsch's funny and motivational MFL clips to inspire a love of language in your class. bit.lyFunnyMFLClips.