Modern Languages - Runaway success

22nd March 2013 at 00:00

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.


What else?

Try lucydeutsch's funny and motivational MFL clips to inspire a love of language in your class. bit.lyFunnyMFLClips.

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