Multilingual ice cream

1st October 2004 at 01:00
Our tiny village primary school in Somerset, with only 60 children on roll, is situated less than five minutes away from Lovington's Ice Cream Company.

We held an ice cream week in the summer term, starting with Chinese cultural awareness day, when the children learned about the oriental origins of ice cream and were taught Chinese calligraphy and made banners and lanterns.

During the week, a wide range of activities took place including thinking of a name and designing the labels for the ice cream manufacturer's newest product; tasting a range of ice creams and comparing its nutritional content with yoghurt to see which was healthier; comparing the packaging of different ice creams; collecting data and producing graphs to show favourite flavours; designing spoons for ice cream at key stage 1; the children creating and writing their own recipes and then making and eating them; illustrating and writing an ice cream week diary; searching the internet for the history of ice cream and working together to produce musical advertisements for a new product. Children were also involved in selling the ice creams to their classmates after lunch.

Few areas of the curriculum were left uncovered and the children had great fun learning how to ask for ice cream in 12 different languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Welsh, Afrikaans and Norwegian.

Much has been made of the decline in popularity of foreign languages and of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's discovery (reported in The TES this summer) that ordering ice cream in a foreign language is regarded as boring.

Nothing could be further from the truth at our school, where Spanish is taught at KS1, French at KS2 and two children who are through to the semi-finals of Eurotalk's Junior Language Challenge are now learning a bit of Russian as well.

Jo Gay Class teacher, Lovington CE Primary School, Somerset

Eurotalk Junior Language Challenge:


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