Spanish is just child's play

19th January 2007 at 00:00
The pupils' favourite activity during Spanish lessons at Lawthorn Primary comes as a surprise. The choice for the P6 pupils, who now have Spanish classes every week, includes interactive whiteboard activities, matching Spanish names to body parts and working with a computer-linked dance mat.

But despite the high-tech attractions, it's the role play that holds the most appeal. "I like the cafe," says Dylan. "I know a lot of Spanish words, so I can say, 'Quiero una Coca-Cola y una tortilla, por favor?' That means, 'I want a Coke and an omelette, please.'"

Kirsty enjoys the interactive whiteboard, but also prefers the role play.

"You feel as if you're actually in Spain and ordering a meal. I think Spanish is an easier language to learn than French - and it's more useful to me because we go to Spain a lot," she says.

For Kerry, it's the activities in Spanish lessons that make it attractive."If you've got interactive things to do, it makes you want to pick up and learn the language."

Like many of the children, teacher Mary Hume also finds Spanish a relatively easy language to learn. "Even though I did it at school, I still had a lot to learn. You need to know much more than the kids to teach it well.

"I went on a really intense course, spread over six months, that the authority laid on for us. It gave me a taste for more, so I've been on a course in Spain this year and a teacher exchange visit. All this gives primary teachers such as me the confidence that we're teaching the right things to the kids.

"That's important, because secondary teachers are always saying it's a lot harder to unlearn than to learn. So it's good to know that my kids won't have to unlearn the Spanish I'm now teaching them."

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