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Languages day

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by crumbs18, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. crumbs18

    crumbs18 New commenter


    I have been given the task of planning a whole school languages day in my primary school. I’d love to include different languages from around the world and was thinking of doing some general activities such as looking at numbers and greetings across various languages to compare them then focus on 2 different languages in each year group. Does anyone have any good ideas for sport and art activities I could use or have any top tips from their own experience of organising a day like this? I’ve had a look at the EDOL activities on here which are great but I’d like to include some languages outside of Europe too.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I think you are being over ambitious in wanting to focus on 2 languages per year group.
    What languages do the teachers have some competence in?
    minnie me likes this.
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Easy to want to try to throw everything at it . I would avoid a scattergun approach as tempting as it may be ......You need to focus on the purpose of the day ? Drill down to a couple of specific objectives. Cultural activities can be enjoyable/informative . A member of staff once asked his Japanese wife to spend time with our students as part of a project - went really well though to be fair she was a natural and delightful - important to know in advance the ' quality' of anyone be you may invite into your setting ?
  4. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Are you a member of the "Languages in Primary Schools" Facebook group? The topic of language days is often discussed there and you'd find lots of helpful suggestions.
    crumbs18 likes this.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I agree with other posters that you need to focus on the purpose of the day, and think what resources you have available to make this happen. Do any of the staff speak another language, or have a partner/friend who does (and might be willing to come in/help with advance preparation of an activity)? Do you have any children who speak another language, or parents/grandparents?
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. crumbs18

    crumbs18 New commenter

    Thank you for the advice. SLT want the main aim to be a celebration of the languages we have in school so I am keen to involve confident bilingual children to model language in the sessions as well as confident bilingual parents. I think I need to focus on one language per year group and plan sessions around cultural activities with anything spoken supported by video and found links
  7. crumbs18

    crumbs18 New commenter

    Posted too soon... video and sound links for non specialist teachers. It’s quite overwhelming with which languages to focus on but I will have to bear in mind the resources we have access to when planning the day. Thanks for your help.
  8. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Have you asked local secondary school if they can bring in some pupils to lead activities?
  9. ashleysummer

    ashleysummer New commenter

  10. ashleysummer

    ashleysummer New commenter

    [This comment/section/image has been removed]
  11. VersusSR

    VersusSR New commenter

    Share with us what you decided and how it was at the end. If you need to do it again what you would change and what would you do again?
    minnie me likes this.
  12. crumbs18

    crumbs18 New commenter

    Thanks for all your advice. Plans are in motion for the day. Have decided to do a general language assembly where bilingual children can introduce themselves, reasons for learning a language and a guessing game around words with funny literal translations in English.

    After that children will go back to class and spend time sharing languages with each other (I sent a letter home inviting all children to bring something language related in such as a book, postcard, coin from holiday etc.) Im hoping that this will make everyone feel included.

    For the rest of the day each year group will look at one language, learn some key words and take part in some cultural activities such as food tasting, art and sport.

    We will also have a world themed lunch menu and encourage children to use please and thank you from the language they are learning that day.

    We will see how it all goes. Thanks for the tip about the LIPS group on Facebook. There were lots of great ideas from people who have held similar language days.
    Kartoshka likes this.
  13. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    If you can, it would be fantastic for each class to listen to a story read in the language they're studying for the day. A picture book is ideal, even for older children, as the pictures give them something to focus on. If you can't find anyone who knows the language, perhaps you might find be videos on YouTube of someone reading aloud. The reason I suggest this is that I've noticed it's often surprising for monolingual children that another language isn't just made up of single words or short phrases. Many of them find it intriguing to hear long strings of 'random' (to them) sounds that make up sentences and conversations and stories. It makes the language more 'real' to them.
    tweemy, MosaiK and crumbs18 like this.
  14. crumbs18

    crumbs18 New commenter

    We held our language celebration day today. I heard lots of good feedback from staff and children. We had a whole school assembly, visitors speaking Spanish, Dutch and Greek and a variety of cultural and language activities with one language in each year group.

    These activities worked well if you are thinking of planning a similar day - ordering and eating a French breakfast, building the Eiffel Tower & Leaning Tower of Pisa with spaghetti and marshmallows, sending coded messages in Greek, making Greek scratch art vases, making Polish open sandwiches, tasting hagelslag, making Spanish fans for flamenco dancing, creating Ben Heine style art based on buildings in different countries, designing menus and ordering and eating gelato in Italian.

    A tiring but fun day which I feel raised the profile of languages and got the children engaged and interested.
  15. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Wow! So many great ideas. Thanks for coming back and sharing.
    crumbs18 likes this.

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