Back in October, at a training session for schools in Plymouth, one of the key recurring themes was the need to build the profile of languages. Schools were keen to see events organised out of school and projects to take place during the normal rhythm of the school year. Both, ideally, should show students the real meaning of learning a language, give some cultural insights and allow learners to use the language creatively.
So over the last few months I have been working with The Plough Arts centre in Torrington, north Devon, and the Phoenix, Exeter, to put together speed-chatting cinema events for year 9 students. They've both been fantastic- arts house cinemas work incredibly hard to get young people through their doors to show them that a different world exists from the massive multiplexes and block busters.
Over the last few days we've held up here in north Devon events in Spanish, using the film Voces Inocentes, about child soldiers in El Salvador, and in French using Micmacs, a bizarre but engaging comedy tale of revenge. The feedback has been generally really positive, however I still need to work out a better way to structure the discussions after the film- all suggestions hugely welcome for groups of 100+ 14 year olds!
Anyway, the way the mornings worked...
- students arrive and complete a prediction task based on 6 events which take place in the film
- students match basic questions- "What is he called, where does he live etc" to build up their understanding of the lead characters
- students try to work out key details from a song (Voces Inocentes) and the poster (Micmacs)
- students are encouraged to shout items of vocabulary as suggested by the teacher, using the vocab mat provided, trying to build up to sentences (below)
- the film
- adjust the prediction task to see how much they got right
- Rock paper scissors evolution (slide below) to encourage lots of interaction
- The different groups of students that emerge from that game are then grouped to discuss the next question n the vocab mat. Repeated changes to encourage them to interact with a variety of people (including different schools)
- I need one more high quality game here to get students naturally interacting
Please feel free to use these documents, either in lessons or to arrange similar events in your local area. If I can help just yell!