We all know that Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important thing, and forms a critical part of linguistic and cultural development for all learners of languages.

One of the impacts of COVID-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning. Therefore, the Association for Language Learning, the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom have combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’. https://www.britishcouncil.org/school-resources/languages/express-yourself-lockdown

This will be an opportunity to showcase, from home, language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning, or that is normally used in their home community (except for English!)

Language learners can prepare:

  • A short poem in the target language (written by themselves or by another author)
  • A short presentation on any theme e.g. climate change, equality, why I love languages
  • A short sketch
  • A short dialogue

The participants will record themselves delivering their performance, however under-16 participants should use either PowerPoint slides / Bitmoji / other pictures or video imagery rather than showing their faces. This can be a solo or joint performance but should be no longer than 90 seconds in total and recorded in landscape mode.

Teachers can then upload the performances to their teacher or school Twitter, Instagram or YouTube account with the hashtags #CelebrateSpeaking, #LockdownLanguages and the language chosen (e.g. #French) by 28th February 2021.

Contributions are welcome from language learners / users of any age and any language. Adults can upload their performance from their own account.

We encourage all our readers to contribute something themselves in order to get the ball rolling!

Tips for teachers and pupils:

  • This celebration is not a test or a competition, but it is a short performance which may be viewed by others, and you might wish to consider these points:
  • Will you do a solo performance or work with someone else in your family / bubble / online?
  • Will you do a presentation? Recite a poem? A role-play? Tell a very short story? Sing a song? Something else?

Whichever format you choose, you need to get ready to perform.

Rehearsal is really important and helps you make your performance much better.

  • If you are reading someone else’s words, make sure you understand the meaning of what you are saying
  • Rehearse until you don’t need to read what you are saying. Reading aloud is a very difficult skill. It is much easier to perform something you have learnt, maybe using some prompts such as key-words or pictures
  • Practise pronunciation
  • Think about what kind of images you will use – a ppt, pictures, an avatar. Images are often copyright so may not be able to be used.
  • Speak at a smooth, clear pace that is easy to follow

What makes a good entry?

  • Something everyone can enjoy listening to; it is clearly spoken, well-paced, and communicates to others.

Why not use the contributions from your school to create your own festival of languages to showcase how languages can still thrive in lockdown!

You could collect the clips from your students, families, colleagues and others in the school community into an area of the school website, and then share the love for languages!

BC express yourself in lockdown

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