We all know that the Primary curriculum is full to bursting, and that teachers are incredibly busy.  But we also know that children enjoy and learn a lot from encountering other cultures and ways of life, and that they gain in confidence and Literacy skills through experiencing and using other languages.  These tried and tested suggestions outline some ways schools integrate international elements into the school year with the least effort!

Have you thought about Assembly ideas?
An assembly about children in another country – you could use one of the British Council videos here where SMSC issues come across very strongly.  An assembly about:
• how other countries celebrate Festivals (Easter, Christmas, Whitsuntide, All Souls (Hallowe’en).
• words that English shares with other Languages – Latin roots, German roots – and so support Literacy.
• about famous people from other cultures.

Have you thought about School Concert / Parents’ event ideas?
Including a song in another language.  There is a LANGUAGE MAGICIAN song in five languages and what about music from international composers (maybe with a display of background research).

Have you thought about marking special calendar events?
23 April – World Book Day (There are other Book Days too!)
14 July – French national day.
26 September – European Day of Languages (display? competition?)
12 October – Spanish national day.
November – International Education Week.
Eurovision Song Contest time (classes choose a country to support, research, singalong with.)

Have you thought about competitions?
e.g. the annual ALLNE writing competition on European Day of Languages (26 September).

Have you thought about an informal link with a school abroad?
For exchanging greetings, or photos?  Have you thought about display?
Using real objects from other countries to generate curiosity …. and contribute to the SMSC agenda.
• collecting labels from the supermarket from other countries.
• postcards.
• photographs.
• images of internationally famous people or places or object.
• making labels in other languages for places around the school .
• (and trying to avoid reinforcing misconceptions through using stereotyped images).

Have you thought about an occasional (or regular) Language Club?

  • especially if you have children who speak other languages.
  • viewing cartoons, or listening to online stories.
  • listening to songs from the charts in different countries.
  • inviting visitors to talk about journeys or life in other countries, with photos.
  • inviting secondary pupils to talk about a visit or exchange.

Who knows what children might like to know later on? Staff or parents may know other languages.
Maybe you could use a quiz with words from other languages or a video clip to promote decoding skills and build confidence.

Have you thought about having a Language of the month?
Especially if you have children in school with other languages than English at home.

Have you thought about applying for the International School Award?

Have you thought about e-twinning?

Have you thought about CLIL?
Look out in ALLNet / on ALL website for news of ELAPSE in 2019 / 2020 – an Erasmus+ project producing lesson plans and resources in different languages for 9-14 year-olds.

Other ideas?
Please share! Write to steven.fawkes@gmail.com to add them to this handout.

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