SOAS Languages Challenge is an extra-curricular activity aimed at providing students with opportunities to use their existing and/or budding language skills creatively. It stems from a desire to provide an outreach activity that complements what goes on in the classroom but also addresses issues around learners’ motivation to learn languages. By linking tasks to culture and to other school subjects, we also hope to increase learners’ awareness of the relevance of languages skills thus addressing both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
In terms of pedagogy, the Languages Challenge places a big emphasis on team and collaborative work and decision-making. The rationale behind this decision is that language is a social activity where meaning is negotiated between the parties involved. Learning together is also more effective, fun and found to foster resilience. Team-work is also one of the most common skill required by employers.
Participation on the Challenge is meant to be entirely voluntary. The resources are also designed to provide choice to participants on which tasks to complete, for example, and what language(s) to use. Teachers have an important role in ensuring all team members have opportunities to contribute equally but also in helping students keep on track, learn to plan and manage their time to complete the tasks on time. Evaluation of the Challenge has revealed students having fun with language learning and developing greater appreciation of their own skills. Deadline for participation is end of March 2019.
For further details, please email Renata Albuquerque.