Modern Foreign Languages In Lockdown

1 June 2020

The Modern Foreign Languages faculty has found that the Guided Home Learning programme has lent itself very well to the study of foreign languages. As a result, our girls have been able to keep on practicing their four key language skills (writing, reading, listening, and speaking) in fun and varied ways.

The programme has allowed students to showcase their imagination and creativity, as well as providing a platform to express their feelings about the current situation in each language.

The faculty has also been very busy delivering custom enrichment courses to students in Years 11 and 13, based on the culture, history, and literature of the languages studied. We’ve been very impressed by the positive and enthusiastic response.

In Year 10 Spanish classes on the topic of festivals, students came up with wonderfully imaginative answers in response to a question about what the orange objects in the below photo might represent. Answers covered everything from the sun and warmth to light and happiness. Perhaps the most fitting answer was, “encontrar luz a través de la oscuridad”, translated as “finding light through the darkness”.

Authentic material was adapted and used to inform the girls about what the lockdown situation was like in other countries (an Italian oral stimulus card with a photograph and questions was specifically created, for example). For the younger years, great activities and projects kept them entertained, whilst learning.

In Russian, Year 9 created a rap about their school and Year 8 pretended to be estate agents having to sell a house. Meanwhile in German, Year 8 have walked around their homes seeing how many rooms and pieces of furniture they could ‘label’ in German. In French, Year 8 created “professional” brochures to advertise famous tourist attractions and Year 9 created their own “Frankenstein” monster with various body parts. Technology of course underpinned a lot of our activities, for example, the use of the “whiteboard” app in Mandarin for the girls to practice characters writing.

Overall, the teaching and learning of foreign languages have remained a great experience throughout GHL.

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