In an ever-increasing global world, why settle for one language? Here at Hatherop, we believe in exposing the children not only to one or two languages, but several as part of our Global Citizenship programme. While French remains the main language we focus on to fuel their progression, we like to think that showcasing several other World languages and sparking a potential passion or interest is another route to bring about awareness and to raise the platform of languages within the school community.
Our Global Citizen weeks take place once a term and the children learn the phonetics, ways to greet one another and some other basics phrases to help build confidence. Once we feel that the children are ready, we begin to bring in vocabulary linked to what they have been doing in their French lessons. From describing what is in their town in Portuguese, to talking about parts of the body in Japanese, learning about food in Mandarin Chinese and learning to describe animals in Russian. The aim remains to expose the children to the plethora of languages out there, some of which may be useful in their senior school and beyond.
Rather than just learning to read and write these languages, the focus always remains to use the language for a purpose, and that is why a lot of the time the final product is a role play or skit in a small group, which is then often recorded by the department for the children to watch back at a later date.
The fact is that with so much technology at our fingertips these days, we can help the children continue their exploration of a language that have taken a shine to various educational apps, YouTube and other websites can be used to further their learning. One other benefit about being in an internationally minded school, especially now we will begin to welcome students from all over the globe again, is that our children have the opportunity to practise what they have learnt in their Global Citizenship lessons with the real deal!