This blog has been written by Lucy Richards, a research assistant working as part of a bi-directional project between the University of Exeter Modern Languages and Cultures Department (Francesco Goglia) and Rokeby School (Sarah Lawson and Thomas Porter). This project is part of the Community-Engaged Learning projects run by the Education Incubator, as part of the wider CaST (Communities and Students Together) research project. This blog series describes how a team of University of Exeter research assistants planned, designed, and shared teaching materials to encourage the multilinguistic nature of a diverse boy’s school.
Encouraging students to preserve and progress their multilingual abilities
The aims of the project were to create teaching materials in a variety of languages such as Russian, German, and French. One aim was to incorporate a decolonising element to these activities and highlight the significance of the student’s home language in their academic studies and lives collectively. To achieve this, we individually created activities in the languages we know and study, including the option that activities can also be completed using the language they speak at home. Activities created by the team included writing up recipes of traditional food from various countries and materials surrounding films and books which showed the cultural features of a country. The materials were diverse and engaging, allowing students to practice the languages they are learning and those they already know or speak at home.
As a recent French and German graduate from Exeter, I focused on activities in French and provided the option of students completing the activity in their home language too. One activity I created was based on a TED talk allowing students to reflect on their passions and present them to others. I wanted students to gain confidence in themselves as linguists and be creative in their learning.
Many students will have different learning styles, so I ensured to provide materials which gave students an opportunity to practice learning languages using different skills such as writing, reading, and speaking. Therefore, with the help of both simple and sophisticated language, students could use the TED talk framework I had created for them to present their passion in a speaking activity or focus on the writing task to cater for various learning styles. It was important also, to cater activities for the different ages of Rokeby school pupils from years 7-11 and this was achieved by offering a range of language structures in activities such as this one, to as well as a variety in the activities themselves.
To find out more about this and other Community-Engaged projects run within the Incubator, click here.