Pupils Learn Languages in Creative Ways


It has been a busy term in the MFL department.

Throughout the Spring Term Year 3 have been learning the days of the week, months and saying when their birthdays are. They are currently involved in a project, writing a bilingual story with a French school.

Year 4 have been busy learning about sports, activities and instruments and are currently working on a scrapbook about their play. They have just received postcards from their French penpals!


In March, pupils from Years 2 to 6 enjoyed a French theatre performance. ‘Ti-Jean et La Chèvre' entertained our pupils with an hour of lie action, puppetry and catchy songs. The children prepared their songs prior to the performance and joined in enthusiastically. The production told stories based on magical tales from around the French-speaking world including Quebec, Mali and Cambodia. The children were amazed at how much French they could understand and had a fantastic time.


Pupils from Years 6 to 8 enjoyed a Spanish theatre performance ‘El Viejo Saloon’. The play took place in 1880 in the Wild West. The setting represented an old saloon, where a father and daughter suffer a robbery and try to recuperate the money by organising a talent show. The actors were engaging and funny and captured the audience’s attention with a combination of amazing costumes, dances and other tricks. It was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to see an authentic Spanish production, which was delivered throughout in the target language. It was encouraging to see how the pupils understood the plot through their knowledge of Spanish that they have already acquired in the class combined with some clever and effective acting.


As part of Languages Week, we welcomed Jenny Chen, Head of Mandarin at Bede’s Senior School, who delivered a fantastic assembly on how to learn Mandarin Chinese. Miss Chen effectively demystified the myths around how difficult it is to learn Mandarin. Pupils loved learning how ideas are represented through characters in Chinese, and it was fascinating to gain an insight into how pupils learn the language at school in China. To end the week, pupils had to bring in a hat or a flag to represent a country.


In the EAL department, pupils enthralled numbers of British pupils by teaching them a range of languages. As part of Languages Week, pupils were invited to attend a Language Clinic where they could: improve their Spanish speaking, practise their French, learn the Russian alphabet, speak Chinese, greet in German and count to twenty in Ukrainian.

Nadya created a visual display of the Russian alphabet. Jerry used his iPad to draw words in Mandarin for a range of animals. Miguel L, Miguel S and Catalina supported Year 7 pupils, who are heading off to Spain next month, to acquire phrases to help them socialise with Spanish pupils. Polina produced a fascinating leaflet all about Ukraine and with the help of Dina; the two girls demonstrated the differences and similarities between Ukrainian and Russian. Leopold spent the session with pupils teaching them how to say phrases that would help them make friends in Germany. Meanwhile, Valya and Gennadii taught Year 4 pupils to ‘meet and greet’ in Russian.


The event was well attended with Bede’s pupils from Year 4 to Year 8. Ella relished the opportunity to learn Mandarin, “I’ve really enjoyed learning Chinese and I want to learn even more.” Amy took the time to learn Spanish and Russian, she said, “This has been great. I think we should have a language clinic every week!”


Learn more about the MFL department at Bede's Prep >