Thursday, 31 October 2013

Queen Margaret Academy

To celebrate this year’s European Day of Languages Queen Margaret Academy’s (Ayr) pupils got to experience some Spanish food at lunch time. Many thanks to the dinner ladies for putting on a great spread of Paella, Albondigas de carne con pan y arroz con leche.

The S2 Spanish elective class have been busy learning about Spanish and Latin American festivals. As part of the course they created piñatas for this year’s European Day of Languages. The Spanish elective class and the S3 classes had great fun trying to burst the piñatas.

A select lucky 20 S3 pupils and 4 senior pupils attended the South Ayrshire European Day of Languages event hosted by Mark Pentleton of Radio Lingua. The pupils were chosen for their displays of “why languages are important” back in June. Pupils had fun participating in various workshops and the event was rounded off with a quiz to everyone’s great amusement. It was a really interesting afternoon where pupils found out why languages are important regardless of your chosen career. They even tried their hand at a new language using the Radio Lingua website.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Brae High School

As the most northerly high school in the UK, Brae High School pride themselves in participating fully in as many events as they can, and the European Day of Languages is a particular favourite. This year, teachers were restricted to activities within their own class time, but managed to come up with some quite innovative ideas!

The S1 German class divided Germany up into its Bundesländer. Each pupil got a region and had to find interesting facts and figures about their area for a poster – they had to find the flag, the coat of arms and the main city as a prerequisite, plus any other details. Pupils then had to position their posters so that they were roughly in the correct geographical position.  

The S1 French class took part in a European Day of Languages quiz. Many of the questions related to language facts, particularly to the lack of English as a first language throughout the world, thus making the pupils realise the relevance and importance of second and third languages.

The S2 French and German classes were combined, and chose a motivational and inspirational lesson on the importance of learning a modern foreign language. This lesson was conducted with one S2 group in the past, and the uptake of languages in S3 was significantly increased.

One S3 Maths class was doing ratios, and had to increase or decrease recipe quantities to make bigger or smaller batches. In conjunction with the teacher, this was taken a step further by translating the flapjacks recipes into French and German and using the Home Economics room to make them, resulting in a truly cross-curricular lesson!

Early in the New Year, the Modern Languages department have agreed a day to work collaboratively with Home Economics on a “breakfast” topic, with a view to learning about breakfast habits in the countries of the languages pupils are studying, as well as elsewhere in the world.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Greenwood Academy

On Thursday 26th September, a group of 10 S3 pupils attended the careers' convention organised by the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce at Prestwick Airport for the European Day of Languages. They were the only representatives from North Ayrshire schools present at the event and they were great ambassadors for the school.

During the convention, our young people listened to Barry McGugan of IBM and Meryl James and Janette Kelso of SCILT who discussed the importance of languages in today’s job market and as a tool to becoming part of the international community. They then took part in workshops with members of staff from SCILT, IBM, Turnberry Hotel, Ayr Rugby club and students from Glasgow University, who came from all over Europe and beyond.

This event helped to promote languages and sustain pupils' enthusiasm for the subject. When they came back to school, the pupils told their classes and parents about their experiences and cascaded the message about the importance of languages, not only in the world of work but in other aspects of their future life. It was clear from their feedback that they thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

SCILT - A Taste of World Cinema

Here at SCILT, we celebrated the EDL 2013 with film screenings and a movie quiz in the brightly decorated Confucius Classroom in the Lord Hope Building at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus.

The films were shown in ‘version originale’ (VO) with English subtitles and several were accessed from The programme included shorts from all over the world, kicking off with a black and white, musical love story of sorts called ‘7:35 de la mañana’ (7:35 in the morning) by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Villalongo set in a neighbourhood cafe. Next came Sandrine Stoïanov’s an animation in French and Russian called ‘Irinka & Sandrinka’ which told the story of one family in the early 20th century displaced by revolution and war. The Oscar nominated short ‘Birthday Boy’ by Korean filmmaker Sejong Park tackled similar themes in a more understated way.

During the interval, members of the audience were invited to match the French, German or Spanish titles of 12 well known Hollywood films to the poster of the original English language version. Some tricky tie break questions had been prepared, but in the event only one person got them all right.

The second half of the film programme began with a short from Italy called ‘Men at Work’ which proved to be a bit of an oxymoron as far as the characters in Fausto Caviglia’s film were concerned.  The whole event was rounded off with a film called ‘der Mungo’ (the Mongoose) by German director Philipp Osthus. This action thriller was so high octane, with such an amazing twist at the end that many of the audience were literally on the edge of their seats!

Linwood High School

At Linwood High the Modern Languages Department put on a range of activities to celebrate EDL 2013 involving both staff and pupils celebrating the linguistic diversity of Europe. Some of the activities included:

  • a French "Fact or Fiction" quiz for S1 & S2 – a treasure hunt around the school to find the Fact or Fiction posters then decide which 5 facts were actually fiction.
  • a French breakfast café, hosted at breaktime on the 26th, for S1s and S2s – croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, hot chocolate and orange juice were all on offer.
  • S1s and S3s had a quiz all about France.
  • S4, S5 & S6 enjoyed working with our Spanish speaking Hungarian Comenius assistant.
  • the staff enjoyed a "pot luck" lunch where each staff member contributed a European themed dish for a big buffet lunch to officially welcome Anita, our Hungarian Comenius assistant.
  • Staff were also issued with a Greetings sheet with "hello" or "good morning" in a range of different European Languages to allow them to greet their classes in a different language.
  • all those who participated received a Linwood High School European Day of Languages sticker.
  • Prizes were also awarded to the winners of the Fact or Fiction quiz and to the group with the highest points from S1 for the French quiz.

All in all it was a busy day and the Modern Languages Department would like to thank all those pupils and staff who participated.

                                 Merci!  ¡Gracias!  Vielen Dank!

St. Ambrose High School

St. Ambrose celebrated their European connections in the week leading up to the 26th September. Pupils in S1-2 took a journey of discovery around Europe with the help of their Social Subject and ML teachers. The pupils answered questions on all European countries and the winners, Rhys Gray in 2F2 and Aidan Miller in 2T2 enjoyed a Nando’s experience as a reward. Mia Gurure in 1C1 used the school’s Twitter/Facebook feed to gather her European passport stamps and won iTunes vouchers for her endeavours. A great week was had by all and the staff on a daily basis were greeted in one of many European languages. We didn't need to leave Coatbridge either!!

Perth High School

Perth High celebrated by writing the date in a different language in every class! In French class some pupils taught the other students different languages that they know- including Polish, Turkish and Arabic. Perth High loves learning languages!