Building on findings from a recent research project, we offered practical activities to highlight the benefits and enjoyment of learning another language.
With support from teachers, technicians and mother-tongue speakers, children and families learnt key phrases in another language as they cooked simple meals or learnt simple dances. We interspersed the practical activities with short videos, learning opportunities using iPads and live links via local radio with our partners in Spain. Language learning promotes intercultural capabilities, moving us beyond self-absorption to valuing and preserving diversity and variation.
To promote sustainability we need to adopt a more holistic view of ourselves as global citizens caring for the planet we occupy together. Sustaining languages can also help sustain businesses and careers, so in the afternoon we invited representatives from local businesses who employ workers with language skills, again incorporating live links via local radio with businesses in Spain.
Biography: Dr Jan Georgeson
Jan is a Research Fellow in Plymouth Institute of Education conducting independent research projects and collaborating with colleagues in the development of research into professional development and interprofessional working particularly in the early years sector. Jan’s research is strongly influenced by sociocultural and activity theory, in particular when applied to organisational structure, interactional style and approaches to pedagogy. Jan has been involved in research projects investigating the experiences of disabled students in Higher Education and the collection of data on disability in schools, with a particular focus in ways to access pupils' views.
Claudia Blandon, Professor Linda la Velle, Benji Rogers and colleagues from Ivybridge Community College
and CPI O Cruce school in
Galicia in Spain, Jan is currently investigating teachers’ use of ICT and
children’s attitudes to learning modern foreign languages.