We work hard to inspire our pupils to learn languages and try to engage their interest in different ways. Some of our pupils enjoy the electronic element, others embrace the opportunity to travel to the target language country and some love the opportunity to role-play and speak the language.
Many pupils joining us at Sixth Form comment on how much speaking we do compared to their previous school and indeed, we try to bring the language alive for their enjoyment longer term. Moreover, we also work on their listening skills and invite in the Onatti Theatre company for exactly this purpose.
Not only does drama and role-play have an important part in language learning; it can also be very engaging. The visiting performances allow pupils to hear language at a GCSE appropriate level and not only this: the story is age appropriate and engaging. Often there is some audience participation and one or two of our pupils are called up on stage to engage with the actors, an aspect that is always much enjoyed by the spectators. Overall, we find that many pupils are buzzing after the event and realise that the language they are learning is alive and that the heavier lessons, when we learn how to use the building blocks, are all within this context.
Undoubtedly, our principal aim is to inspire our pupils to learn languages for longer-term enjoyment and subsequently, for application in the work place. We have first-hand experience that our pupils who have modern language skills gain the edge when seeking employment and we aim to put them in pole position. In a national context of declining language learning, we encourage our pupils to differentiate themselves from the masses; visiting theatre is just one of the mediums we employ.