Fun with dens, shopping and improving your French and Spanish too. The Languages Department gets creative. 

While we’ve been in lockdown, one of the many ideas we’ve been developing in the Languages Department is low-screen language activities for pupils that mean they can work in a variety of areas, maybe with other family members, having fun as well as practising language that fits with their syllabus and could also be useful in real life once we are all allowed to travel again.

Mrs Rodríguez has been busy, with the help of her resident teenager, building dens and playing shop in two languages. The den, once built, has to be described as if it were a house – “ici ma maison”, “aquí está mi casa” etc – and the shop activity makes you ask for things, give opinions about them and use numbers. Each activity comes with a list of useful vocab and expressions, an audio recording of the vocab and expressions, plus general instructions, but it will work best when everyone involved adds their own details. There are also a few short sample videos to show how the activity might develop. We are looking forward to seeing our pupils’ video presentations of their own houses and shops.

Oh and a little piece of advice for pricing items in the shop – it’s a good idea not to charge €20 for a file and €25 for a stapler because you will run out of money very quickly and if your shopkeeper is Mrs Rodríguez her famous mathematical ability will mean you get charged a flat €180 euros for your stationery no matter WHAT you buy….

It was great fun designing and filming these activities (one day we will release the bloopers); you can find all the modules – and in the case of the videos possibly chuckle at them – in Firefly under Languages/Years 7, 8 and 9.

Frances Rodriguez​, Teacher of French and Spanish