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School days Teaching outside the box


Classroom teaching can only take you so far when it comes to speaking a language. Warminster School and Clifton College are doing their part in giving their student body real life language experience through various outside-the-classroom activities


W


e’ve all been there before – when we study a foreign language for years and yet when we are in the country


in which that language is spoken, we find ourselves completely tongue-tied. Of course the easiest way to learn a language is to be in the native country but when that’s not an option, what can we do? Schools like Warminster and Clifton College have answered that question with a solution in the form of supplementary teaching outside the classroom. With special field trips and extracurricular activities like letter exchanges to allow students to practice their language skills with native speakers, both schools are ensuring the success of their pupils when it comes to mastering a foreign language.


What happens after class…


Warminster recently took their year five students on a field trip to Bath’s French bistro Le Beaujolais at the invitation of head chef Jean-Pierre Auge. Upon arrival, pupils experienced authentic French cuisine – highlighting the importance of knowing the culture of the language you are studying – with a delicious Croque


Extracurricular activities can significantly enhance foreign language skills


Happy Year 5 Warminster School students with chef Jean-Pierre Auge outside his Bath restaurant, Beaujolais


Monsieur and frites. The children ordered their meals individually in French, speaking with confidence, to the school’s delight. Warminster Prep School’s French teacher Madame Moore commented, “It is wonderful that Jean-Pierre allows us to involve ourselves with his restaurant. It is the perfect opportunity for the children to really put their French speaking skills into practice.” Over in Clifton College, a group of


French students were arranged for a visit to the school late last year. The children played ice-breaker games in both French and English and were then taken to Bristol Zoo where a picnic was organised. Alex Durkin, head of modern foreign languages at Clifton College, said, “The picnic was a great success and the students mingled very well together.” Alex shared, “In


Mandarin studies, our pupils often go to a Chinese restaurant for the Chinese New Year and we also have links with schools in China, Germany and Spain and have engaged in exchange of letters.” Such a system gives students a chance


to express what they have learnt in a new environment and is a crucial step in bridging the gap between learning and practice. And most importantly, it is an experience that students love and enjoy. CL


Read this article in full at www.tom-brown.com – the only website parents need to choose a school


www.mediaclash.co.uk Clifton Life 65


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