Hillcrest School in Bartley Green, Birmingham, has recently developed a language facility called Lingua, similar to the Europa Centre in Havering (See NACELL report). It caters for groups from KS2 – KS5, offering tailor made half or full day programmes in French, Spanish, German and EAL.
Avril Cooper and her colleagues from Hillcrest showcased the possibilities at yesterday’s Birmingham Primary Languages Conference, showing us a presentation about the facility before allowing us a taster of the types of activities that pupils might experience on a trip.
On offer at Lingua@Hillcrest:
- Shopping experience
- Puppet shows
- Video editing days
- Tailor made visit
On entering the Shopping Experience, pupils pass through Passport control, then change money into Euros at the bank to be spent in the cafe or souvenir shop. All the shop front, signage etc are in the foreign language. Pupils will then take part in a carousel of activities learning the vocabulary of
- Shops names and items
- Numbers and prices
- Food and drink
Once there has been much hilarity as children rush to dress in the correct clothing, or play pass the food, or make number with their bodies, they go shopping with a personalised shopping list, gaining a stamp for each item. Once pupils have successfully purchased their six chosen items, they then shop for other items, competing to buy most (The record is 32!)
Then pupils can buy a drink or souvenir with their euros before going home!
New innovations soon to be added include the use of PDAs with the language recorded on it visually and aurally as a reminder, longer opening hours and the development of new games and activities.
Several schools in the area have already visited and thoroughly recommend the experience. One quotation from a child – ‘We had the best time of our lives at the language village’. The current cost is £125 for ½ day or £250 for whole day, with optional lunch available at £1.80 per child.
I’m planning on taking a group from WCPS; problem is – which year group do I take??
If you’d like more information, contact lingua@hillcrest,bham.sch.uk or call 0121 464 3172