Innovative language learning schemes recognised by European Commission


ICT lessons in German, sending students abroad to work as teaching assistants, and appointing student modern foreign language leadership teams. These are just some of the pioneering education projects that have been awarded the European Language Label thi

These are just some of the pioneering education projects that have been awarded the European Language Label this week.

In total, 10 UK schemes spanning primary, secondary and higher education and have been praised for their innovative and effective practice in language teaching and learning.

Of those, seven are secondary projects including a Cornish initiative which has received the Outstanding Language Contribution Award for its work placing 6th-formers in French primary schools.

Run by Cornwall Learning, the scheme places students studying AS French from 31 schools and two colleges across the county in primary schools in the Finistère region of Brittany for one to two weeks.

The report on the project states: “The fact that the project has run for more than 20 years and is still hugely popular gives some idea of the impact and scale. It is estimated that about 1,500 AS level students will have taken part over the years. The opportunity to take part is included in the A level French ‘offer’ to year 11 students and is seen as a positive in recruitment.”

The Language Labels are funded by the European Commission and in the UK are organised by the CfBT Education Trust. To date, more than 1,500 projects in 30 European countries have been recognised – including 180 in the UK.

Elsewhere this year, The John Warner School, a comprehensive in Hertfordshire, won for a project in which pupils follow the school’s existing ICT curriculum but with lessons taught entirely in German.

Brookfield Community School in Chesterfield, meanwhile, won for its modern foreign language Student Leadership Team, which sees students from year 13 become ambassadors for French, German and Spanish, taking responsibility for leading and training teams of “Language Leaders” from year 11. The younger students then work to produce resources, run assemblies and clubs to help key stage 3 language learners.

Other awards went to the Piggott and Holt Schools in Berkshire for their “Physical French Phonics” scheme while Sheffield’s Home Language Accreditation programme was also commended.

The Association for Language Learning’s Language Perfect World Championship, an online vocabulary competition which pits student against student, school against school and country against country, also won.

Meanwhile, in Wales, Adopt a Class was recognised. The outreach scheme buddies language undergraduates from 11 universities across Wales with a year 9 class while the student is on their year abroad.

Kathryn Board, head of languages strategy and delivery at CfBT, said: “I was particularly impressed to see how many winning projects involved exceptional young people taking charge of their own learning and developing schemes for sharing their love of languages with younger pupils.”

For details of all the projects and for more on the Language Labels, visit


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