Porthcawl Comprehensive, Gaëlle Morgan

Medium: English

Location: Porthcawl

International languages: French, German

How we raise the profile of IL in our school

In Porthcawl, we are very lucky to teach both French and German.

At school, we have a Welsh club and an international languages club that I have been running for the last 15 years, where learners are able to play board games in different languages and computer games (such as Kahoot, Blooket and Quizlet) as well as chat and take part in role plays. We have also run taster language sessions in languages such as Spanish and Japanese.

We often have sixth formers taking the club which is very popular with the younger learners.

I also organise a French ‘Bake Off’ every month with a different recipe each time (such as quiche lorraine and galette des rois) and learners can win prizes and certificates. This is a very popular competition in our school.

We also have Language ambassadors (mostly GCSE learners) who run assemblies to promote IL.

Success of EDL

We celebrate European Languages Day in our school every year in September.

We organise special assemblies conducted by language learners and ambassadors from KS4 and KS5 and have whole school form class competitions, such as quizzes.

We also have a special European menu in the canteen to mark the occasion (including treats such as pain au chocolat and German sausages). We have found that all these activities greatly raise the profile of IL in our school.

Extra-curricular trips

I organised a very successful trip to the Institut Français in London in February 2022 to watch a French film in their cinema and explore the French quarters in Kensington. I highly recommend this trip and I am planning on running a similar one next year!

We are also taking 55 learners (from years 10-13) to the Lille Christmas market in December 2022. Everybody is really looking forward to the trip and it will be our fourth visit there. This trip is always extremely popular as it’s not too expensive and it’s great fun!

We are also running 2 trips to Paris and Disneyland Paris in 2023, one in March and one in April. Why? Because a huge number of learners are signing up for it and we didn’t want to disappoint anybody – we must be a bit crazy!

Promoting multi-lingualism and benefits of languages working together across the LLC

Our LLC (English/Welsh/French/German departments) are working very well together, and we have already produced and delivered triple literacy and quadruple literacy projects in our school with great success, with the majority of it rooted in the Curriculum for Wales.

Our year 6 transition is based on quadruple literacy and the origins of languages, and feedback from the primary schools and the learners is always excellent.

We also run a singing competition with year 6 transition. We split them into groups of 3: one group sings a German song, another group a French song and the third group a Welsh song. They rehearse then go on stage and compete against each other before we announce the winner. It’s really good fun!

A colleague and I are both continuing our role as Secondary Lead Practitioners for IL for the second year running. We produce resources to promote multilingualism and engagement in the classroom at KS3/4 and 5. I also worked with the IL primary sector last year by developing resources on how to engage learners in the IL classroom using oracy and links between languages. My colleague and I both run online webinars where we share our ideas on how to promote IL in both primary and secondary schools with fellow teachers.

Successful strategies to improve engagement in the IL

The key is a lot of oral work as learners love speaking the language. The most popular games in our department are:

  • Trapdoor
  • One pen, one die
  • Sentence stealer
  • Battleships

Learners also love watching films in the target language so it’s nice to plan these sessions around Christmas or after a test as a reward!