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More than a 'oui' improvement

PUBLISHED: 10:25 04 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:42 12 July 2010

A south Norfolk school has seen the number of pupils opting for a foreign language more than double in the past three years.

The modern language department at Long Stratton High School has been working with Adam Cooke, Norfolk children's services languages adviser, on making language learning more interesting and effective to increase the number of pupils studying the subject.

A south Norfolk school has seen the number of pupils opting for a foreign language more than double in the past three years.

The modern language department at Long Stratton High School has been working with Adam Cooke, Norfolk children's services languages adviser, on making language learning more interesting and effective to increase the number of pupils studying the subject.

Head of department Charlotte Rourke-Beasley said: “One of the major problems of teaching languages is that some of the topics they have to study are really quite boring and this puts the children off.

“We've been working with Adam at introducing much more exciting modules of work using county resources based on writing spy stories and solving murder mysteries.

“We had very small numbers opting to take French and German a few years ago - now about 60pc of students in Year 10 are taking a language, which is much higher than the national average.”

The Murder Mystery was so successful that the idea was turned into a film, with help from the school's ICT department together with 30 Year 9 pupils.

Mr Cooke said: “It's not quite a Hollywood blockbuster but it is very entertaining and has had a huge impact on the students' confidence in speaking French. They have also improved their ICT skills along the way as they were involved in the editing and dubbing process.”

The school's modern foreign languages department is also attracting national attention. Next Wednesday, a Year 9 class will be involved with National Strategy MFL, filming a spy story module of work as part of national training materials, to demonstrate creativity in language learning.

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