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Sgt Major puts pupils through their paces at languages showcase

Hundreds of students from local primary and secondary schools were put through their paces at a special language showcase event held at Yorkshire Air Museum.

Language lessons were moved out of the classroom and the Second World War used as inspiration for the special event organised by York St John University on 1 July. The Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington near York, provided the setting for the new style of language learning where students were able to test out their French and German language skills, as well as try a whole host of new languages including Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic and even semaphore.

The Languages Showcase was organised by Ann Gregory, York St John Languages Centre Manager. She said:
“I have always encouraged the learning of languages for real purposes in out-of-the-classroom situations and contexts, and I also love the opportunities to be creative in teaching and learning by thinking outside of the box.”

Instead of vocabulary tests and traditional role-play, pupils were encouraged to imagine themselves making contact with the French resistance, recounting stories as German prisoners of war and acting as evacuees coping with food rations. Students were also put through their paces as French was delivered in the form of a drill by York St John lecturer and former military man, Mark Sullivan.

Workshops took place around the museum, in aircraft hangers and on board planes to help bring the languages to life. Teaching sessions were delivered by primary and secondary school teachers and staff and students from York St John University.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk