Languages Week 2017

Languages Week logo

As part of the Languages in the Mainstream project, statewide recognition of Languages Week 7-14 August is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of language learning, highlight the linguistic diversity in our community and celebrate the work of our students and teachers in community language and mainstream schools. Below are some ideas on how to prepare for and  celebrate this year’s Languages Week.

Ideas for families

  • Bilingual children can take part in the Let Me Tell You a Story, Let Me Tell You in My Language competition by producing an eBook or film. Submissions close 14 July.
  • Share a memory of a trip to another country where you picked up words in the language, maybe a funny anecdote about a misunderstanding or a word that you found funny. Post your memory on the LITM Facebook page.
  • Adopt a word from another language and use it all the time among members of your family as a code.
  • Download a language learning app such as Duolingo or Education Perfect and compete among the family to see who reaches the highest level/score during Languages Week.
  • Start using text talk in another language when communicating with members of the family.
  • Watch a film in another language. If kids find it difficult, offer advice on strategies for meaning making and keeping up with the subtitles.
  • Play The Great Language Game.
  • Show encouragement and that everyone can be a learner by enrolling in a language course that your child is learning at school. Download a list of courses on offer in Western Australia from our Take the Plunge page.

Ideas for schools

  • Get  students to film themselves conversing in the target language and submit the best in each age category into the Side by Side competition. Submissions close 16 June.
  • Survey your class and collect data about what languages are spoken in the homes of your students, make a class display or display for whole school.
  • Collect the MCEETYA data of languages spoken at home by total numbers of students at the school. Get Mathematics teachers to incorporate the data in lessons during Languages Week.
  • Email parents or post in the school newsletter about the benefits of language learning and bilingualism.
  • Choose a word/phrase related to the class culture, such as “Respect”. Translate into different languages and display in the classroom.
  • Hold a lesson of the target language offered at the school, after school for parents .
  • Invite parents to hold a language lesson each day of Languages Week, showing the the diversity of languages in the school community.
  • Quiz! Play a Kahoot Quiz and test your knowledge about world languages such as this one. Or make up your own quiz.
  • Establish an agreement with a cafe/shop/restaurant near the school that will provide a 10% discount if students from your school use a specific/ target language.
  • Listen to music in another language. Here are some French suggestions, Stromae, Let it go, Zaz.
  • Dance to a fitness video in another language. Here are some examples in French or Spanish.
  • Play a game with numbers in another Language (eg Bingo).
  • Read Genesis 11:1–9, Story of the tower of Babel (If your school conducts chapel, get 2-3 students to read sections of the passage in different languages, but project the English translation using a data projector).
  • Global DJ: Give one class the task of playing music with lyrics a language other than English at lunch time (using the PA system or using speakers in an area of the school).  Each student of the class chooses a song so there is a variety of language and music styles.
  • Find out what language is/used to be spoken by the Aboriginal people on the land of which your school is located.  How has the language changed over years? Why has this happened? What language(s) do you think will be spoken in 100 or 200 years from now?
  • Advocate for a Languages Policy to be developed and implemented at your school.
  • Take part in the 2017 SBS National Languages Competition which opens 24 July, 2017.
  • Ask the canteen to offer international foods and to advertise and label using the target language.
  • Encourage admin to greet in a different language every day over the PA using a language other than English.
  • Hold a screening of an international film in a language other than English in the school theatre.
  • Invite multilingual parents to conduct storytelling sessions in the library.
  • Translate inspiration quotes eg for R U OK Day, create posters and and place around the community.
  • Encourage students to compete in the $20 Boss Project and start up a business that uses language skills to provide a service.

Ideas for your workplace

  • Survey staff about the languages they speak and report findings within and outside the organisation.
  • Create signage or badges that indicate the language skills of your employees, such as “Je parle Français”, “Parla Italiano” or with a flag indicating language spoken (such as in the airline industry).
  • Set up a language competition within your workplace using a platform such as Duolingo.
  • Review your Reconciliation Action Plan. Is there inclusion of the language of Country on which your organisation is located?
  • Create multilingual signage to recognise the diversity of your staff and customers.
  • Offer scholarships to staff to start learning a new language.

Ideas for the community

  • Ask your favourite local restaurant to hold an immersion evening where a language other than English is spoken by staff and customers throughout the night, accompanied by music in the target language. French restaurant P’tite Ardois offers such immersion evenings.
  • Ask your local library to establish a Living Library, where you can ‘borrow’ a person (rather than a book!) to teach you another language.
  • Borrow a book from the Community Languages Collection through your local library and suggest/request other titles that the library could purchase for the collection.
  • Contact your local radio station and request a song in another language. Ask them to acknowledge Languages Week on air.

Languages Week Handbook 

Languages Week Poster 

Languages Week Logo

Visit our Resources page for more materials.