Family By My Side

The Competition

Two or more members of the same family hold a conversation by asking and answering questions, about any topic, using familiar language that has been explored during Language lessons. The conversation must be filmed as one take (i.e. no pausing or editing), which can be done using a device such as a tablet/smartphone and the assistance of a tripod or an additional person filming. Props and/or pictures can be used to add interest. 

The conversation needs to be spontaneous and should sound as natural as possible. This is an opportunity for students to apply the language structures that have been practiced previously, but in a slightly different context/with a different speaker/unpredictable question order. Language fillers, error correction, survival phrases and repair strategies are allowed and tolerated in order to sustain interaction. Access to written notes and scripted / rote learned dialogues are discouraged. Emphasis should be on meaning making and language fluency, rather than language accuracy. The task should be student led and teachers act only as facilitators by providing suggested scenarios/contexts. The Family by My Side conversation should be completed at home, however, teachers may allocate time for students to plan scenarios and useful language during class. Suggested scenarios:

  • Two siblings at the park or in the garden, exchange information about their interests and leisure activities.
  • Two or more family members are sitting at the table, eating their dinner. They exchange information about the meal and food preferences.
  • Two or more siblings are playing a board game or doing a puzzle. They interact while playing and exchange information about the game or puzzle.
  • A family is sitting in the lounge room and about to watch TV. They discuss the program options and their viewing preferences.
  • A parent and child are at home and are discussing the plans for the weekend. They exchange suggestions about what they would like to do and come to an agreement for the plans – what, where and when.

Time limits for each category:
Primary aged siblings:              30 – 60 seconds
Secondary aged siblings:          1 – 2 minutes
Mixed aged siblings:                  60 – 90 seconds
Adult family member/s and child/ren: 60 – 90 seconds

Before entering the competition, students should read the Code of Conduct.


Second language learners. Students must be attending a Western Australian school. Please note: Background and first language learners are encouraged to participate in the Let Me Tell You a Story, Let Me Tell You in My Language competition.

The students’ teachers must be members of the MLTAWA.

Categories / Languages

Family Categories: Primary aged siblings, Secondary aged siblings, Mixed aged siblings, Adult family member/s and child/ren

Language categories: Arabic, Auslan, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Aboriginal Languages, and Spanish.

Teachers/schools can only submit one entry for each language and family category.


The winners of each language and family category will receive a Winner’s Certificate, a $10 gift voucher per family and a trophy for their school.

Winners will be invited to attend an event during Term 4 to receive their prize and will be notified via email by 12 October, 2020. Videos of the winning submissions may be screened at future MLTAWA events and/or posted on the MLTAWA website, MLTAWA YouTube channel and the Languages in the Mainstream Facebook page.

Judging criteria

Each submission will be judged on:

  • Language deployment i.e. spoken spontaneously and naturally
  • Sustained interaction in the target language
  • Fluency i.e. the ability to maintain a flow, even if it requires use of repair strategies (e.g. “what I meant was”), survival phrases (e.g. “sorry could you repeat that”) and fillers (e.g. “um”)
  • Pronunciation and intonation

Each submission is judged on the language skills of all participants.

Submission process

Teachers/schools make the submissions. Submissions must be in a .M4V, .MP4, .mov or .avi format and uploaded to the submission page. The submission page is only accessible to MLTAWA members, so please log-in to submit your entries.

Submissions must be accompanied by a scanned copy of a signed Declaration Form for each student appearing in the videos. The declaration forms can also be uploaded to the submission page.

All competition submissions are bound by the Languages in the Mainstream competition Terms and Conditions.

Key Dates

4 May 2020                 Family by My Side Competition launched.

25 September 2020     Family by My Side competition submissions due.

12 October 2020        Winners and their schools (teachers/principals) notified and invited to attend a prize giving event in Term 4.

Term 4 2020                Winners collect their certificates and school trophy at an Awards Event.

Related documents and resources

Family by My Side Competition Poster Print out and display at your school.

Declaration Form

Code of Conduct

Terms and Conditions

Enquiries: [email protected]

Quick links to the other 2020 MLTAWA Competitions

Love for Languages  Let Me Tell You a Story