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Tell us a story…

Group children together in shared language groups and ask them to tell a story of their choosing to one another in their home languages. Record the stories using hand held recorders or Dictaphones. Set them the task of translating their stories into English to share with the rest of the class.

Language map

Find out all the languages spoken in your class/school (including staff). Record them onto post it notes. Using a world map (click the image for a bigger version) stick the ‘post its’ on all the places that the children can identify that each language is spoken (based on their own experiences).


As a class work together to find out as many different ways as you can of saying hello and greeting one another in other languages. Teach them to the whole class. Get each child to decide on a greeting they would like to use and ask the children to walk around the room to music. When the music stops they have to find a partner and exchange greetings. They then take on the greeting of their partner as their own and continue to walk around the room until the music stops again. In this way by the end of the game most children will have tried out a number of different greetings.

Home-school talk

Send children home with tasks that will encourage bi-lingual talk, for example asking parents to tell them a story in home languages that they retell to the class in English. Where possible connect the task to a story, theme or learning area that is being explored in the classroom, so that there is a reason for feeding back.

My story, your story

Tell children they will be doing some story telling and that they have a choice of which language they want to tell their story in.

Pair children with someone who wants to tell their story in same language. Get them to tell each other a true story (this could be something funny or scary that happened to them or something that took place in a particular location such as the playground or during a particular time such as over the weekend).

Once stories have been swapped, ask them to change partners, this time with someone who does not speak the same language as them. Ask them to tell the story their original partner told them, but using actions as well as words.

Ask children to change partners once again and ask them to tell the story that has just been told/played out for them, but this time in English.

Find the original storyteller and see if/how the story has changed.


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