Links and Encounters

The opportunity for children to make links with children and adults from other countries enables children to encounter the living proof of a language or culture’s existence.

Overseas visitors to the school

Within the urban context there are many opportunities to make links with visitors from overseas. In University towns there are students of education from many countries who are desperate for the opportunity to visit a UK school. The visitor can be deployed in the following ways:

Coventry Language Ambassadors
  • Present their language or culture as a mystery that has to be solved. They might speak a little and write a little on the board and children try to work it out using their own language identification materials. They might continue with a presentation of artefacts or food from their countries. From here they could give the first letter of the capital city or the country itself.
  • Another mystery might involve the visitor in answering only yes or no in their own language to questions in English from the pupils or giving fuller answers which pupils have to try to interpret using a range of strategies.
  • The visitor could then continue by teaching the class a simple nursery rhyme, a poem or how to count from one to ten in their language.
  • Alternatively the children might know in advance of the nationality of the visitor and have prepared a few phrases that they could try out. The visitor could then help the children to develop their pronunciation.

Links with an overseas school

Many schools already have links through European funded Comenius projects and other opportunities co-ordinated by the British Council.

Schools from all over the world are keen to make links with UK schools in order to practice their English. If a class is receptive to all languages, they can take advantage of such opportunities in the following ways:

  • Give pupils an email partner where they can share their languages.
  • Work with a whole class on the language of a topic such as food, weather or life at school.
  • Exchange realia such as comics, magazines, digital pictures of street signs, videos of favourite television programmes.
  • Investigate in tandem the mother tongues of classes

The following links provide information about international opportunities:

© Nick Jones 2003-2008. Advisor for MFL Coventry LEA