Lisa Stevens, Primary Language Coordinator
and eTwinning Ambassador at Whitehouse Common Primary School shows
how you can use ICT in primary languages to build effective
By 2020 the government would like all schools
to be 'models of good global citizenship, enriching their
educational mission with active support for the well-being of the
global environment and community' (The
National Framework for Sustainable Schools).
So, how does this aim fit with primary
language learning and how can ICT be used towards achieving
Intercultural Understanding is one of three
core strands in the KS2 Framework indicating the importance of
this goal in primary language learning. We know that 'children
develop a greater understanding of their own lives in the context
of exploring the lives of others' and one significant way I've
found of facilitating this is though eTwinning. eTwinning is a way
of making links via electronic means with schools across the globe.
It is coordinated in the UK by the British
Accessed via the eTwinning website, the portal
enables schools to register, search and make partnerships for
projects that can run for a few weeks or even years.
Some schools register with a clear idea of the
country with which they wish to be twinned, or a firm idea of the
project they wish to carry out. Others register with an open mind,
find a partner school and then develop a project that captures
Once you're partnered up you can submit your
project to the website, whether one of your own design or
one based on examples in the 'eTwinning
toolkit', and use the tools in your eTwinning
desktop and Twinspace
(your 'virtual classroom') to present and share your outcomes.
For example, my school, Whitehouse Common
Primary, conducted a year long eTwinning project with Colgio
Público César Hurtado Delicado in Valverde de Leganés (CPCHD),
The project was called Somos lo que
celebramos (We are what we celebrate) and through it
we exchanged a calendar of festivals and celebrations in our
countries, then chose several to compare and contrast. We used
PowerPoint, sound recording, word processing and digital
photography as well as websites for information, and published our
work on our respective websites as well as through the
Through considering the Christmas /
Reyes period, Shrove Tuesday / Carnavales, Easter
and May Day / San I sidro amongst other things, the
children were able to develop skills of Intercultural Understanding
by learning to 'look at things from another's perspective and
become more aware of the similarities and differences between
people, their daily lives, beliefs and values' (Key Stage 2
Framework for Languages, page 8).
They also enhanced their language skills
through writing letters and asking questions in Spanish. The
project gave a real purpose and audience to activities within the
classroom; it generated enthusiasm and excitement for language
learning and it involved the whole school community. We even won a
prize from the British Council!
eTwinning is free so you've nothing to lose!
Why not explore the eTwinning site
and make some links!
Find out more