September 18th, 2016

Can you recognise all the languages on the video? YES? Then you have a GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE!!

Globalisation and patterns of business ownership mean that citizens increasingly need foreign language skills to work effectively within their own countries. English alone is no longer enough.
Europe is rich in languages – there are over 200 European languages and many more spoken by citizens whose family origin is from other continents. This is an important resource to be recognised, used and cherished.
Language learning brings benefits to young and old – you are never too old to learn a language and to enjoy the opportunities it opens up. Even if you only know a few words of the language of the country that you visit (for example on holiday), this enables you to make new friends and contacts.
Learning other peoples’ languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences. For example, how many families do you know that are made up of one race only? The same goes for our communities and our country. See below for more details:

Also, listen to this British polyglot and the Open University to discover why they think it so important:

So, how can YOU challenge yourself the week of 26-09?
1)Learn a new language, used within Europe-or the UK, in tutorial time using DUOLINGO, the BBC, YOUTUBE, OR A CLASSMATE for FREE! (we have lots of bilingual and trilingual students in school!!)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/ OR https://www.duolingo.com/
You could try to learn SCOTTISH GAELIC:



2) Discover many famous people (past or present) who come/came from different countries and cultures. For example, discover more about German speaking Einstein from TED-ED with subtitles in the language of your choice!

3)Discuss what you know about Europe and what it means to be a European citizen by doing the quizzes on the EU website : http://europa.eu/kids-corner/index_en.htm
4) Find out how many foreign words there are in the English language and discover where they came from using this website: http://edl.ecml.at/
AND learn a bit of Latin to support your own literacy using the video below:

5)Ask a friend about their travels within Europe and locate these on the map in your planner OR on the MACLINKS or MFL blogs. This could include discussing new sports such as JAI-ALAI/PELOTA seen in the video below:

6)Read/watch the news or listen to music in different languages using the links on this page and the mfl blog page! For example, sing in Spanish with Alvaro Soler and JLO and discuss the reasons for the profusion of Spanish in American music:

Or listen to this song by the Belgian singer STROMAE and discuss the importance of fatherhood:

Or listen to this moving song by LOUANE from the film, La Famille Belier, which depicts her struggle to leave home as all her family depend upon her as they have hearing difficulties and she does not:

Your tutors and MFL teachers will inform you of the details!



International Women’s Day MARCH 8th- What can YOU do?

February 28th, 2016

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

A little bit of history:
• 1909 The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

•1910 The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

•1911 As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women’s rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

•1913-1914 International Women’s Day also became a mechanism for protesting World War I. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.

•1917 Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.

•1975 During International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March.

•1995 The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments, focused on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisioned a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.

•2014 The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) – the annual gathering of States to address critical issues related to gender equality and women’s rights — focused on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. UN entities and accredited NGOs from around the world took stock of progress and remaining challenges towards meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs have played an important role in galvanizing attention on and resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The UN and Gender Equality

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide. Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN’s efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.

The IWD 2016 campaign theme is #PledgeForParity

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.
Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?

And in London: Tuesday 8 March 2016 – Sunday 13 March 2016

Tackling topics from the deeply serious to the seriously funny, Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World festival celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. Hear from outstanding thought leaders, trailblazers, activists and innovators, and join the debate on wide-reaching topics from body image, sex, women in business, refugees and criminal justice, to transgender, race, disability and childcare.
Returning for its sixth year, the week-long WOW festival takes place in the week of International Women’s Day (8 March) and features over 150 events, including talks, debates, live music, comedy, workshops, our smash-hit WOW Speed Mentoring and the WOW Market. Feed your mind, nourish your soul and quench your thirst for knowledge, change and ideas!


SHOULD WE STAY OR SHOULD WE GO? Are you for the EU or the BREXIT campaign?

February 28th, 2016

See the information below, from the BBC, to help you decide:
By Brian Wheeler & Alex Hunt -25 February 2016

What is happening?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June. This article is designed to be an easy-to-understand guide – and a chance to ask other questions, a selection of which we’ll be answering at the bottom of the page.

What is a referendum?

A referendum is basically a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

What is the European Union?

The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries (click here if you want to see the full list). It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things like mobile phone charges. Click here for a beginners guide to how the EU works.

Here’s a video explaining how the EU works in less than two minutes

What will the referendum question be?

The question is always crucial in any referendum. The Electoral Commission proposed the wording, which has been accepted by MPs: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” The options for voters will be ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ and ‘Leave the European Union’. Read more: Does the wording of a referendum question matter?

What does Brexit mean?

It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

Who will be able to vote?

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals who have lived overseas for less than 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries – apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus – will not get a vote.

How will you vote?

It will be a similar system to that during other elections. Firstly, if you have registered to vote, you’ll be sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on 23 June. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively you will also be able to opt to vote by post. Read more: Electoral Commission’s guide to applying to vote by post.

What are the main changes David Cameron has agreed?

Mr Cameron agreed a package of changes to the UK’s membership of the EU after two days of intensive talks with other member states’ leaders in Brussels in February. The agreement, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, includes changes to:
◾ Child benefit – Child benefit payments to migrant workers for children living overseas to be recalculated to reflect the cost of living in their home countries
◾ Migrant welfare payments – The UK can decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in the UK. This so-called “emergency brake” can be applied in the event of “exceptional” levels of migration, but must be released within seven years – without exception.
◾ Eurozone – Britain can keep the pound while being in Europe, and its business trade with the bloc, without fear of discrimination. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations will be reimbursed.
◾ Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it
◾ Sovereignty – There is an explicit commitment that the UK will not be part of an “ever closer union” with other EU member states. This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change.
◾ ‘Red card’ for national parliaments – It will be easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation. If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought.
◾ Competitiveness – The settlement calls on all EU institutions and member states to “make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market” and to take “concrete steps towards better regulation”, including by cutting red tape.
◾ Some limits on free movement – Denying automatic free movement rights to nationals of a country outside the EU who marry an EU national, as part of measures to tackle “sham” marriages. There are also new powers to exclude people believed to be a security risk – even if they have no previous convictions.

How does that differ from what he wanted?

Mr Cameron had originally wanted a complete ban on migrants sending child benefit abroad but had to compromise after some eastern European states rejected that and also insisted that existing claimants should continue to receive the full payment.
On how long the UK would be able to have a four-year curb on in-work benefits for new arrivals, Mr Cameron had to give way on hopes of it being in place for 13 years, settling for seven instead.
On financial regulation, a clause was inserted “to ensure the level-playing field within the internal market”. This was in response to French fears that Britain was seeking special protection for the City of London that would have given it a competitive advantage.
Critics argue that the final deal falls well short of what Mr Cameron originally promised when he announced his plan for a referendum, particularly when it comes to returning powers from Brussels. It is not clear, for example, if the “red card” for national parliaments would ever be triggered in practice.
But most of the points in the draft agreement, with the exception of those mentioned above, have survived unchanged into the final deal. Read more: What Cameron wanted v what he got

Why is a referendum being held?

Britain had a referendum in 1975 shortly after it had joined the EU, or the Common Market as it was then called. The country voted to stay in then but there have been growing calls, from the public and politicians, for another vote because, they argue, the EU has changed a lot over the past 40 years, with many more countries joining and the organisation extending its control over more aspects of daily lives. David Cameron initially resisted these calls but in 2013 he changed his mind.

Who wants the UK to leave the EU?

The British public are fairly evenly split, according to the latest opinion polls. The UK Independence Party, which won the last European elections, and received nearly four million votes – 13% of those cast – in May’s general election, campaigns for Britain’s exit from the EU. About half of Conservative MPs, including five cabinet ministers, several Labour MPs and the DUP are also in favour of leaving.

Why do they want the UK to leave?

They believe Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to work. One of the main principles of EU membership is “free movement”, which means you don’t need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. They also object to the idea of “ever closer union” and any ultimate goal to create a “United States of Europe”.

Who wants the UK to stay in the EU?

David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU, now he has got some powers back from it. Sixteen on his cabinet also back staying in. The Conservative Party has pledged to be neutral in the campaign – but the Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems are all in favour of staying in. As mentioned above, according to polls, the public seems pretty evenly split on the issue.

Why do they want the UK to stay?

They believe Britain gets a big boost from EU membership – it makes selling things to other EU countries easier and, they argue, the flow of immigrants, most of whom are young and keen to work, fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. They also believe Britain’s status in the world would be damaged by leaving and that we are more secure as part of the bloc.

So would Britain be better in or out?

It depends which way you look at it – or what you believe is important. Leaving the EU would be a big step – arguably far more important than who wins the next general election – but would it set the nation free or condemn it to economic ruin? Here is a rundown of the arguments for and against.

What about businesses?

Big business – with a few exceptions – tends to be in favour of Britain staying in the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world. BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, a recent CBI president, says there are “no credible alternatives” to staying in the EU. But others disagree, such as Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, who says an EU exit would allow the UK to negotiate trade deals as our country “rather than being one of 28 nations”. Many small and medium-sized firms would welcome a cut in red tape and what they see as petty regulations. The British Chambers of Commerce says 55% of members back staying in a reformed EU.

So who is going to be leading the rival sides in the campaign?

This has yet to be decided – but here are the main groups of either side of the argument.
Britain Stronger in Europe – the main cross-party group campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, headed by former Marks and Spencer chairman Lord Rose. It is seen as certain to get the official Electoral Commission designation to head the Remain campaign.

Vote Leave campaign – A cross-party campaign that grew out of Business for Britain, headed by former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson. Key figures include former Conservative adviser Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliott, who ran the successful No2AV campaign and has the backing of the five cabinet ministers and other Conservatives such as Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. It also has the backing of Labour Leave, which is headed by Labour donor John Mills.

Grassroots Out Movement – An umbrella group including the relatively new Grassroots Out group – founded by Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and Labour MP Kate Hoey in January – and Leave.EU. Funded by UKIP donor Arron Banks and other business people, it has the backing of longstanding Eurosceptic groups, some Conservative MPs and UKIP, plus others such as the former Respect MP George Galloway.

The Electoral Commission is expected to make its decision on which group will head the Leave campaign within weeks of the referendum date being announced. It will judge each applicant’s merits on the basis of a range of criteria, such as level of cross-party support, campaign tactics and organisational capacity.

Will it simply be the case of all votes being counted to give two totals?

Yes, is the answer to this question from William from West Sussex. All the votes will be counted and then added up, with a straight majority needed to provide the result. In answer to some other people’s questions, there is no minimum turnout needed. So if, for the sake of argument, only three people voted on the day, if two of them voted to leave, that would be the result.

When and how will the results be announced?

Counts will get under way when polls close at 22:00 GMT Thursday, 23 June at 382 local centres around the UK. These local results will be declared as the counts are completed before being collated at 12 regional centres, which will also declare the totals for each side. A chief counting officer will then announce the overall result at Manchester Town Hall.

If the UK left the EU would UK citizens need special permits to work in the EU?

A lot would depend on the kind of deal the UK agreed with the EU after exit. If it remained within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights allowing UK citizens to work in the EU and vice versa. If the government opted to impose work permit restrictions, as UKIP wants, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning Britons would have to apply for visas to work.

What about EU nationals who want to work in the UK?

As explained in the answer above, it would depend on whether the UK government decided to introduce a work permit system of the kind that currently applies to non-EU citizens, limiting entry to skilled workers in professions where there are shortages.

Would leaving the EU mean we wouldn’t have to abide by the European Court of Human Rights?

Duncan, from Chippenham, wanted to know if the UK could deport terror suspects to their own countries to face charges without being overruled by the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) in Strasbourg. The EHCR is not a European Union institution. It was set up by the Council of Europe, which has 47 members including Russia and Ukraine. So quitting the EU would not exempt the UK from its decisions. The UK government is, however, committed to repealing the Human Rights Act which requires UK courts to treat the ECHR as setting legal precedents for the UK, in favour of a British Bill of Rights. As part of that, David Cameron is expected to announce measures that will boost the powers of courts in England and Wales to over-rule judgements handed down by the EHCR.

Has any member state ever left the EU, or would the UK be the first?

No nation state has ever left the EU. But Greenland, one of Denmark’s overseas territories, held a referendum in 1982, after gaining a greater degree of self government, and voted by 52% to 48% to leave, which it duly did after a period of negotiation. The BBC’s Carolyn Quinn visited Greenland at the end of last year to find out how they did it.

If we stay in do we keep the pound for ever?

It is up the UK government to decide whether or not to keep the pound or switch to the euro. The deal David Cameron struck with the EU included recognition that the UK has no plans to switch to the euro currency.

How much does the UK contribute to the EU and how much do we get in return?

In answer to this query from Nancy from Hornchurch – the UK is one of 10 member states who pay more into the EU budget than they get out, only France and Germany contribute more. In 2014/15, Poland was the largest beneficiary, followed by Hungary and Greece.

The UK also gets an annual rebate that was negotiated by Margaret Thatcher and money back, in the form of regional development grants and payments to farmers, which added up to £4.6bn in 2014/15. According to the latest Treasury figures, the UK’s net contribution for 2014/15 was £8.8bn – nearly double what it was in 2009/10. To put that in context, it is about £24m a day or about 1.4% of total public annual spending – slightly less than the energy and climate change department’s annual budget. Some leave campaigners say the UK sends £55m a day to the EU but that is based on gross figures, which is a fair approximation of the UK’s “membership fee” but does not take rebates and money back into account. The National Audit Office, using a different formula which takes into account EU money paid directly to private sector companies and universities to fund research, and measured over the EU’s financial year, shows the UK’s net contribution for 2014 was £5.7bn.

Will the opinion polls get it wrong again?

The short answer is that we’ll find out on 24 June! John Wilkinson wrote to ask whether we are in for a repeat of the general election when the opinion polls underestimated support for one side, the Conservatives, and overstated support for the other, Labour. As Mr Wilkinson points out, research suggests younger people are more likely to vote to remain in the EU, while older voters tend to favour out. But as a general rule, older people are more likely to vote in elections than younger people. The “don’t knows” are also running at between 17% and 20%. Prof John Curtice, who supervised the general election exit poll, has also noticed a difference between polls conducted online, which suggest the race is close, and ones conducted over the telephone, which put the Remain campaign ahead. Opinion polling is not an exact science – for more information on the latest referendum polls and analysis by Prof Curtice, visit the National Centre for Social Research’s What UK thinks site.

Who counts as a British citizen?

Jude wanted to know if his Peruvian girlfriend, who is a British citizen but has been living in Peru for five years, can take part in the referendum. The answer is yes, if she has appeared on the UK electoral register in the past 15 years.

How long will it take for Britain to leave the EU?

This was a question asked by many people. The minimum period after a vote to leave would be two years. During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiated a withdrawal agreement and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc. In practice it may take longer than two years, depending on how the negotiations go.

Could MPs block an EU exit if Britain votes for it?

Michael, from East Sussex asks an intriguing question – could the necessary legislation pass the Commons if all SNP and Lib Dems, nearly all Labour and many Conservative MPs were in favour of staying?

The answer is that technically MPs could block an EU exit – but it would be seen as political suicide to go against the will of the people as expressed in a referendum. The referendum result is not legally binding – Parliament still has to pass the laws that will get Britain out of the 28 nation bloc, starting with the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act. The withdrawal agreement would also have to be ratified by Parliament – the House of Lords and/or the Commons could vote against ratification, according to a House of Commons library report. It adds: “If the Commons resolves against ratification, the treaty can still be ratified if the Government lays a statement explaining why the treaty should nonetheless be ratified and the House of Commons does not resolve against ratification a second time within 21 days (this process can be repeated ad infinitum).”
In practice, Conservative MPs who voted to remain in the EU would be whipped to vote with the government. Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election. One scenario that could see the referendum result overturned, is if MPs forced a general election and a party campaigned on a promise to keep Britain in the EU, got elected and then claimed that the election mandate topped the referendum one. Two thirds of MPs would have to vote for a general election to be held before the next scheduled one in 2020.

What will happen to protected species if Britain leaves the EU?

The answer is that they would remain in place, initially at least. After a leave vote, the government would probably review all EU-derived laws in the two years leading up to the official exit date to see which ones to keep or scrap. The status of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, which are designated by the EU, would be reviewed to see what alternative protections could be applied. The same process would apply to European Protected Species legislation, which relate to bats and their habitats. The government would want to avoid a legislative vacuum caused by the repeal of EU laws before new UK laws are in place – it would also continue to abide by other international agreements covering environmental protection.

How much money will the UK save through changes to migrant child benefits and welfare payments?

We don’t exactly know because the details have not been worked out. HM Revenue and Customs have suggested about 20,000 EU nationals receive child benefit payments in respect of 34,000 children in their country of origin at an estimated cost of about £30m. But the total saving is likely to be significantly less than that because Mr Cameron did not get the blanket ban he wanted. Instead, payments will be linked to the cost of living in the countries where the children live. David Cameron has said that as many as 40% of EU migrant families who come to Britain could lose an average of £6,000 a year of in-work benefits when his “emergency brake” is applied. The DWP estimates between 128,700 and 155,100 people would be affected. But the cuts will be phased in. New arrivals will not get tax credits and other in-work benefits straight away but will gradually gain access to them over a four year period at a rate yet to be decided.

If we leave the EU does it mean we would be barred from the Eurovision Song Contest?

We have consulted Alasdair Rendall, president of the UK Eurovision fan club, who says: “No, we would not be barred. All participating countries must be a member of the European Broadcasting Union. The EBU – which is totally independent of the EU – includes countries both inside and outside of the EU, and also includes countries such as Israel that are outside of Europe. Indeed the UK started participating in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957, 16 years before joining the then EEC.”

Can EU citizens living in the UK vote in the referendum?

No. The rules are the same as at last year’s general election, when EU citizens were also barred from taking part.

Here is another quick summary, this time from SKY NEWS;

And…. the opinion of Mr Blair- ex-prime minister- in FRENCH!

And a summary in Spanish.. ( we are waiting for a Nick Clegg interview on the subject!)

Here are also links to the European Parliament and our MEPs and the EU’s top stories:




November 21st, 2015

Vidéo de la Marseillaise chantée par les 90’00 spectateurs du mythique stade de Wembley en l’honneur des victimes de l’attentats de Paris. Le point d’orgue de la soirée qui verra s’affronter l’Angleterre et la France dans une match amical sous le signe de la solidarité et du no à la violence et au terrorisme.


Do you care about the ethnosphere?

October 1st, 2015

With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world’s indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.
Thanks to ‘TED Talks.’

As a planet, what should we be doing to stop this destruction?
What could YOU do?
What traditions/language would you miss from your community, if they no longer existed?

Could you imagine a life where we were all the same?!

Here, a Parisian graffiti artist tells us how he brings his culture to life through art:

Here, a designer/artist explains how she is bringing Zulu Wire Art to the world whilst boosting the local economy:

Let us know your thoughts and see which other new TED Talks are out there- with subtitles and transcripts in 36 languages!!

Mrs S and the MFL team.



September 16th, 2015

Globalisation and patterns of business ownership mean that citizens increasingly need foreign language skills to work effectively within their own countries. English alone is no longer enough.

Europe is rich in languages – there are over 200 European languages and many more spoken by citizens whose family origin is from other continents. This is an important resource to be recognised, used and cherished.

Language learning brings benefits to young and old – you are never too old to learn a language and to enjoy the opportunities it opens up. Even if you only know a few words of the language of the country that you visit (for example on holiday), this enables you to make new friends and contacts.
Learning other peoples’ languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences. For example, how many families do you know that are made up of one race only? The same goes for our communities and our country.

How many famous people do you know of that come from different countries and cultures?
How many people understand the importance of communicating with others in their own language? Why was it so important to NELSON MANDELA?

Listen to this British polyglot to discover why she thinks it so important:

How can YOU challenge yourself the week of 26-09?


Learn a new language, used within Europe, in tutorial time using DUOLINGO or the BBC for FREE!
https://www.duolingo.com/ ( or get the app!)

Discuss what you know about Europe and what it means to be a European citizen and do the quizzes on the EU website : http://europa.eu/kids-corner/index_en.htm

Ask a friend about their travels within Europe. Locate these on the map in your planner OR on the MACLINKS or MFL blogs.

Find out how many foreign words there are in the English language and discover where they came from and what they mean or test your classmates on their knowledge of famous European artists, musicians, scientists etc…!
Use this website : http://edl.ecml.at/
Can you recognise all the languages on the video?

Read/watch the news or listen to music in different languages using the links on this page and the mfl blog page!

Watch a film in another European language, or a funny video or music video!

FRENCH SHORT FILM – www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDYRaSjRy9E

SPANISH TAKE ON POLITICS – www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSZWsmCBjdo

ARE WE BRITS REALLY LIKE THIS – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbzg39fDF28&feature=relmfu


Your tutors and MFL teachers will inform you of the details!





June 14th, 2015

This 20th June 2015

First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20th. Tens of thousands of people around the world take time to recognise and applaud the contribution of forcibly displaced people throughout the world. The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.

di·lem·ma \ : a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.

A previous campaign entitled ‘Dilemmas campaign’ run by UNHCR compelled you to consider the same life-or-death decisions a refugee is forced to make when they decide to flee.
What would you do? If conflict threatened your family, how would you react?

This World Refugee Day, find out what it takes to survive. Get to know the refugees’ stories, as Cate Blanchett, the famous actress, did when she met Ahmad, a young refugee from Syria:

See these links for more details also :

Also see the website in various languages and hear the stories of the refugees themselves:


8th March :International Women’s Day

March 7th, 2015

Why do we have one?
Is it necessary?
What does it aim to do?

About International Women’s Day:

When: 8 March
Where: Everywhere
What: International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
Why: Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. The word ‘Suffragette’ is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women’s Day event was run in 1911 … For more information see:


See the videos below for more ideas on this theme:

Now watch an interview with a truly inspirational teenager:

Do you stand up for what you believe in?
If you do, how do you defend your viewpoint?
If not, why not?
Should we ever ‘waste’ our opportunity to vote?
What does ‘education’ mean to you?
What would you do if your education was taken away from you?
What would you have done if you had been Malala?

See recent headlines here:


Also, discover more about inspirational women such as Vickie Hawkins, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières UK and the women she supports:


Let us know what you think.
Thank you.



October 18th, 2014

Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

Here are the institutions they work with:

University of Alberta

Saint Petersburg State University

École Centrale Paris

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

The University of Melbourne

Emory University

University of Zurich


University of Minnesota

IE Business School

ESSEC Business School

University of Copenhagen

Tel Aviv University

Universidade Estadual de Campinas

HEC Paris

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Johns Hopkins University

California Institute of the Arts

The University of Edinburgh

Case Western Reserve University

National Geographic Society

University of Amsterdam

Copenhagen Business School

École Polytechnique

Sapienza University of Rome

Commonwealth Education Trust

University of California, Irvine

University of Rochester

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Northwestern University

Fudan University


Koç University

The University of British Columbia

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Western Australia

Fundação Lemann

Rice University

University of Florida

Università Bocconi

Match Teacher Residency

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

University of California, Santa Cruz

Relay Graduate School of Education

Rutgers University

Tecnológico de Monterrey

American Museum of Natural History

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Peking University

New Teacher Center

Princeton University

Higher School of Economics

University of Colorado Boulder

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

University of Toronto

McMaster University

National University of Singapore

Duke University

University of Washington

Yale University

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Technische Universität München

The University of Chicago

University of Geneva

The Ohio State University

University of California, San Diego

Curtis Institute of Music

University of Michigan

Universiteit Leiden

IESE Business School

Universidade de São Paulo

University of Pittsburgh

University of Lausanne

University of California, San Francisco

Georgia Institute of Technology

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Wesleyan University

National Taiwan University

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Lund University

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Stanford University

Vanderbilt University

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

University of Pennsylvania

The Museum of Modern Art

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Eindhoven University of Technology

Brown University

Berklee College of Music

University of London

UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales)

The Pennsylvania State University

The University of Tokyo

University of Manchester

École normale supérieure

Columbia University

The World Bank

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

COURSERA envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education and aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

From Epidemiology to Calculus to Music Technology, there will be something for you!

Check them out at the link below:



October 18th, 2014

… a brilliant website to test your general knowledge in FRENCH! Here is an example of one of their ‘devinettes’:

Que représente cette image ?

Un accident de train survenu à Paris en 1895, à la gare Montparnasse. Le conducteur ne freina pas suffisamment tôt, et le train traversa la gare, défonça le mur de façade et s’écrasa 9 m plus bas dans la rue.

La gare Montparnasse est la quatrième gare de Paris par son trafic (après la gare du Nord, la gare St Lazare et la gare de Lyon). Elle dessert principalement l’ouest et le sud-ouest de la France (Angers, Bordeaux, Nantes, Poitiers, Tours, Rennes), la banlieue ouest de Paris (Yvelines), et l’Espagne.

Gare Montparnasse

Go to their brilliant website to test your knowledge of just about anything and everything!!