Lower Fifth pupils visit Chaucer College

Chaucer College, the only Japanese university in the Western world, runs a wide range of quality English courses and on Tuesday 21st May, our Lower Fifth French classes were invited to meet students from China and share a lesson with them.  We were divided into three classes and the tasks undertaken were conversational. They gave students the opportunity to exchange nuggets of information about themselves and get an insight into each others’ cultures and languages.  The activities were all carried out in pairs or small groups and centred on questions and answers, board games and card games.  At some point, St Edmund’s pupils were asked to teach their Chinese counterparts to count to 10 in French and were then taught to count up to ten in Mandarin.  The enthusiasm and determination demonstrated by the Chinese students in learning English and a bit of French was a pleasure to see and experience. Our pupils who embraced this exercise with gusto and proved to be competent speakers of French when teaching the pronunciation of numbers and empathetic teachers.

This experience provided a rare opportunity to understand some of the challenges that foreign speakers encounter when learning English as a second language and make them realise that they are as big, if not bigger in the case of Chinese speakers, than those they themselves experience in the study of French.  Pupils really enjoyed this linguistic experience and their comportment throughout the lesson was a credit to the school.

Madame Micheloud, Head of French