Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important part of the curriculum throughout the four devolved education departments in the United Kingdom, and forms a critical part of linguistic and cultural development for all learners of languages.

However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning.  Therefore, the Association for Language Learning, the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’.

This was an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning or that is normally used in their home community from home (except for English unless you are an EAL learner!). 

Language learners could prepare:

  • A short poem in the target language (written by themselves or by another author)
  • A short presentation on any theme e.g. climate change, equality, why I love languages
  • A short sketch
  • A short dialogue

Teachers uploaded the performances to a teacher or school Twitter, Instagram or YouTube account with the hashtag #CelebrateSpeaking and the language chosen (e.g. #French or #EAL if applicable).

The activity culminated in a celebratory online event where some of the best entrants joined to perform their poems, songs or speeches to a live webinar audience.

You can view the recording of this event above.