Student led language cafés


Over the past 6 weeks, our language HUB has been transformed on Tuesday lunchtimes into a vibrant, student-led language café. Decorated in flags and with the door wide open, students and staff alike have come in as the please to pick up some new language skills.

By Sarah den Heijer, language teacher

The initiative was part of the students' Service As Action (SAA) contribution in demonstrating that the school is language-friendly and encourages the use of home languages in learning. Beyond the SAA initiative, the students have taken the opportunity to build connections with students who have the same home languages as their own. This has been a great opportunity for some of the students who find it more challenging to communicate and express themselves socially in English. For some of the students, the café has allowed them to find connections and build friendships.

Students becoming language teachers

The students have demonstrated enthusiasm in taking on the role of a teacher in their languages, and have shown dedication and commitment in making phrases and questions related to mostly travel-related topics.

During one café we also offered some external visitors from Finland, the chance to see how the ISU incorporates multilingualism into the school. The visitors left with a positive outlook and enjoyed speaking with the students, whilst of course taking away some useful phrases from an array of languages.

Keep the cafes running!

For some students, the enthusiasm and enjoyment has been so significant that they have asked to take part in addition to their allocated café days, and there has been requests that we keep the cafes running, beyond the SAA initiative. This is something that we hope can be facilitated.

The language café has proved a great success and shows the warmth, friendliness and inclusiveness that using a native language can offer.

Well done to all those students involved!