Session 3 - A Common Voice?

Session Summary

This session, pupils focus on the languages spoken in the EU and the idea of a common European language in the EU. They consider a poem that presents one perspective on how it feels to live outside one’s native country.

Pupils have opportunities to learn about:

  • the diversity of language across Europe; and
  • the problems faced by migrants within the EU.

Teachers should agree success criteria with their pupils.

Opportunities for Skills Development

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

In this session, the emphasis is on the skills of Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making. Pupils have opportunities to:

  • assess the relative merits of a common EU language;
  • examine evidence – as they determine what they can do to make Northern Ireland more welcoming for migrants; and
  • explore a range of facts and opinions – by determining the pros and cons of a common language for the EU; and
  • analyse multiple perspectives – by taking part in a formal debate on the benefits of a common language for the EU and by reflecting on the poem “You have to live in somebody else’s country to understand” by Noy Chou.

Cross-Curricular Skills

If you wish, you can develop the following Cross-Curricular Skill in this session:

  • Communication (Talking and Listening) – Pupils undertake a formal debate on a common language for the EU.

Session Debrief

Return to your pupils’ K-W-L grids and ask them to add anything they have learned to the third column. When completed, together reflect on the following:

  • Should everyone be able to speak more than one language?
  • Should language learning start at preschool?
  • How have their attitudes to immigrants changed as a consequence of the session?
  • Which measures to improve conditions for immigrants could be added to school policy and what would they need to do to take that forward?