Monday, 21 January 2013
There's only One Direction to language learning
It's not often that my Google news alert drops such a gem into my inbox. Fellow language teachers can only imagine my glee when I read that boy band One Direction are going to learn other languages to "avoid embarrassing moments in foreign countries in the future". This decision follows, apparently, a particularly disastrous press conference in Japan, when the 1D boys realised that some words in the host country's language and some cultural knowledge would go a long way. They have vowed to learn "at least 20 of the most common words" of the languages of the countries they are visiting, and are intending to do so via YouTube despite having enough cash to pay for tuition.
Now I don't know much at all about One Direction - I have young daughters who don't like boys and only like girl singers - but I do know how much many of my pupils love them. This is surely a gift for language teachers: what language should One Direction be learning for when they go to France/Spain/Germany/Italy? What cultural information would be useful for them? Make an information booklet for them!
Time to make the most of this golden opportunity!