Friday, 23 January 2015

Teaching Languages with 100 objects

This morning I had a look through the links included in the always-useful email newsletter from Global Dimension.  One of them was a link to an article about the British Museum's Teaching History in 100 Objects project.

My Year 3 daughter began Key Stage 2 in September with Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, and for that part of the new History curriculum the following objects are suggested:

Would it be possible to use a similar approach for teaching languages?  Are there 100 objects that could be used for enriching the teaching of languages in Key Stage 2?

I propose that the objects would have to have some kind of cultural significance, that they would somehow "matter" to the country or countries whose language is being taught.  And I also propose that there doesn't have to be a list of 100.  A smaller list may be just as suitable.

Since I read the article I've been inputting data and so a list of possible objects has been quietly fermenting at the back of my mind.  So far all I have come up with are objects for Spanish.  For example, clothes, such as a flamenco dress and some typical clothes from South American countries, to help with work on using and agreeing adjectives correctly.  The cultural element of national costume is also introduced, along with what people in those countries actually wear!  For sports, a Jai Alai basket could be used.

What do you think? Can you think of any objects that could be used in this way?


  1. Botijo, horno, zapatos de baile, sombrilla, castañuelas, sombrero, guitarra, parrilla, tambor, ...

  2. Catherine Elliott11 February, 2015 15:50

    Lovely idea. It brought to mind the Radio 4 series Germany: Memories of a Nation, presented by Director of the British Museum. He looks at the history and culture of Germany through a selection of objects (Brandenburg Gate, Bratwurst, Volkswagen, inflationary banknotes, Bauhaus artwork etc). Brilliant for A Level Germanists, and may be a starting point for your idea. The programs are still on the iPlayer here: