Cambridge International School, the runaway winners of our newly launched Vocab Express Global Challenge 2014, received the highest scores in seven individual languages! Latin and Spanish teacher, Russell Lord, talks to us about his experience using Vocab Express for teaching and learning and what the competition has meant to Cambridge International School…
“By our very nature, languages are at the core of everything we do as an international school, so any innovative language learning resources we come across are considered for incorporation into our teaching.
We first heard about Vocab Express at a teacher conference for the Cambridge International examinations three years ago; several teachers claimed the tool was incredibly useful and were very excited by what it had meant to their schools. We’ve been using Vocab Express ever since as part of classroom activities and to set homework. However, we’ve found competing in Vocab Express’ language championships the main driver in terms of successful language learning at our school.
With over 60 nationalities at Cambridge International, and with many ‘catch-up’ students who have missed a year’s study, a tool which allows students to learn a language in bite sized chunks means that they are able to get up to speed very quickly.
By employing a competitive element to the usually mundane task of learning vocabulary, it addresses the powerful need to make this an interesting and diverting task.
We’ve been entering the Vocab Express competitions for the past couple of years, and seeing your school’s position nationally or globally drives students to achieve even better results in the next one! We proudly display students’ certificates on the walls of the languages rooms to make their achievements a part of their consciousness as they’re learning, and to help keep them motivated – everyone wants to see their certificate up there!
The response throughout the school has been overwhelmingly positive. Every student who takes part receives a certificate, even if they came 27th in Japanese. It’s wonderful for the students to have a tangible reward for their efforts.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Vocab Express to other schools. One of our Israeli families contacted the company to ask whether Hebrew could be incorporated into the program. One of our students’ dads volunteered to log the Hebrew content onto the system, and now because of that, Vocab Express have granted us lifelong free rights to Hebrew! The parent in question’s daughter then came first in the UK competition for Hebrew, so it was great to see his efforts were rewarded.
We’re already thinking ahead for the next competition whereby we’ll be focusing our efforts primarily on French. We’ll make a week of it across the school – get the croissants, Bretons, and bérets at the ready!”