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Business Language Champions - Arsenal Football Club

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					                                        Arsenal fire up students
                                        with their ‘Languages
                                        Double Club’

     Background
     ‘Arsenal in the Community’ is the outreach arm of the successful Premier League
     football club, working closely with schools and other groups across London and the
     rest of the UK. Their innovative ‘Double Club’ scheme was founded in 1998 – a
     ‘Double’ winning season for the Gunners – with a focus at that time on numeracy and
     literacy skills. It uses Arsenal resources and football-based classroom exercises to
     make learning across a range of subjects fun and relevant to children’s interests. In
     2005 Arsenal Football Club won a Business in the Community ‘Big Tick Award’ for its
     investment in education.

     During the last half of the Easter term in 2007 – building on the successful launch of
     the German Double Club in 2005 – the Arsenal Double Club team piloted two new
     education modules for students in Years 7 to 9: French Double Club and Spanish
     Double Club. The 45-minute classroom sessions, delivered by teachers, are
     followed by a 45-minute session of football coaching, using Arsenal’s successful
     Soccer Schools model – within which the relevant foreign language being taught is
     also incorporated.

     Like all Double Club modules, the weekly after school sessions take place over the
     course of six to twelve weeks. Arsenal worked with the Institut Français and the
     Consejería de Educaciòn de España as partners to develop the resources for KS3
     students in Secondary Schools – just as they had worked with the Goethe Institute
     previously to develop German language resources. The hope is that pupils taking
     part in these programmes will be encouraged to take up a language for their GCSEs.

     Involving schools across London
     The schools involved in the French and Spanish pilots have been Davenant
     Foundation School, Loughton (Spanish), Parkview Academy, Haringey (French) and
     The Compton School, Finchley (French and Spanish). As with the German module
     which featured Jens Lehmann on a DVD, Arsenal stars Cesc Fabregas and Gael
     Clichy kindly agreed to help out with the filming. The players speak in Spanish and
     French respectively on a variety of topics such as family life and what they get up to
     in their spare time. Other resources include games and quizzes designed to make
     learning a language fun and relevant, whilst covering the necessary vocabulary and
     grammar. Sessions typically involve 30 students – in two groups of 15, each




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     completing the classroom and football coaching activities simultaneously over 45
     minutes, then swapping to complete the session.

     As a reward at the end of their programme, students from all of the schools are
     invited to tour Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium – and take each other on in a footballing
     tournament! All-comers take away a certificate, an Arsenal shirt and other footballing
     goodies as mementos of their experience.

     Literally thousands of students have participated in this unique language learning
     experience since the German Double Club’s inception in 2005, with 35 schools
     currently involved. Plans are afoot to roll out Spanish and French Double Clubs to 30
     schools in the Autumn term of 2007. Already in the summer of 2007 a German
     module for Primary Schools is being piloted in Islington, bringing home the
     excitement of language learning to an even younger age group.

     Making a difference
                                                  The football club feels it has a duty to
                                                  help young people understand the
                                                  importance of learning through the
                                                  medium of football. Arsenal’s
                                                  involvement raises the profile and kudos
                                                  of language learning – and staff enjoy
                                                  seeing the enthusiasm their work
                                                  generates.

                                                   Schools reported that students became
                                                   more motivated as a result of the
                                                   scheme – some growing visibly in
                                                   confidence as a result of the opportunity
     they were given to present in front of an audience. More time is needed to see the
     results from the French and Spanish pilots, but the early signs are positive.

     Speaking out for languages
     Jen Sutton, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Davenant Foundation School
     said, “It was a memorable and happy experience linked into students’ language
     study, which can only be a good thing – leading to increased language take-up in the
     future. The stadium tour alone gave students a tremendous buzz.”

     Camille Brignolle, Head of French at The Compton School, added “Our Year 7
     students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a very unique way to explore and
     discover the cross-curricular nature of subjects such as Languages and P.E in this
     case. By studying languages through the medium of football, our students excelled
     both in the classroom and on the pitch.”

     Scott Cohen, co-ordinator of the Arsenal Double Club said, “Arsenal’s English and
     Maths Double Clubs have been hugely successful, so developing more modules and
     moving into languages was the next step for the scheme. It has been widely reported



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       lately of the decrease in pupils taking up foreign languages and the need for
       resources to make language learning interesting and engaging, so we hope that
       schemes such as the Double Club can help do this and hopefully ensure more
       children continue learning at GCSE level.”

       The final words rightly go to Glen, a student from Davenant Foundation School. “I
       enjoyed doing the Arsenal Spanish Double Club as it was great learning Spanish,
       learning about Arsenal F.C. and learning football positions in Spanish. It was also
       great to play football with a professional coach for 45 minutes and make new friends
       throughout the course with students I hadn’t really known before.”



More information
                                                   RLN London
Arsenal in the Community                           Website www.rln-london.com
www.arsenal.com/community                          Telephone 0845 0066 262
                                                   Email info@rln-london.com
Davenant Foundation School
www.davenantschool.co.uk

Compton School
www.compton.barnet.lgfl.net




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