IOC – Struggling with bilingualism

As the Olympics progress and after the wonderful opening ceremony full of English and French, French has lapsed behind English in most events.  Strange because in the UK we already have Wales and Scotland not that many miles way from London, where two languages live alive side by side, so why isn’t it happening in London?

Below is a news story from Canada where bilingualism or the lack of bilingualism at the Olympics is being challenged. What do you think?

The International Olympic Committee is grappling with an issue familiar to Canadians; bilingualism.

The IOC’s officials languages are English and French. During the Games, the language of the host country becomes a third official language.

Not surprisingly, the London Olympics have been conducted predominantly in English. But even British reporters have noticed the almost total absence of French. Not heard much said about this out aloud though

French has been spoken only a handful of times at IOC press conferences since the Games began and it is rarely if ever heard at venues. Nearly all of the Olympic signage is bilingual, but organizers, volunteers and staff communicate exclusively in English.

By contrast, when the Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver in 2010, French got largely equal billing beside English. However, that had more to do with Canada’s official bilingualism policies than the IOC’s

In fact, English appears to have become the working language of the IOC and the Olympics.

Take badminton for example. The sport is hugely popular in Asia and most of the fans and reporters attending the competition in London are from Asian countries. But when the Badminton World Federation held a press conference last week to announce that eight players had been expelled from the Games for purposely losing matches, the entire briefing was conducted in English. Even though many reporters from China and elsewhere struggled to be understood they stuck to English for their questions. All of the answers were given in English. No other language was spoken.

Basketball games feel almost like NBA outings, with rap music, flashy lights and loud announcers. But not much French. Same at beach volleyball, archery, triathlon and judo.

There has been a smattering of French at the Olympic stadium during track and field events. But even there, English is far more dominant.

The IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Fellim was asked about the lack of French on Sunday and he acknowledged it is not always front and centre.

“It depends the sport,” he said when asked about the use of French at venues. He added that French is supposed to be used during the opening ceremonies and medal presentations. “But sometimes describing something in a sport, it doesn’t bring anything to say it in every language.”

Nomination for Inspiring Blogger Award

Today I have been nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Thanks very much to for this.  I am learning a lot about Japan and am able to support my readers who want to learn Japanese.

Seven things about me: I love

  1. The beach
  2. Sunsets
  3. Flip flops
  4. Beach hut
  5. Cross stitch and quilting
  6. Olde fashioned flowers sweet peas and lily of the valley
  7. Small pink and yellow roses

The blogs I nominate are very small because I have only just started:

  1.       all about teaching and learning languages
  2.            multilingualism for stable and prosperous societies
  3.  one shall at a time
  4.  learning traditional chinese characters
  5.  sharing my vision of the world
  6. beach treasures and treasure beaches
Very inspirational Blogger

Paula wins again – UK

It was great to read that Paula from Priory Lower School has received more recognition for her wonderful work with German in her classroom and school. When I met her to give her the prize as winner of the Primary Language Awards German category she was teaching in the classroom, and the children were enjoying going to the shop to buy their goods in German.

She and the school were awarded this at the time because the judges said:

Priory school has developed an integrated approach to the teaching and learning of German. Using German in everyday class lessons and encouraging a wider knowledge of the language than normal methods. Activities include mental maths, this offers practical terminology that promotes real knowledge and understanding whilst helping the learners to be conversant at a higher level.


The involvement of the community through links with mother tongue speakers at other local schools helps the learners understand sentence structure and pronunciation plus a practical knowledge of intonation and word sounds. The children take part in external activities such as fairs with singing and games and they look forward to continuing with their language learning. It was interesting to read that the school has links with a German Partner school as it helps the learners participate in conversational German in both written and spoken form.


The judges felt that the school has embraced language learning through integration and the children have a mix of practical sessions and academic work combined with access to German speakers.  The school offers German to its learners who already have other languages to their repertoire, giving everyone a second common language for reference and conversation.

It is great to know that this has continued and developed further to ensure winning the Goethe-Institut’s Peter Boaks Award. Well Done.

To enter next years awards register your interest via the website or look out for it at the end half of next term.


To read more about Paula’s recent award



Win a free copy of a Daydream Education Subject Suite (worth over £199) – UK

Craig at Day Dream is so enthusiastic about their products that I thought I would share this to all of you especially as their resources in my opinion are excellent… and if you could get it free even better.

For all of you language experts out there are language  Modern Languages, English and Welsh posters and pocket books available.  I love the pocket books a brilliant concept.

See below on how to enter.

The summer so far has been a bit of a washout, nevertheless, we’re all feeling very sporty here at Daydream Education with the all important sporting events just days away. So in preparation for a few game filled weeks, we are reflecting on the best things about this great event.

Join us on Twitter @DaydreamEdu or Facebook and share your favourite things about the big games for a chance to win a free copy of a Daydream Education Subject Suite (worth over £199).

How To Enter

Find @DaydreamEdu on Twitter and tweet us your answer plus #bestthingaboutsport or alternatively, you can share your answers as a comment on our Facebook page to enter the competition instead.

Send us as many answers as you like by the end of July and we’ll announce the winner in August.

We’re also offering some of our free resources to our favourite runner up answers, so make sure you join in the fun!

Important things to remember:

• Please keep your entries to 20 words or less

• The competition ends in August 2012

• Only UK residents can enter

• If you are using Twitter, please use the hashtag – #bestthingaboutsport

• We will announce the winner via Facebook, Twitter and email

And please, remember to share this competition with your colleagues.

Ukraine v England Euro 2012

Well tonight is  a great time to write this blog.  I couldn’t believe it when I opened the door and the mail carrier had brought me a parcel from the Ukraine.  You may remember I wrote on my blog about my friend  Yuri during the Eurovision song contest, well he surprised me by sending me a present to commemorate Euro 2012.

He sent me a fridge magnet which sits proudly on my fridge, and two plates one blue and the other purple.  Can you see them in the picture below now sitting proudly on my mantlepiece over the fire. I cannot thank him enough. It leaves me with a  bit of a problem though …. I don’t know who to support tonight now so Good Luck to both teams.


Nia Haf Jones Welsh Learners’ Medal – Wales UK

I love the Eisteddfod and really enjoyed as a child trying to enter the competitions and waiting for it to come to a town near me.  This did not happen until I was more of an adult but the love of poetry and singing is very much in my heart. It is therefore great to see a young person winning the Welsh Learners Medal….keeping Welsh alive.

The number of visitors was up from 20,083 on the second day of competing in  2011, and bigger than Monday’s attendance figure despite the poorer weather.

But speaking before presenting Nia Haf Jones with the Welsh Learners’ Medal  on the stage of the main pavilion, guest president and author Angharad Tomos  spoke of her hopes for the future of the language.

Read More

more excerpts:

“The Eisteddfod is good for giving children and young people confidence.

“But I’m not sure if they should put quite so much emphasis on competing.

“I know that that is the idea with an eisteddfod, but sometimes it would be  nice to have a festival where the children of Wales could get together to  play and discover things.”

Do you want to win 10 books for your school – UK

Just seen this from TTS.

For years TTS has brought you the highest level of innovation when it comes to hands on teacher resources, now we’re also bringing you the best teacher books!
Our range of practical books covers everything from Teacher Support to D&T. Visit the publishing section of our website to see our full range.
You could win 10 books of your choice from the new range worth £150!  Click on the link below.