‘Rethinking Languages through COVID-19’: A Competition for Year 9 Students (NI Year 10)

This competition invites students to create a poster on how languages and cultures are changing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The aim is to celebrate linguistic diversity, creativity, and students’ ownership of their learning by allowing them to use the linguistic skills they already have and build on these in preparation for vocabulary studied at KS4, particularly in units on local and neighbourhood areas and social and global issues. 

Pupils will be expected to do a small amount of scaffolded research for their entry. A pupil’s entry should take no more than three hours to complete, consisting of two hours of class time and one hour of research time at home. The two hours of class time could include an introduction to the competition, a “thought shower” session and the production of the final competition entry. No additional planning is required for these lessons and pupils can follow the handout, which is differentiated, independently. 

We strongly encourage entries that use home languages as well as those which use languages studied in school

The Task

We would like students to do some online research regarding the language and/or cultural changes that have taken place in a country whose language they are studying, or in their home country, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students should then produce an A3 poster, using the target language, in which they present their knowledge. Posters can be produced individually or in groups of up to four students. Entries should fall into one of the three categories outlined below:

o   Option A: What new words / new uses of words have entered the students’ chosen language as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Which existing words are being used more frequently as a result of the pandemic? Pupils should do some research on new words / new uses of words that have emerged in their chosen language and present these in a glossary-style poster, using textual and visual representations of the key vocabulary. A poster could include, for example, words such as ‘hand gel’ or ‘lockdown’, accompanied by images that represent them.  

 Option B: How has society changed in the students’ chosen country/region as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Students should find some key facts about how society in their home country / a country whose language they are studying has responded to and changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This option is designed as a stretch and challenge task. The facts should be presented in a poster, together with photographs and/or drawings which illustrate the changes.

o   Option C:  How do students imagine the future in their chosen country, post-COVID? Taking a more creative approach, students should try to imagine what the “new normal” might look like in their chosen country. Their poster should present this “new normal” through both text and image.

The posters must contain some words in the target/home language; however, we would like to give students as much freedom as possible in their poster design. On the poster students might like to include:

  • a vocabulary list / glossary
  • written descriptions or explanations
  • photographs, drawings, images to illustrate the content


The evaluation of the posters will be based on the following criteria: 

  • Layout
  • Images
  • Research/cultural awareness
  • Language
  • Originality

Prizes will be awarded for the winning entries and a selection of posters will be displayed in an online exhibition. 


All posters should be submitted as a digital file. If the poster is created in a paper format, please submit a photograph of the poster. Files should titled as follows: student(s) first name_school name_option selected (A, B ,C) – e.g. John_MLOE High School_A.

Entries should be sent via email to BA.MLOE.2020@gmail.com by 5pm on Friday 18th December 2020, however they are also welcome any time before that date. All entries must be sent by a teacher, even if the pupils create their poster independently, outside of class time.

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