3. Writing recipes in a new language

Language is used for communication, and it is important that you create real reasons for pupils to speak, listen, read and write in the additional language. This is not always easy when your school is in an area where the additional language is not commonly spoken. However, the additional language may well be the language of books and written communication.

Around the world people exchange information on ‘how to do’ things; for example they give each other recipes or patterns for dressmaking. You have already done this orally; now pupils can do it in writing. Show your pupils conventional written formats for recipes, in the additional language. A recipe is often presented as a series of instructions.

When we write a recipe, or describe a process, we are not concerned about who does the action, but are concerned that the action is done.

Case Study 3: Drawing and writing recipes

In a school near Kabwe, in Central Zambia, pupils had been sharing recipes. They wanted to draw their recipes in diagrams and exchange them with their friends. Mrs Malambo, their teacher, thought it would be good for them to know different ways of presenting information. She showed them how to draw flow charts. Once they had drawn and labelled the flow chart, they wrote the process as a description as well (see Resource 2: Recipes for examples).

Mrs Malambo discussed with the pupils which they found easiest to do, and why. Over two-thirds of the class found the flow charts more fun and easier to do because they were able to break the recipes down into steps and the drawings helped them remember and understand the words.

Mrs Malambo used this idea of flow charts in other lessons, as this seemed to help her pupils to remember more. For example, in a geography lesson, she used a flow chart to write out directions from one place to another, and the pupils drew pictures of landmarks to make it easier to remember the words.

See Resource 3: Mango drink and fried bananas for an example of a flow chart.

Key Activity: Writing recipes and process descriptions

  • Ask your pupils to find out how to make their favourite meals from home and share these with the class.
  • Introduce your pupils to the format for a recipe before they do their own examples (see Resource 2).
  • Ask your pupils to write out their recipes neatly, each making one version for themselves, and another to go into a class book of recipes. The second version could use a different format to the first (see Resource 2 for models).
  • Ask pupils to exchange and discuss their recipes.

2. Learning a new language through everyday tasks

Resource 1: Total physical response ideas