Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Practice News Day in French

A School Reporter from South Chadderton School edits an audio news report
A South Chadderton School Reporter edits an audio news report
"C'est vraiment bien; it's really, really fun" was the conclusion of one School Reporter who made the news in French at South Chadderton School on 13 January.

Lauren, 14, and another 27 pupils from the school used the facilities at Oldham City Learning Centre to create news podcast which was published on the CLC website.

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As well as improving their modern foreign language skills, the Year 10 pupils also developed news-making techniques in order to mentor Year 9 students on 26 March 2009 - School Report News Day.

Lauren explained that after scanning the daily newspapers, her group chose to focus on a government proposal to offer teachers extra pay to work in England's toughest schools.

Pupils researched facts on the internet before interviewing their head teacher about the plans outlined in the White Paper.

Lauren said: "I pretended that I was seven and wrote the story in really basic English. Then I translated it using the French I knew, and improved it with some help.

"It helped my French because I was using words I would not normally learn in class. It will help boost my course work grades.

"It also helped my grammar as it's easier to learn by putting it into practice rather than having it explained to you. I had to look at the verbs and make all the end changes, as news is written in the past tense.

The French tricolour in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
The French tricolour in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
"By writing in short sentences, it helps you breathe in the right places when you are speaking into the microphone. It's more difficult to get it right in a different language, as without understanding it fully, you could be half way through word or phrase when you take a breath."

She added that as well as having a wealth of French vocabulary to pass onto the Year 9 students, she could also pass on her script-structuring tips.

Fiona, 15, and her news team decided to focus on the story about Prince Harry using offensive language to describe a member of his army platoon.

A series of shark attacks in Australia was another story which interested her group. However they chose to focus on the Royal news item, partly for practical reasons; it would be night time in Australia and difficult to contact people for comment.

Fiona said: "We phoned the press office at Buckingham Palace and were put on hold a few times and eventually spoke to someone who was able to give us a statement about Prince Harry."

She added: "I hope to be a journalist one day and I know how important it is not to give up."

As well as inspiring Year 9 students with her journalistic perseverance, Fiona said she could also teach them how to "shorten stories" into scripts and "not to be afraid of their own voice" when recording.

Take part in a practice News Day
11 Dec 08 |  School Report
November's Practice News Day
14 Nov 08 |  Student reports
December's practice News Day
17 Dec 08 |  School Report

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