Arsenal Double Club Languages is the north London football club’s innovative education programme for children that are learning French, German, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese at school.
The programme uses Arsenal and football as a theme to inspire school children to learn a language. The Club produces fun, relevant learning materials in collaboration with specialist language partners including the Goethe Institute, Institut Français and the Consejería de Educación. These resources include colourful workbooks that are filled with language activities based around football, and also a DVD featuring one of the Gunners’ players speaking in their native language.
Like a regular football match, Double Club sessions are divided into two 45-minute halves: classroom and football. A unique feature of the programme is the reinforcement of the language skills gained in the classroom out on the football pitch. The target language is used in both sessions to create a fun and practical learning experience.
At the end of the programme, participating schools have the option to bring their students to Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club, for a tour with a multilingual member of Arsenal in the Community staff. Here the students are encouraged to practice their language skills while they visit areas such as the Directors’ Box, media rooms, the Arsenal changing rooms and the home dugout.
Since 2006, some 10,000 pupils across the UK from almost 400 schools have participated in the scheme. The programme is supported by the European Commission and was awarded the European Language Label as the UK’s best language project in 2012 (see booklet [4 MB] ).