What do children tell us when they’re playing? How do primary school children use (second) language in play? How can we translate the ways in which children play with language to inform new ways / improve current methods of teaching MFL in primary schools? In November 2017 researchers Dr Alicia Kent and Prof Catherine Boyle held a widening participation workshop for primary school children, 'Play @ languages @ King's', to investigate play, code switching and second language acquisition. The workshop introduced pupils to the university who would not otherwise think about higher education as a future possibility, observed children playing with language following the observation methods of Anna Freud, and collected useful data on second language acquisition in primary school children in the UK for the Language Acts and Worldmaking project. Facilitators included Philip Davis of Write Inspired. Following the workshop researchers presented a poster reflecting on the event at the Language Acts Languages Memory conference in July 2018.
The event was part of a season associated with the Play and Psychoanalysis exhibition curated by Sophie Leighton and Dr Alicia Kent and held at the Freud Museum, London, 19 July - 10 September 2017. The Language Acts Small Grants scheme also supported another event in this season, a one-day conference Anna Freud and Play on 15 September 2017 at King's College London.