It's Raining Lines And Tongues

Multilingual creative writing and performance poetry workshops led by Michael 'Gulliver' Vidon

'It's Raining Lines and Tongues' workshops are targeted at upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students with the aim of :

  • celebrating home languages at school
  • developing children's meta-linguistic skills
  • growing their confidence as multilingual writers
  • drawing on the richness of the English language for monolingual children

By examining sayings and expressions, children investigate the metaphorical worlds of different languages, and work in small groups to produce a performance poem. Time to consider idioms in their own language beforehand often results in more interesting work. They are also invited to listen to poems from students from other schools.

In the course of these workshops, Michael Vidon, French-English bilingual poet and workshop facilitator, performs a few of his own poems and discusses how people use metaphors every day without realising. We are all poets and we don't know it. Following a warm-up session, the students brainstorm sayings in English or other languages and draw on their own experience to write performance poems that take idioms literally.

The 'It's Raining Lines and Tongues' podcast, commissioned by Apples and Snakes, captures poems by Year 5 and Year 6 students that tackle expressions such as 'two heads are better than one', 'break a leg' or even what Poles say when they are mad... It includes an interview of children talking about their relationship with the different languages they speak, as well as Michael Vidon's background and influences.

The poet's website also features a video of Michael Vidon performing a poem about his bilingual background.