George Lucas Educational Foundation

Lowering the Stakes for Language Learning

By intentionally creating lessons that are social, collaborative, and joyful, educators can make it easier for students to build their skills—and confidence—in a new language.

April 5, 2023

Speaking in a nonnative language can make anyone self-conscious. At Lundehusskolen in Copenhagen, educator Fatima Belouahi designs activities for her ninth-grade language learners that bring in elements of playful learning to help build a mistake-friendly learning environment. “I like to create moments in my lessons where the students can laugh, where they can play a bit with the language. The goal is for them to use their English as best as they can—not perfectly.” In a lesson on cancel culture, students let their guard down—and open up to taking risks and learning new things.

To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below.


Public, Suburban
Grades K-9

Edutopia developed the Making Learning More Playful series with support from The LEGO Foundation.

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Filed Under

  • English Language Learners
  • Brain-Based Learning
  • Research
  • Teaching Strategies
  • 9-12 High School
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