This assembly is designed for use with KS2 pupils.

Once you have discussed the assembly in school, why not share your opinions in our interactive debate with schools around the world? Click the 'Join the debate!' tab for more details.

Script to introduce the film

La Gomera is in the Canary Islands, Spain.

In this film BBC Mundo's Laura Plitt looks at schools in La Gomera where the ancient whistling language silbo gomero is taught.

Silbo gomero was made a compulsory subject in La Gomera in the 1990s to ensure the language did not die out on the island. This means that all of the school pupils there must learn the language.

Children at schools in the Spanish Canary Island of La Gomera are learning an ancient local language in which people communicate through whistling

Show the film and use the discussion prompts afterwards. Email if you would like to download a copy of this film.

Would you like to learn silbo gomero? Why?

How easy do you think it would be to use silbo gomero to communicate?

Why do you think the islanders didn't want silbo gomero to die out?

Could you whistle loudly enough for someone two miles away to hear it?

Do you learn a language in school? If so, which one and do you enjoy it?

Is there a local language where you live? Do you understand it?

How important is it to keep local languages and traditions in use? Why?

Join the assembly debate

On Thursdays, we hold online debates where schools can share their opinions about our assembly topics.

Join us on Thursday, 21 February from 1100-1300 and debate your opinions about 'language' with other schools around the world!

For full details on how to join the debate, click the 'Join the debate!' tab at the top of the page.

More Assemblies stories


Commonwealth Class Stories

Get involved

  • Image copyright Chris GraysonSign up

    Join Commonwealth Class and contribute to our monthly debates

  • Commonwealth Class - Assembly packsEducation pack

    Download your Commonwealth Class education pack

  • cclsComing up

    For more information about upcoming debates

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.