Teaching About the UK Electoral System

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 25 June 2024 > Webpicks

General elections in the U.K. have a lot in common with French legislative elections. Here are some resources on the British system that can help pupils think about democracy and compare and contrast the British and French systems.

The video on this page has a 1-minute explanation of how a general election works, written for British kids. Although it is about the British system, many of the concepts are similar to most other democracies, including France. So, if pupils are studying the French electoral system in EMC, this allows for cross-curricular work. Usable from A2+ if pupils are familiar with the concepts.

The UK Parliament site has lots of teaching resources about Parliament and elections, some of which can be adapted for language classes. For example, this free downloadable booklet about Parliament, or this video explaining how the House of Commons works:

This introduction to parliament for upper primary school is quite clear, though too long to use in its entirety in a language class. The first minute or so gives a quick history of Parliament and "The Structure of Parliament" (0:53-3:08) explains the roles of the Houses of Commons and Lords, and the Monarch. Usable from A2 (concentrating on the images), in more detail from B1.

This video gives a 60-second introduction to the Parliament, but therefore the voiceover is rapid. There is lots of visual detail though, and it’s worth pausing regularly to examine the images and text. But watch out at the end where it still has the Queen inviting a party to form a government. From B1.