Preston locals say ‘oui oui’ to holiday language course
Popular UCLan course helps people prepare for summer trips
The UK may have decided to part company with the EU but the people of Preston are embracing European languages like never before through a holiday languages course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
More than 120 members of the public, staff and students took part in a ten-week programme to improve their communication skills while on holiday. The course, which is hosted by the Worldwise Learning Centre and is significantly increasing in popularity year-on-year, offers participants the chance to study French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and Italian as well as Chinese.
The aim of the course is to give students the confidence to converse abroad so they can order at their favourite French bistro, navigate the streets of Rome or impress the locals at a bustling Greek market.
John and Pam Hall from Much Hoole decided to improve their Spanish language skills in preparation for a bird watching holiday. John said: “We have been birdwatchers since we were teenagers and visited Extremadura in Western Spain in April. We decided it would be great to be able to speak some Spanish as we would very much like to return to a different part of the country in the future.
“Miguel, the course tutor, was excellent and such good fun. We laughed a lot. We especially liked hearing about the Spanish way of life and learning numerous phrases about how to travel, how to book a hotel room and order food and drink. The latter will be especially useful.”
The students were also part of the first ever group to enjoy access to Rosetta Stone online as part of the course, all thanks to a £100,000 investment from the University earlier this year.
Rosetta Stone online offers people the ability to learn a language on the go via their mobile, laptop or tablet. The interactive software accelerates language learning and builds confidence in speaking and reading in a different language.
"We especially liked hearing about the Spanish way of life and learning numerous phrases about how to travel, how to book a hotel room and order food and drink."
John added: “It was our first experience of using Rosetta Stone. We liked the fact that you can practice your pronunciation as many times as you wished.”
The online version of the software will also be available via the Worldwise Learning Centre to students studying a language on other University courses.
The Director of the Worldwise Learning Centre, Valeriy Smolienko, said. “Our holiday languages classes are becoming increasingly popular and this is the first year we’ve had to facilitate extra classes to meet demand. This interest, coupled with the investment from the University, proves that language and cultural learning is on the rise despite the often mentioned pessimism as to the value of learning foreign languages.”
UCLan also welcomed 200 students from Wilmslow High School in Manchester last week to learn more about languages. The pupils took part in interpreting and translation taster sessions, practised Chinese calligraphy, learned more about Rosetta Stone and took part in an Italian language taster.