Say bonjour to a second language

Published: Tuesday 26th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is European Day of Languages, so we’re taking a look at some of the language learning opportunities in Hull and East Yorkshire.

The occasion is all about understanding the importance of learning a second language and promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of the continent.

East Riding College offers a number of European language courses, including French, Spanish, Italian and even Russian. Each is taught at a number of levels, from beginner to A-level.

“Learning a language can be an important way to understand different cultures, promoting tolerance, understanding and diversity,” explains Simon Gough, Head of Humanities at East Riding College.

“Meanwhile, when travelling abroad, you are often an ambassador for your country. Any attempt to communicate in the language of the country makes a positive impression and goes a long way in engendering good relations.”

Nowadays, with the increase in globalisation and focus on a world economy, there is a greater need for us to be able to read, speak and write in a foreign language.

“We encourage a global approach and attitude amongst our students. Knowing another language can broaden your horizons and the skills you can bring to an employer, sometimes providing you with opportunities to work abroad,” Simon tells us.

Incredibly, there are over 200 European languages – that’s without counting the various tongues spoken in the rest of the world. By learning just one of them, you can indulge in a number of benefits, including higher employability, a chance to meet and converse with new people, and the ability to immerse yourself in a different culture.

Amazingly, as Simon points out, there are also added health benefits to learning a language:

“Learning a language is even proven to help improve memory and concentration, lowering the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s,” he points out.

East Riding College has two main campuses. One is situated in the market town of Beverley and one in coastal Bridlington. They also offer a wide range of flexible courses and ways to study.

“A lot of our courses are offered in the evenings. The courses are popular and have experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years. Perhaps because the number of providers offering languages has fallen over time,” Simon expands.

“Our tutors are usually native speakers and they are well-qualified and experienced. For example, we have tutors who have both lived and worked in the UK and abroad.”

On top of this, if you would like to learn a new language in a more informal way, Hull Language Cafe might be the answer for you. The group meets every other Wednesday at 7pm at Lydia’s, 45 Newland Avenue, Hull.

“Some weeks we have as many as forty attend this event, all from a range of nationalities, speaking a number of languages, including lots of minority languages,” says Hannah Shaw, founder of Hull Languages Cafe.

“All abilities are welcome; everyone is really friendly and willing to help others improve their language knowledge.”

“It’s also a great opportunity to find fellow language enthusiasts,” she adds.

If you would like to know more about the courses offered at East Riding College, please visit their website. Meanwhile, the Hull Language Cafe Facebook page can be found here.

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Published: Tuesday 26th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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