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01 March 2008
International students from Cardiff University have been encouraging pupils from Glyn Derw High School in Ely to try out new languages.
Alessandra Lopez from Columbia led a popular salsa dancing session using some key Spanish vocabulary. Pupils also competed against each other to pack a suitcase from a packing list using the German language. Meanwhile, French students led a French Lotto Game allowing pupils to revise and perfect their numerical skills and Italian students gave pupils a taste of Italian food in their Italian Cafe, Cibo. The games were underpinned by an imaginative session on ‘Essential English Grammar for Students of Other Languages’ when pupils learned about sentence structures and parts of speech.
Cardiff is one of the leading universities for student involvement in the Erasmus, which supports academic exchange between the institutions of 31 European countries. Erasmus Student Tanya Vella from Gibralta is fluent in five languages and led sessions in the Italian Cafe. She said: "I really enjoyed the day. The pupils were very enthusiastic and picked up useful vocabulary for use in a restaurant or cafe in Italy. They soon learnt forms of greetings and how to order pizza, brushetta, mozarella, olives and panetonne. If they didn't ask in Italian they didn't get to taste the food!"
School co-ordinator, Mme Valerie Gooding was thrilled with the day and hopes it will inspire more youngsters from Glyn Derw to take up French GCSE.
Annie Mitchell, Widening Access Manager, said, "This is the second year we've worked together with Glyn Derw High School to promote modern European Languages. Last year the event led to a 25 per cent increase in the numbers of pupils taking up French GCSE compared to the previous year."
The University’s language support will continue with weekly video-conferencing sessions for Year 10 and 11 pupils at Glyn Derw. International students will lead oral practice sessions for pupils in preparation for their GCSE French Examinations.
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