Thousands sign up to learn languages
Press release issued: 17 October 2007
More than 1,500 members of the public have enrolled to learn languages at the University of Bristol’s Language Centre this autumn. Total enrolments look set to exceed the 3,400 for 2006-07.
A record number of people have signed up to learn languages at the University of Bristol’s Language Centre. More than 1,500 members of the public have enrolled for lifelong-learning classes for the autumn term and total enrolments look set to exceed the 3,400 for 2006-07. Extra classes have had to be put on to cope with the extra demand.
According to Helen Phillips, senior teaching fellow at the Centre, the reasons why people choose to learn another language are rich and varied. She says, ‘In addition to progression onto a full-time degree, many learn to enhance their employability in a global labour market, some learn for pleasure, some to explore a new country and its culture, and some because they plan to relocate abroad.’
This year the Centre is offering Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Welsh at seven different levels, from absolute beginner to advanced. It also offers classes in English as a foreign language (EFL) and Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). Particularly popular choices this year are Chinese, EFL, Polish and Spanish. The classes are taught by a team of 40 part-time teachers, the vast majority of whom are native speakers.
New initiatives this year include an online test that helps prospective students to identify their language ability and to select a language level to suit their needs. Many classes are now equipped with new learning technologies such as interactive Smart Boards and digital projectors.