Extra langauge lessons for Clevedon residents

PEOPLE living in Clevedon can learn up to 30 different languages online thanks to Clevedon Community School.

PEOPLE living in Clevedon can learn up to 30 different languages online thanks to Clevedon Community School.

The school, which became a language college in September, has invested in Rosetta Stone software to teach a host of different languages to pupils, staff and members of the community.

People can sign up to online tutorials for subjects from English, French and Spanish to languages which are not often taught in evening classes such as Chinese, Japanese and Swahili.

Tamsin Chambers, specialist college co-ordinator at the school in Valley Road, said: "We are offering online language learning to staff and pupils to try to support some of the community's different languages.

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"It's going very well. It's a good way for us to see what languages people want to learn."

About 35 people have signed up and Tamsin can monitor what subjects they are taking and how they are progressing.

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The classes are free to pupils and staff and a fee of £25 is charged to members of the community, which includes use of the school's computers.

People can study basic language skills or become completely fluent and the software even allows people to take oral assessments by measuring voice patterns.

The online courses stop in May, but the school is hoping to continue offering the classes if enough people sign up.

Since the school in Valley Road became a language college, it has extra funding to put on extra language courses and to support the development of cultural understanding in the community.

To support parents whose children go schools in Clevedon, North Somerset Council ran a seven week course for Bangladeshi and Polish parents to teach them English and to help them understand the education system.

Ferdousa Ahmed, whose parents are from Bangladesh, has lived in England all her life and knows how hard it was for her parents to understand what was going on at her school.

Ferdousa, who is now a translator on the course, said: "I think it's so important for people to know what's going on in their child's lives.

"I know how hard it was for my mum. The course is fantastic. The parents have learnt so much. They can now help their children with their home work and it gives them more confidence."

The school is keen to put courses on for other parents and is also encouraging people to sign up for the online classes.

For more details call the school on 01275 876744.

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