This Blog insights with three experienced, creative and fun-loving teachers with a passion for languages like French, Italian and Spanish. Its mission is to encourage people of all ages to gain confidence and enjoy themselves through language learning.
THE MODERN LANGUAGE SCHOOL
NEWSLETTER – May 2019
Your school will have been in Honley for a year this July.
With this newsletter, we would like to thank you all for your positive and kind comments about the new premises.
It has proved invaluable to be on the ground floor and also to have so much more space!
Moreover, our new landlords are very co-operative, which has allowed us to plan the school exactly as we wanted it – finances permitting.
Many of us are also enjoying the new addition to refreshments: real coffee!
Summer party at your language school – 22nd of June 2019
We missed our winter fund raising party so now is clearly the time to celebrate.
Last but not least, the academic year is ending, a testimony to your hard work and motivation to learn.
The Modern Language School is already 8 years old, a mature business in the community.
In addition to this, Kirkwood Hospice plays a vital role in our community and deserves our support.
Finallty, we now have premises where we can hold our own celebration, with a room for dancing and plenty of quiet space for chatting.
So it’s time to celebrate!
So far this year
11 Spanish classes
4 Portuguese classes
9 French classes – Watch out for further news
3 German classes
8 Italian classes with a new class starting after Spring Bank break: Italian for Holidays – 7 weeks – £86.10 – if you know anyone who is going to Italy on holiday then this could be ideal for them.
We have held monthly French conversation classes as well as a number of Italian conversation classes and cinema sessions. Remember the importance of watching films in the language you are studying, a fun way to develop your language skills.
On Friday 5th May we held an Italian cultural evening in conjunction with Salute Catering. With food and wine from 5 different regions. This was a well-attended event and a great success.
Salute Catering is a new business which one of our students, Kay Brennan, has set up and we are happy to support her in this new venture.
Saturdays 11th May – French conversation (intermediate plus & advanced) – 10:30 am-12
Saturday 18th May – Cinema – Italian film with Italian subtitles – Coast to Coast Basilicata – 10-12
Wednesday 29th May – Italian conversation class – mixed ability – 6:30-8pm (approx.)
Thursday 30th May – Italian grammar class – 10 am-12
Saturday 8th June – French conversation (intermediate plus & advanced) 10:30 am-12
Saturday 8th June – Cinema – Italian film with English subtitles – tbc – 10 am-12 (approx.)
Saturday 22nd June – End of Year Party – cost £20 – start 7:30 pm
On Friday 5/4/19 students and people from the local community enjoyed an evening of Italian culture, food and wine at The Modern Language School. A joint event with https://www.salute.catering/ was a great success! Here at the Modern Language School we offer courses in 5 languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German) as well as ad hoc conversation classes, private tuition and fun events like this! MLS your local language school!
On Friday students and people from the local community enjoyed an evening of Italian culture, food and wine at The Modern Language School. A joint event with https://www.salute.catering/ was a great success!
Says Julie, former French student at the Modern Language School and now living her dream in France. She is pictured here at the end of our 2016-2017 Elementary Plus French course.
Here is what Julie says about how she is achieving her dream.
For the past 10 years I have been visiting the Limousin region of France with family and friends. It had always been my dream to one day move permanently to France to work or even better retire!
Despite this I never made any attempt to learn the language. I had some memory of my classes at school but they were distant memories!
I married my husband Keith in 2016. He had the same dream as me and we decided to put a 5 year plan in to place to ensure we made our dream come true.
With our plan in place I enrolled at the Modern Language School on Dom’s Monday afternoon class to make sure I could speak some French by the time we made the move.
Keith at the local crêperie
Straight away I knew it was the right place for me to learn. Dom’s teaching style was fun and innovative which makes things easier for me to understand and it was a great group of people to learn with.
During a visit to the Limousin in July 2017 we were invited to visit a friend in the South Charente. This was not an area we were familiar with but as soon as we arrived we fell in love with the region. The friend was selling up and initially we made an offer on her house but that fell through. We did however return to the area in November 2017 and viewed 12 houses in 2 days – exhausting!!
The 1st house we viewed turned out to be “the one” and within 5 months we had signed and started work on the house. Keith is a builder, which helps, and after 2 visits it became too difficult for us to pull ourselves away for the house we so wanted to live in permanently.
At the end of October 2018 we packed up and left for our home in France.
Without a doubt the knowledge I gained from Dom has made the move so much easier. Shopping, telephone calls, discussing planning permission with the mairie!! and so many other things I did not think I would ever be able to do in French, I have done.
Life is so much richer when you have an understanding of the local language. My confidence has grown and I am always throwing myself in to any conversations to help expand my vocabulary.
Keith and I are now building a holiday rental property to allow people to come to this wonderful region and experience this tranquil, peaceful way of life.
For more info on Julie and Keith’s property in France, go to www.facebook.com/LPCdesReves/
What makes a good French course?
The French teacher
The teacher is the foundation stone of the course. A teacher has the knowledge you want, builds the programme you are going to follow, presents it in interesting ways. The place and the equipment are important for your comfort and ease; the people in the group take part in creating the right atmosphere. The teacher enables the learning, the enjoyment and the right atmosphere.
Native or not
The teacher’s age and gender don’t matter, provided they have the energy and creativity to keep you interested and involved.
Being a native speaker can be an advantage, as native speakers can spot an error straight away; though they might not always be able to explain why it’s an error.
I currently study Italian with a non-native speaker and can assure you that, at this stage at least, my teacher’s origin does not matter. The important thing being how she presents what I need to learn and helps me memorise it.
Also, in all modesty, I know that my English grammar and spelling are superior to some British born and raised people, despite my French origins.
The most important is that the native speaker keeps their language current. Yes, languages change all the time, which is why reading classical literature might be good but not enough. Imagine a person speaking nowadays in Charles Dickens English… I have so often heard my students use “là” when they meant there or “méchant” when they meant nasty. This is not current French and won’t help you communicate.
Language within language
Another important consideration is that your teacher knows the different regiters of language, from literary to slang. Not that I would have you speak like a rebel teenager, but so you can understand what is being said and, further along, the nuances of what is being said. Think of the different ways to understand “this film is wicked”…
Some people are naturally better than others at teaching – my husband is a born teacher: patient, clear, happy to repeat things, self-questioning, etc. – but a good teacher also needs training. It does not need to be a PHD but a teaching qualification which enables your teacher to find and create interesting learning materials. I learnt a lot about teaching during my PGCE. It’s likely I still have a lot to learn, but it set me in the right path: trying to provide different and varied ways to teach my language.
Check it out
What materials does your teacher use in class? Is it all written and not spoken? Is it up-to-date or from previous centuries? Is it varied? Are you involved in making your own sentences? Are you encouraged to speak? Is there variety and enjoyment in the learning activities? Is it a bit same all, same all? Is your teacher qualified?
We have had an amazing response to our first Italian photo competition, GRAZIE to all of you who entered. I hope you have enjoyed seeing all the different photos as much as I have. A massive thank you to Helen Samson who has judged the competition, I really appreciate her help with this and her professional eye. The standard of the photos were so high that Helen has not just chosen a 1st prize but also a second and a third. Helen has kindly given a critique on each of the photos which I hope you enjoy reading.
1st prize goes to …… Ben Turner for his beautiful photo of Martina Franca in Puglia – AUGURI!!
Critique: A great image with the wet street leading the viewer towards the piazza. The composition is very good with the typically southern Italian buildings framing the view into the middle distance. Nicely exposed throughout the image. The presence of people enhances the scene. The reflections on the pavement add interest but the highlight which really makes this image stand out are the brightly coloured umbrellas at first floor level. How lovely!!
2nd prize goes to … Paul Brennan for his wonderful photo of Il Palio in Siena – AUGURI!!
Critique: An excellent image which really captures the movement, excitement and crowds in the Piazza del Campo during the Palio. The monochrome rendition works very well. The depth of field focuses the eye on the waving flags with the foreground and background being slightly blurred – very clever. Well done.
And 3rd prize goes to … Janet Abbott for her photo of one of the most beautiful bridges in the world! Il Ponte Vecchio, Firenze! – AUGURI!!
Critique: A great photograph with excellent framing – the zig-zag roof leads the eye towards the Ponte Vecchio itself and the river and riverside buildings on the opposite side lead diagonally into the distance with hints of the Apeninnes in the far distance. The image is sharp throughout and the exposure is spot-on with colour and detail in the sky. One of the best images in the entry. Well done.
Click on the link below to read the critique of all the entries.
Over the summer, I asked my more advanced students to write piece of French, on any subject, to keep their hand in. We don’t do much writing during term time and I thought it would help students recall some of what we studied in the year. From the results, it seems to have done so.
I received lots of very different pieces, all most interesting and all in superb French. I am not saying perfect; I have amended everyone’s production, but all were of a high standard.
If people are interested, I might publish more of those pieces, with their author’s consent.
But today, I would like to share this one, from Catherine, with everyone, as it raises a subject still fresh in our minds, the moor fires, and another one which will run for a long time, the environment.
I have added some of my pictures, just to break up the text.
Catherine’s article: L’eau
Mon été a été dominé par l’eau et son effet sur moi. Je n’y avais jamais pensé avant.
Dans ce pays, pendant cet été, il n’a pas plu pendant beaucoup de semaines et j’ai passé un long temps à arroser mon jardin, chaque soir. Puis, j’ai reçu la facture de l’eau – ça m’a fait un choc ! Les médias nous ont demandé d’économiser l’eau, puisque les réservoirs devenaient bas. Les Landes étaient si sèches que des feux ont commencé. Combien d’eau il a fallu pour les éteindre ?
Mais, j’ai été surprise par le goût de l’eau. En Yorkshire, elle a un goût superbe ! Et je me suis rendu compte de cela, quand je suis allée à Londres. L’eau y a mauvais goût– de produits chimiques. Le goût était surtout fort pendant cette longue période sans pluie. C’était si mauvais que ma fille a emmené une bouteille d’eau du Yorkshire quand elle est retournée à Londres.
En Chine, on ne peut pas boire l’eau du robinet. On doit boire de l’eau en bouteille.
Alors, il y a beaucoup de bouteilles en plastique. Personne ne porte de bouteilles réutilisables parce qu’il n’y a aucun endroit où les remplir. Alors, j’ai commencé à penser à l’impact sur l’environnement.
Mais bien que tout le monde utilise des bouteilles en plastique, il n’y avait pas d‘ordures ; c’était grâce au nombre de personnes employées en tant qu’éboueurs. Beaucoup de monde !
Aussi, il y avait les sans-abris, ou des personnes pauvres qui ramassaient les bouteilles en plastique afin de les vendre pour de l’argent. Il n’y avait aucune ordure. Les rues étaient très propres.
Nous disions que la Chine recycle la plupart du plastique – plus que le Royaume Uni. Incroyable ! Peut-être qu’il y a une leçon à tirer de tout cela !
Yes, only thirteen days before French classes start!
If you are 16 years old or over – or well over -, live in the region of Huddersfield, and often go to France or another French speaking country, now is the time to decide on which French class is for you.
At the Modern Language School in Honley, near Huddersfield, you will find a French class to suit you, whether you know absolutely no French or are already fluent.
Just click on this link to have a look at our programme.
Short of spending a year or two abroad, classes are the best way to learn a language as they allow you to share your learning with like-minded people, in a sociable and supportive environment.
Here, you will work with tutors who are experienced, qualified and professional, who have a sense of humour and who are keen to facilitate your learning.
You will also be treated as an adult and with due respect.
So why not make your next holiday or business trip a SUCCESS and join us for a little French learning.
Courses are generally 2 hours a week for 35 weeks and the only pre-requisite is a willingness to have a go.
Fees & contact
Term one starts week commencing the 10th of September and lasts 14 weeks, for which the fee is a very reasonable £172.20.
There is also a great offer of 7% discount if you enrol for the full 35 weeks.
To get in touch, click the link above or phone our landline 01484 950404 or our course manager 07957 611552, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday afternoon we had the official opening of our new school at Queens Square Business Park in Honley. A massive thank you to everyone who came. Existing students came to support us bearing cards and gifts, as well as lots of new students who were able to sign up on the day and receive a discount. With drinks and nibbles on offer students enjoyed looking round and talking to the teachers and other students. There was a great atmosphere and so many lovely comments about what we have achieved. Here are a few before and after photos of the school. Sorry if you missed yesterday but it is still not too late to enrol. All our course details can be found on our website www.modernlanguageschool.co.uk and we still have a 7% discount available off the full year course fee.
Are you aware that, as an English speaker, you already know a lot of French?
Not convinced? Let’s look at a short, random list related to food: restaurant, carafe, sauce, jus, petit pois, haricot, baguette, etc.
All languages adopt a lot from other languages. We all know that French uses lots of English words nowadays, especially in the realm of technology.
But in English, there are also many words adopted from the French such as petite, blonde, déjà vu, rendez-vous, tête-à-tête, laisser faire, coup de grâce, de trop, rapprochement, dénouement, détente, etc.
Other words too
A huge number of other words have the same spelling in French and in English, like emotion, humour, notion, television, cinema, radio, train, canal, etc.
Yes, the pronunciation is slightly different. But his difference can be overcome, especially in a classroom environment, with the support of a teacher and the conviviality of learning with others.
So why not build on your strength and add to what you already know by joining a French course, starting in September in Honley.
Please click here for more information on our French courses or phone 07957 611552.