English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students learn Welsh
Students on ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses at Cardiff and Vale College have been expanding their language horizons recently by also learning Welsh.
A group of 21 students made up from ESOL Entry 2, Entry 3 and Level 2 have been studying the Agored Cymru entry level Cyflwyniad i Gymru a'r Gymraeg, a taster course in the Welsh language. Students have learned how to introduce themselves, ask after someone's health, count to ten, days of the week, declare a liking, talk about the weather and how to greet people both informally and formally. The course also covers a bit of Welsh history and the advantages of learning and using Welsh in Wales today. As part of their learning students have been producing leaflets and posters and taking part in lots of practical activities and role plays.
This is the first time that Cardiff and Vale College has offered Welsh to its ESOL students. The College runs twelve ESOL courses over four levels, at the College’s Parade and Dumballs Road campuses. ESOL are English courses aimed at students over the age of 16 from other countries, who are resident in the UK as refugees, asylum seekers, or as home residents, but who wish to improve their Reading, Writing, Numeracy and spoken English.
Over 200 students are currently studying ESOL Trinity Skills for Life at the College, ranging from Entry Level 1 to Level 2 ESOL Skills for Life, a level which then allows the students to move onto mainstream options, such as vocational courses.
ESOL Programme Area Leader, Bernie Foley said: “Our ESOL learners speak at least two languages, many speak three or four, but they have never studied Welsh. They know a little about Welsh history and culture so we are delighted to be able to offer them the opportunity to learn more. They have picked up the language very well and been very enthusiastic to take part in all aspects of the course - it’s been a real success.”
Welsh teacher Louise McLaughlin, who is teaching the course said: “The ESOL students have really wowed me with their enthusiasm, their motivation and willingness to give it a go. The fact that many of them speak more than two languages already is definitely an advantage.”