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Our News

5 July 2012

ESOL students celebrate Welsh language success

Students on ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses at Cardiff and Vale College expanded their language horizons recently by also learning Welsh.

In addition to their ESOL exams, and completing IT, Maths and BTEC units, a group of 15 students across three ESOL Levels also successfully completed the Welsh OCN course.

They 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 covered a taste of Welsh history and the advantages of learning and using Welsh in Wales today. As part of their learning students produced leaflets and posters and took part in lots of practical activities and role plays. 

It is the first time that Cardiff and Vale College has offered Welsh to its ESOL students. The College runs 12 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.

More than 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.

Welsh teacher Louise McLaughlin, who teaches the course, said: The ESOL learners have worked extremely hard to complete the unit during the summer term, despite the extra pressure they are under at this time of year.  Due in part to their aptitude for language learning, but also due to their enthusiasm and dedication, all learners on the programme now have a firm foundation from which to continue their Welsh language studies. 

“Many of the group have expressed an interest in progressing to the next level. Their reasons for wanting to learn Welsh range from helping children with their homework to immersing themselves completely in Welsh culture: ESOL learners understand the importance of language to cultural identity and are keen to build relationships with Welsh speakers by using the Welsh vocabulary, phrases and greetings they have learned.”