Just before Easter, we had a visit from a local newspaper – Plymouth Herald . We are very pleased to say that the Herald decided to publish an article about us! This comes as fantastic news, since we are always looking for more people who would like to join us for the Language Cafe. Here is the article:
A LANGUAGE cafe is bringing together foreign speakers to help them integrate into the Plymouth community.The cafe, at City Business Park, Somerset Place, in Stoke runs on Thursdays from 5pm.
The free cafe brings English lessons into a social environment to help adult learners get to grips with the language more effectively – and give them a chance to get to know each other.
Foreign students attend the classes, along with people who live and work in Plymouth and want to be able to integrate better into the community.
Kamila Bielawska, who works for Almond Vocational Link in Plymouth said one of the main aims of the cafe is to help increase the learners’ confidence to practice their English outside the classroom.
Kamila said: “The project aims at implementing the Montessori teaching style into an adult environment to help them learn language more effectively.
“As a part of this project, we started our own language cafe. “The cafe is aimed at foreign language speakers from all backgrounds, who would like to improve their English.
“During the meetings, we use Montessori teaching methods, meaning that the ‘classes’ are very interactive, fun and free-flowing but with a set goal to achieve each time.
“The classes are becoming very popular with our European students but also with other foreign nationals who are living and working in Plymouth.
“Many of them often mention to us that they feel too afraid to make a mistake and sound silly whilst speaking English.
“This is often the reason why they stay silent and in fact avoid the opportunities to practice their English language.
“Some of the participants even mentioned that the Language Cafe is one of not many opportunities they get to improve English, because they are too stressed to use it spontaneously. “We are trying to boost their confidence, eliminate the stress, and convince that showing the will to communicate is always better than remaining silent.”
Games and interactive activities help the learners get to grips with their language skills, according to Kamila.
“We use a wide variety of resources, organise many fun activities and simple games in teams,” she said.
“Because the participants are of mixed ability and of different nationalities, they have to use English in any way they can, to communicate and consult each other during the tasks and games.
“The environment is very friendly and relaxed, which helps those with lower abilities to open up.
“Many of our local participants believe that improving their language skills will help them to integrate better and get closer to the Plymouth community – and we are always looking for more people who we could help and who would like to join us every Thursday.”
Source: Plymouth Herald