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Aston welcomes language students

3 April 2006 – for immediate use

Students from across the UK have visited Aston University to participate in an exciting interactive languages weekend. The unique event, which was organised in association with The National Academy for Gifted Talented Youth (NAGTY), was a great success and attracted enthusiastic students from years 12 and 13.

The students were divided into groups according to the three languages the event specialised in, this included French, Spanish and German.

The aim of the challenging weekend was to give students an opportunity to improve their language and communication skills through marketing based activities. Working in small groups, the students were able to create their own marketing strategy, effectively develop a sound knowledge of the subject matter, display sophisticated research skills and increase their confidence in their chosen language.

Each group was led by academic experts from Aston’s School of Languages & Social Sciences, and supported by some of the University’s current language students. The feedback from the lecturers participating in the event was excellent, the consensus being that the lecturers were impressed with the great deal of promise that the students showed.

‘The NAGTY weekend provided us with an excellent opportunity to see the enthusiasm of young people who are learning languages. Not only did they have a good grasp of the language, but they showed creativity and took an excellent attitude towards the projects. The learning outcomes for the event were very successful,’ said Dr Raquel Fernandez-Sanchez, Spanish lecturer at Aston University.

Aston’s International Business and Modern Languages (IBML) Course Director, George Jones, also summed up the weekend by saying: ‘Not only were they clever and keen, they were good fun to work with!’

The groups were also visited by guest speaker, Mr Siegmann, Managing Director of world-renowned Aldi supermarkets. Mr Siegmann’s knowledge and expertise within the field of languages within a business environment captured the attention of the students, providing them with a great insight into the value of modern languages in the world today.

However, it was not all marketing strategies and hard work for the students, as they also followed the continental theme in a few additional activities. This included experiencing a taste of the flamenco by taking part in a Spanish salsa class and enjoying French cuisine at a local French restaurant.

All who attended the weekend event came back with glowing reviews, with students and staff not only thoroughly enjoying themselves but learning a thing or two in the process.

‘The event was great fun, I significantly improved my French a lot and met so many new people,’ said a student who attended the event.

‘The social side was great and I am now much more confident in speaking German,’ said another.

ENDS

For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549.

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