Expert Opinion

Celebrating the joy of languages at Leeds Met

To help us celebrate the European Day of Languages today, Adela Bond, course leader for our Part-time language programme, tells us about the joy of learning a language.

Published on 26 Sep 2013

European flags at the European Parliament

Adela, you’ve been looking after our part-time language provision for a number of years at Leeds Met, tell us a little bit about the programme.

The part-time language programme at Leeds Metropolitan University offers 120 classes in 15 languages, taught by experienced tutors, many of whom are native speakers of the languages they teach.

Our part-time language courses give the ideal chance to try that new language you have always wanted to learn for your holidays, for your work or just for pleasure. Learning a language allows you to develop a lifelong skill, whilst connecting with new people and cultures. With so many options of different languages and levels, there is something on offer for everyone.

What advice would you give to people who are considering learning a language?

It can be challenging and it requires some work and dedication, but it is tremendous fun and it gets much easier every time you learn a new language!  We have several mature students in our Part-Time Language Programme studying more than one language.

Remember to practice at every opportunity you encounter, do persevere and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  It is all part of the learning process and of the fun!  And when you are able to communicate in another language, even at a basic level, it gives you an enormous sense of achievement.

What benefits are there to studying a new language?

It really opens up a world of opportunities.  It expands our horizons, enhances our creativity and enriches our lives.  It helps you to understand and integrate in other cultures while you are abroad, whether it is for business or pleasure.  It enables you to make new friends around the world and gain a total different perspective and a much more enriched experience out of your trips.

It makes your CV stand out and therefore makes you more employable. Research shows that the UK is losing billions of pounds per annum due to a loss of trade because of poor language skills.  As Willy Brandt, former German Chancellor said: “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language.  But if I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen”.

Tell us about the European Day of Languages, what does the day aim to do?

It was established by the Council of Europe in 2001 to celebrate languages and language learning across Europe.  It aims to encourage language learning at any age to around 800 million Europeans by showing how important languages are in order to achieve a better intercultural understanding and to show how they are an integral part to the cultural heritage of our continent.

It comes to my mind a famous quote of Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

All classes commence the week beginning Monday 23 September and all courses run for 26 weeks and cost £250.  For further information, please call 0113 812 7440 or visit our Department of Languages pages.

Photo used under Creative Commons licence and courtesy of T P