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    Spanish And Mandarin Learning Labs at University of Wollongong

    • language lessons in WollongongSome of the Illawarra’s brightest young stars spent two days in January at the University of Wollongong absorbing new cultures and languages through the prestigious In2Uni Little and Early Learning Labs.

      LCF Fun Languages Wollongong Manager, Nicole Weber, co-ordinated a Spanish Workshop for year 3 and 4 students. Along with learning some basic Spanish, they explored Gaudí’s Barcelona, danced some Flamenco and fought windmills with Don Quixote!.One young “veteran” of the In2Uni program happily described the Spanish fling as “the best workshop I have ever done!”

      Fifteen lucky year 1 and 2 students immersed themselves in the Chinese culture, learning some basic Mandarin, trying Tai Chi, making traditional Beijing Opera masks and dancing dragons.

      Nicole hopes to continue the programs with the University’s Learning Labs scheduled every July and January school holidays. “The kids and teachers had so much fun exploring the cultures; we hope to add maybe French or Italian programs in the future,’’ she explains.

      For more information on the LCF Language Clubs currently running in the Illawarra or to enquire about starting one, contact Nicole on 0433 513 006 or e-mail her at nicole.weber@lcfclubs.com.au.  

      You can also check out what other FUN language lessons for children are available in Wollongong and surrounds by visiting Nicole’s class timetable.

       

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  • “What Language Do You Think In?” – An Interview Part 2

    • What language do you think in? An interview Part 2The second interview in our series on what being bilingual means to our Fun Languages club members and their parents.

      Interview with Inga, Michael* and Jenny*

      Inga and her husband are both from Germany and came to Australia 14 years ago.

      What is your advice for other parents? 

      Inga: “The more languages you know, the better. The best advice is: you can teach your child even four languages at the same time but the most important thing is that the same person speaks the same language all the time. We do the same with our kids – we only speak German to them even if there are other people around who don’t speak German! Only if they need to (really) understand what we are talking about, we speak English. I think having one person (who the) children can always speak the same language to helps the kids to differentiate.”

      Would you like them to speak another language?

      “Yes – definitely. My sister speaks 7 languages fluently. I come from a family, where languages are highly recognised and considered as very important! Especially nowadays at the job market [sic], the the more languages you know, the better.”

       

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  • Thoughts From A Travelling Club Manager

    • Thoughts From A Travelling Club Manager

      By Jim Callahan – Fun Languages Club Manager, Melbourne

      French lessons for children in Melbourne North“I have just returned from a month working in remote areas of Madagascar as an English/French interpreter and many aspects of my time there left a lasting impression.

      Principal among those is how difficult life is for the majority of the population, who struggle every day just to access those things we consider as a given in Australia (safe water, electricity, work, basic health care).

      What I also noticed was that, despite the generally low education levels (many children leave school after Yr 6 to work to help support their families) and illiteracy being a major problem, many of the people, both children and adults, could still manage a bit of spoken French in addition to their native dialect.

      It demonstrated how knowing even just a few words in another person’s language can allow you a shared moment together. It also got me thinking about the old adage ‘use it or lose it’ and how our language clubs are a great weekly environment for ‘using it’!

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  • Some Easter Traditions From Other Countries

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  • Prank The French Way This April Fool’s Day

    • Prank The French Way This April Fool's Day

      Spaghetti DOES grow on trees!

      160401 blog april foolsApril 1st has been celebrated by people around the world for centuries and is marked by hoaxes, pranks and practical jokes played out by everyone from immediate family through to mainstream media.

      One of the most famous (or should that be infamous?) April’s Fool hoaxes was a hilarious 3-minute fake report broadcast on 1st April 1957 by the BBC current affairs programme Panorama.

      Don’t be an April Fool this year – Enrol for Term 2 by 1st April and be in to win!

      This simple, but believable, report told the tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from their spaghetti tree and had people calling in to the BBC to ask how they could grow their own!

      Remember, this was broadcast at a time when the now common place Italian staple was not widely eaten in the UK, and many Britons were unaware that spaghetti is in fact a food crafted by mere mortals rather than one lovingly produced for us by Mother Nature!

      To this day, the broadcast is called ‘the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled” and one of history’s most outrageous pranks.

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