As we welcome in the New Year one of the things we ask ourselves is how we can improve in the next 365 days. One of these ways could be a lot easier and closer to home than you thought and that’s learning a language as part of your course with the University Language Centre (ULC)!
I decided to take a language as a module at the end of first year, partly because I couldn’t bear to take another accounting module but mainly because one of the reasons I picked Manchester in the first place was the fact it allowed us to diversify our studies. From the wide range of UCIL courses, to all the language options available.
I have never been one to stick to one thing at a time and this hold true in my studies too. I would struggle to only learn business modules and so being able to sprinkle something different into my week has made learning fun and engaging for me this year.
Initially I was going to learn French, but due to unforeseen circumstances, and probably the boom in reggaeton music, I ended up taking a beginners course in Spanish at 20 credits for the whole year …and I’m so glad I did.
The process of registering was simple. All I had to do was ensure it was an option available for my course, check the requirements for each class, fill out a form and hand it in. The course is free to students if it’s available for credits on your course otherwise a fee is charged as the classes are also available to the public. This made taking the classes that much more valuable, as this incredible service is free to us and who doesn’t love a freebie?
My experience the last semester has been wonderful. The ULC courses are more engaging than my previous attempts at learning languages (including GCSEs) and I feel as though I’ve made real lasting progress. The classes are small so it feel more like chatting with friends (in another language obviously) with a few exams scattered throughout than repetitive copy and paste classes. Also, I don’t know what it is about language teachers but you just can’t help but love them, they’re always the nicest teachers wherever you go and the same stands with ULC. I have two 90 minute classes a week which feels more like 20 minutes than 90, unlike some other 2 hour lectures that feel like 3 days have gone by.
Overall, I’m really glad I chose to take a language and urge anyone reading this to look into it. If this hasn’t convinced you here are some of the benefits I have found myself (and that have also been found in studies):Improved memory – which also has a knock on effect for my other studies, valuable addition to CV, socialising with people from different backgrounds (not only within the class but also with other students who speak the same language – for instance the Spanish society) and lastly being able to travel to other countries confident you know what’s going on and being able to get a lot more out of it.
In an increasingly multicultural and connected world to be able to communicate to range of people is invaluable and to have this available to us is an opportunity not to miss.
¡Adios y Feliz año nuevo!
(Bye and Happy New Year – oh yeah another benefit, unnecessarily and clumsily changing languages).
To find out more about learning a new language, visit the University Language Centre website.