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Gifted linguists hit the fast track

BUDDING linguists spotted during their first year in secondary school are due to take their GCSE Spanish this summer at the age of 13.

Pupils from 11 secondary schools in Nottingham have been taking the two-year course on Saturday mornings as part of the Excellence in Cities initiative.

The pound;2-a-week course was open to pupils identified as among the most gifted in their year.

Ivor Elliott, head of the city's gifted and talented programme, said: "In partnership with Nottingham Trent University we set up a 20-month course to take young linguists to GCSE. The schools identified the children at the end of Year 7 after they had started learning French and invited them to participate when they began Year 8 in September 2001."

The pupils are taught by a secondary teacher Elizabeth Thraves of Haywood school, and Mirella Cantrill, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, which hosts the lessons, which cover the culture, geography and history of Spain as well as the language.

Mr Elliott is currently looking for funds to take the pupils on a visit to Madrid.

TES Teacher, 30

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