Brighton Overseas students boost languages

13th February 2009 at 00:00

Overseas university students are encouraging secondary pupils to take up languages.

Students from the University of Sussex have been placed in Falmer High, Hove Park and Varndean schools in Brighton for one or two lessons each week.

The students, who speak French, Spanish, Italian or German, work with small groups under teacher supervision to improve pupils' conversation skills.

The programme is run by Paul Waterworth, director of MCS Projects, an educational support company.

This year, 130 overseas students, not all studying languages, applied placements on the project. MCS shortlists, interviews and matches around 12 to 15 students to each school. They are paid Pounds 10 an hour plus travel expenses.

Kate McAllister, head of languages at Falmer High, said: "It's a really good initiative. As a teacher you get a lot of things thrown at you saying, try this, try that, try the other.

"I tend to say yes to everything, but this is the only one which is still going three years later, because it really works and means no extra work for teachers.

"We now have twice as many kids choosing to do languages as three years ago because we are having so much more fun."

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