Overseas outlook in Wales

2nd June 2000 at 01:00
Llandrillo College in Colwyn Bay, north Wales, has won awards for its work with local companies. The college tries to encourage firms to take up staff language training to help them in international markets.

A disadvantage for languages teaching in Wales is that children often drop a language because they learn Welsh, says languages co-ordinator, Melanie Monteith. "We identified that many firms would have liked language training, but it was a luxury many could ill afford," she says. "We obtained funding through the Further Education Funding Council for Wles to give these courses for free. We do language and culture training with companies."

The college offers a range of evening language classes, but it has to charge fees. "A lot of adults want to learn languages for pleasure," says Ms Monteith, "but the problem we have is that unless we charge prices that are acceptable to people, they are going to vote with their feet: it doesn't matter how good the teaching is. It's fairly easy for people in the vicinity to set up a language school. That's a worry I have - that we will lose to competitors."

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