Spanish - Say it like Sandaza

30th January 2009 at 00:00

A professional footballer has been helping to motivate pupils struggling to learn Spanish in Dundee.

Spanish teacher and depute head of St John's High, Tony Cousins, arranged for S3 pupils to meet Dundee United player Francisco Sandaza in a bid to make them see the value of speaking another language.

During a visit to Tannadice Park, which culminated in a tour of the stadium, pupils put their Spanish into practice and grilled the striker about who his favourite players were, talked tactics, asked how life in Scotland compared to Spain and what he thought of the Scottish diet.

Colin Stewart, a music teacher at the school and member of Dundee United supporters' organisation, the ArabTRUST, helped arrange the visit. "This was a really difficult S3 class," he said. "The point of the trip was to make them see how useful a foreign language can be and also look at the barriers Sandaza faced when he came over here. He hardly spoke any English, but he slowly learned and the message was very much that if he can do it, they can do it."

Some S5-6 pupils accompanied the third years on the trip. The senior girls were apparently less interested in football and more interested in which nightclubs Sandaza liked to visit and on what nights.

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