Happy European Week of Languages!

More than 20 teachers and students from Germany and RNC are gathered outside on some steps, the first few rows are sitting down and there are some people standing in the back, including RNC student Laura E, RNC Director Nicola Smith, Registry Administrator Sophia Lloyd, German Teacher Lisa Roberts and French Teacher Claire Lewin.

This Saturday, 26 September, is the European Day of Languages where 800 million Europeans are encouraged to learn languages. As well as English, at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), we currently offer French, Spanish and German which can be picked up at any level. This can be from A Level to GCSE to NVQ to basic conversational.


RNC French Teacher Claire Lewin tells us “Many of our students are discouraged from learning languages before they come here so lack the confidence to believe that they can learn a new language and I think they’re missing out on so much.”


At RNC we believe that languages are not just taught in the classroom; we take part in annual foreign exchange trips, we attend local language appreciation meetings, we have volunteers come in to have one to one conversational language with our students, we have cooking in French and we even have our own French working office! Claire Lewin goes on to explain “Having so many diverse activities based around languages means that our students are able to learn a language in a fun, yet practical way. One of our unique offerings is that we have a business admin module taught in French, so the students are given tasks in French and will learn basic office jargon.”


A large part of embracing language is also about experiencing other cultures and a popular pastime at RNC is sampling cuisines from other countries, which includes students getting involved in cooking paella with our native Spanish volunteers! Spanish Teacher Lisa Roberts adds “I have been teaching languages for over 20 years and it is always fantastic to witness how learning this lifelong skill can give people confidence, break down barriers and enable them to communicate and understand a greater proportion of society.”


To celebrate European day of languages this week there will be various European dishes available in the student bistro, we are offering European language taster sessions and we are taking a trip to Birmingham airport, learning the process involved in foreign travel. Lead PSO (Pastoral Support Officer), Barry Morris says “The airport can be a scary place, even for people with sight. It’s not always clear what to do or where to go so the trip is about learning the process; knowing how to prepare, how to book assistance and knowing what to do if things go wrong. Most students at RNC already learn bus and rail travel as part of their mobility lessons; this is going one step further and giving students an awareness of air travel.”


You can explore the range of languages we provide by visiting the RNC course pages


If you are interested in finding out more about RNC, call our enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk


Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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