Modern foreign languages

Learner Valerie enjoys learning Italian and the multiple benefits of learning with Surrey Adult Learning

Whether you are planning a holiday, need to improve your language skills for work or just enjoy mastering another language, we have a broad range of courses to suit anyone and everyone from the absolute beginner to the advanced learner. Our skilled tutors will support you to develop your knowledge in a welcoming and relaxed environment. You'll also be part of a small group who share your passion for language learning and will encourage you to progress. We have skilled tutors, many who are native speakers and learners with Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) are immersed in authentic language experiences.

Learning a language offers multiple benefits , it is proven to stimulate the brain, improves cultural awareness and a better understanding of our diverse world. By learning another language you become a 'global citizen' and opportunities to use it improve communication with others.

Valeries said, "For years I had wanted to learn Italian especially in a structured classroom environment so I applied to start learning Italian with Surrey Adult Learning. Learning Italian with SAL is far more valuable for me than say a private lesson. The class has opened my eyes to different ways of thinking about a topic which I find invaluable. I may think I understand a point of grammar, for instance, then a fellow student asks a question and boom, suddenly it all makes sense."

Learning and achieving," For all my years in the work place, the one factor which has greatly helped my confidence is learning a foreign language at SAL. The challenge of learning is individual as well as collective, and has been more rewarding than I would have expected. There is always some sense of achievement, however small, and learning with other adults brings friendship and patience and a sense of helping each other.

Valerie has practical experience of using the language she has used to communicate with others She said, "When I am lost in an Italian city or when I do not understand where to catch a bus, having the confidence to speak and to listen to the response is just so important and respectful rather than expecting an Italian to speak in English!

What's it like in a SAL classroom?

Valeries shared, "I feel quite nervous before the start of the lesson, and immensely motivated afterwards. The structured learning and the homework – which is always marked before the start of the next lesson – is very much part of learning a language for me. I never ever thought I could understand nor speak a foreign language and the battle to learn has not been easy which is part of the magic and most definitely being a part of SAL has given me a purpose, a challenge, and a feeling of not disappearing into retirement."

In conclusion, she said, "There is a very special feeling when something you do is very hard but then one day you realise the penny is finally dropping! It is just this sense of achievement I felt when visiting HMS Victory at historic Portsmouth Dockyard a couple of days ago and one of the guides was from Italy. Although our conversation was fairly short, we found ourselves chatting away in Italian without embarrassment (on my part!) and exchanging information about each other.

For someone who has always been in awe of those who speak another or multiple languages, this experience has inspired me to persevere and, of course, to thank SAL for providing me with this amazing opportunity.

  • Reviewed: 14 Dec 2023

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