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February 2020 Diary

New Polish term at The University of Chester

I was over the moon that all students from Year 1 and 2 enrolled into the second part of the Polish course. The first part had really good feedback and I’m pleased as a teacher that they enjoyed the course. One comment even said that the class is the highlight of the week! That made my day!

I have been teaching at the University of Chester since 2013 and I helped many people in their Polish adventure. Hopefully, next year we will get even more interest in evening language courses. Great for people who like learning in groups with other learners.

New term started for Year 1 with conjugation revision. Usually, it’s not a favourite topic, but no chance to get away from verbs. However, this time I changed the revision format bringing to the class fly swatters. In a group of three students had to tape the right conjugation group for the verbs I gave them. Who is first, who is correct, some fun and a chance to leave the desk to stretch our legs! It worked well; I will definitely use the idea for various topics.

Rejuvenating my relationship with German

Making my own New Year’s  resolutions for 2020 I knew that the language category will be again on the top of my list. This year I decided to revisit one of  the languages I already learnt in the past.

I started learning German alongside French when I was 15 years old. Quickly, I completely fell for the language of Molière and left German behind as soon as I passed my A levels exams. I came back to it at some point when I moved to the UK, but first holidays in Spain and I betrayed German again with Spanish starting learning the latter intensively. I definitely have a penchant for roman languages, but I always know I have an unfinished story with German.  Now it’s time to reconcile with this language.  A good kick for my learning are this year’s holiday plans- travelling to Poland through Germany with stops in Weimar and Dresden for a few days. So in January I started going through my learning materials and I found a German online tutor to practise speaking. More on my German adventure in the next diaries.

Language Café in Chester

This month I finally  finalised one of my projects that has been on my mind for the last half year. Chester, the city where I live is soaked in culture. I met  many people here from various countries and I always wanted to be part of a group where people loving languages share this passion with other enthusiasts.

Together with Ermy from The Language Rose we set up a polyglot group The Language Café  and in February we started with our first meeting. It’s a free gathering for people loving languages to meet and share their passion. On that evening we spoke many languages, French, Italian, Spanish, English and Polish. This is just the beginning, we will definitely develop this group and add more languages.

February Polish Language and Culture Meetup

I was waiting a long time for this meetup. This time we moved from Storyhouse to Word of Mouth Languages, my place where I live and teach to celebrate one of the world’s classical music geniuses – Fryderyk  Chopin. The highlight of the meetup was a recital given by Richard Corser, who has grade seven piano and who played a selection of Chopin’s pieces. We all enjoyed it enormously. Personally, I love Chopin’s music and for me it’s some sort of connection between Poland and the country where I live; like Chopin I’m an immigrant… It wouldn’t be a Polish meetup without learning some Polish, hence I prepared a quiz about Chopin in Polish. Bravo to the group of Henryk, Dave and Richard who got 15 out of 20 questions. Next month we will be back to Storyhouse to discover another beautiful place in Poland, that I haven’t visited yet, but I love gingerbread biscuits which come from there.

Italian Family Learning

Last year I started introducing Amelia, a 11 year old girl, to Italian. She is learning the language with her father Steven and I think it’s a great idea to share the lessons with a family member and enjoy discovering the language together. For Amelia it’s definitely comforting that her father is with her but I can see that she starts feeling more confident compared with initial sessions when she seemed to be unsure what it is all about.

This month I started introducing them to the power of verbs – conjugations which can be overwhelming for an English speaker who is not used to all those different forms of verbs, especially  various “you”. Gradually we will discover various verbs and mechanisms of conjugating them.

Finally, I’m so pleased that I booked my ticket to the Polyglots Gathering 2020 which will be held this year for the first time in Poland in Teresin, near the capital. I always wanted to go there and this year I’m off to the gathering in May.

Many interesting things planned for March in my Language Life diary.

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02/04/2020

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