From education to employment

South East Colleges Breaking the Language Barrier

Vocational language training is helping the British to break the language barrier, and helping to create a multi-skilled workforce, according to the Association of South East Colleges (AOSEC).

Despite England’s exit in the World Cup earlier this month at the hands of European opposition, when it comes to languages, colleges in the south east region are challenging the widely held belief that the British are linguistically challenged. AOSEC, a leading supporter of the development of the further education sector within the south east region, points to the work of Thanet College and Canterbury College as recent examples that the British are capable linguists.

Languages on Track

Thanet College, Kent, has been able to provide railway workers without any prior knowledge of French sufficient training and skills to enable them to communicate confidently at work. At Canterbury College, Kent, students on their Tourism and Hospitality course are given the opportunity to attend Fécamp in France, where they can live and breathe the language, whilst gaining valuable work experience at the same time.

Speaking on behalf of the AOSEC, Alan Corbett said: “Whilst it is true that we are not the best linguists in Europe, it is utterly wrong to accept that we are a lost cause. AOSEC is encouraging individual local college member to play a full part in developing national education, learning and skills agenda. He added: “Colleges in south east England are very much aware of the need to provide linguistic training and proving that British people are able to master languages as one aspect of their work.”

Jason Seebaruth

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