gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

Extra-Curricular Gradult: Learning a language

In a slightly serious turn for Gradulthood we’ve decided to offer various ideas for extra-curricular activities to not only enhance your CV, but also provide good life skills. First up:

Learning a Language.

Now aside from my B in GCSE French (originally a C until it was remarked and I was given a shiny new B) before October ’09 I had very limited language skills. However, I decided that if I was going to go travelling alone in South America in summer ’10 I should probably try and get some Spanish skills on board. After a bit of research on the best and cheapest courses in Leeds, my friend and I enrolled o an Spanish course at Leeds Metropolitan University - 26 weeks, 2 hours a week, £140. This made me a fully-fledged student of Leeds Met meaning I had access to all of their resources. The course was a mere 3 hours less contact time a week than I’d had during my Geography degree at the University of Leeds, which cost me £3,000 a year. So it was a bargain really…

Overall, the course was a very good experience. Sure some weeks I couldn’t be bothered, and there was the odd occasion where a hangover got the better of me and I didn’t go, but on the whole I learnt a lot, we even had a course night out at a tapas restaurant!

Admittedly, as soon as I was in South America, knowing how to describe my neighbourhood wasn’t that useful, and nor was being able recite my family tree in Spanish, but still.

As part of my new years resolutions, I’ve decided to do some revision of the Spanish I learnt last year, and also try and learn some new things. I discovered a couple of brilliant resources on the BBC website, one of which allows you to watch a simple Spanish soap opera alongside a talking phrasebook to explain what’s going on - a great idea! The soap ‘Mi Vida Loca’ can be found here, and other resources can be found here. They even provide a weekly email to tell you what you need to learn that particular week.

So, why not start 2011 by trying to learn a new language, or revisit one you’ve learned previously? Other languages are available on the BBC website.

1 comment:

  1. This is actually my New Year's (sort-of) resolution. Although it never occurred to me to see if the local uni offered short-term language courses, so thanks I'm definitely going to check it out!