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New language school launched
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A LANGUAGE school being launched in tomorrow is offering foreign students the chance to soak up local history and culture while learning English.

Language Studio UK on Holywell Hill will offer tailor-made programmes for students, au-pairs and business people coming to Britain to master the language.

Students will be introduced to important aspects of British culture and taken to places of historic interest in the city as well as receiving language tuition from qualified tutors.

Aideen McNamara, who has set up the centre, said: "What we are hoping to do is teach English in with a local historical bias, so students are in the classroom learning in a traditional way but also in the abbey and in the local museums learning about the history and culture.

" is such a fantastic place to do that because it has got an amazing history.

"I have always thought that it must be a bit grim being a foreign student studying in somewhere such as Worthing or Bournemouth in the middle of the winter and that a town like had so much more to offer."

Students will receive small-group tuition, with average teacher to pupil ratios of about one to eight. They will have the chance to work towards accredited qualifications such as the Cambridge Esol certificates and International English Language Testing Service exams.

A designated programme for foreign au-pairs has been designed to give them the chance to network and meet others doing similar work.

From September, the school will also offer ten-week courses in Italian, French, Spanish and Chinese for local residents.

The head of Language Studio UK, who worked for 19 years with Marks and Spencer, set up the business after a career change which saw her supporting overseas students at the University of Luton.

Mrs McNamara, who has also worked for the Learning and Skills Council as an enterprise adviser, says she identified a niche in the market for a new language school almost two years ago, but has only now managed to secure the city centre building.

She said: "As more people travel for both work and leisure and buy homes in other parts of the world the need to be able to speak a foreign language becomes more important.

"You get business people who want to come to brush up their English for a couple of weeks before going to negotiate a big contract. Then there are students coming to live here for a year who want to get to a certain level in that time. We will try to meet the needs of the individual."

10:19amMonday12thJune2006

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