European Day of Languages: learning Spanish at Norland
26 September 2020
As part of our value-added curriculum, some students decide to study Spanish alongside their studies.
As part of European Day of Languages, Tess and Lula (Set 41) have taken some time out of their busy schedule having just started their Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year to talk about the course.
Can you briefly introduce yourselves?
Tess: My name is Tess and I’ve recently completed my degree and have just started my first position as an NQN in London. Before joining Norland, I studied BTEC Level 3 in children’s play, learning and development and worked as an au pair in the USA for a year.
Lula: My name is Lula and I’m in Set 41. I have just come to the end of my three years’ training at Norland and am currently in the process of applying for my first job as an NQN. I joined Norland straight after finishing school where I completed my A levels.
How did you find studying Spanish at Norland?
Tess: I absolutely loved studying Spanish at Norland. Having a native Colombian teacher allowed us to learn both the pronunciation and differences in terminology between Spanish and Colombian. He would also talk to us about culture in Columbia, and Spanish music and TV shows we could watch to further our Spanish through different forms of media. We studied useful Spanish topics which I used frequently in my day to day life in Spain. The lessons definitely sparked a passion for studying Spanish for me and I continued this during lockdown, watching some great Spanish TV shows – with subtitles of course!
Lula: I really loved my weekly Spanish lessons. As the classes were just for Norland students, it fitted in around my other commitments and didn’t add too much to my workload. As we were a small group, we covered a lot of content in class which gave the opportunity to practice speaking Spanish with others, as well as having the support of the teacher while doing work without the lessons being overwhelming. There was a real sense of community within our class as we all got to know each other well. I really enjoyed meeting other students with a shared interest that I may otherwise not have gotten the opportunity to know. The class also gave us the opportunity to meet up with other people studying Spanish within Bath as the company who ran the lessons organised events such as Spanish tapas evenings which everyone was invited to. Throughout the course, my confidence in speaking Spanish, as well as my understanding of the language, grew massively.
“There is nowhere else you could study that exposes you to so many different skills on a daily basis.”
Why did you want to study Spanish?
Tess: During my studies at Norland, I spent my summers working abroad for a holiday company and, after my first year in Croatia, I discovered how important it was to be able to communicate with the locals – even just a simple “hello” or “thank you”. Around the time that Norland announced they were going to be holding Spanish lessons, I found out I had got a job working in the south of Spain for the upcoming summer. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to learn the basics – having spent five years learning French at school! However, I found myself progressing far quicker than I had expected and I soon found myself in Spain communicating confidently in Spanish with the staff at the hotel and the locals in the restaurant opposite my accommodation. This made my summer so enjoyable and far easier to live and work in a community where I had the confidence to understand and communicate with the locals.
Has it benefitted you in any jobs that you have done outside of your training or applying for NQN positions?
Tess: Yes definitely! Having knowledge of another language benefitted me during my interviews with families. Having an extra-curricular skill really helps you stand out when securing a job against your peers.
Lula: Studying Spanish has given me the confidence to apply to jobs that mention having knowledge of a foreign languages as a bonus, as having this knowledge may put me above others. I hope I get the opportunity in my future jobs to share my Spanish with the children and potentially give them a basic knowledge of the language too.
What would you say to anyone who was considering studying at Norland, or any Norland students who were considering enrolling on the Spanish course?
Tess: Go for it! Although the extra cost of it may be out of reach for some, I worked extra babysitting hours to ensure I could cover the cost of the lessons as I saw so much more value in learning another language in such a fun and interactive way.
Lula: I have absolutely loved my three years at Norland and have been amazed at all the opportunities for different experiences on offer, including learning Spanish. There is nowhere else you could study that exposes you to so many different skills on a daily basis.