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European Language Academy
European Language Academy - Term 1 2007 Newsletter

ELA Newsletter

Term 1, March 2007

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In this newsletter:

Welcome Euroasia!

First there was the European Language Academy.  Then there was the Asian Language Academy. Two names, but essentially one organisation.  We have now decided to combine the two schools officially and change our name to Euroasia.

Introducing Fasttrack!

Do you feel you would like to make faster progress with your language learning? Can you manage more than one lesson a week? Euroasia’s Fasttrack courses could be for you!

Resources

For a limited time only, order resources (dictionaries, practice books etc) from our partner New Beginnings and you will get 10% off. Not only that, they will deliver the materials for free to us, and we will hand this out to you in class. Please place your order before Friday 16 March to qualify for the discount.

Do you speak a foreign language?

People who have learnt a foreign language may not always know quite how to answer this question. What does it really mean? To speak the language like a native, or, if not like a native, with a very high degree of competence, or simply to get by in daily life? Check out this article.

Eat Move and Be Healthy

Patrice Carmignani is a former French teacher at ELA who is now a Personal Trainer working from his gym at Mt Eden. We talked to him recently about his pursuits and his passion for educating Kiwis to live healthy lives. For a limited time, Patrice is offering a free fitness consultation for ELA clients.


1. Welcome, Euroasia!

First there was the European Language Academy.  Then there was the Asian Language Academy. Two names, but essentially one organisation.


We have now decided to combine the two schools officially and change our name to Euroasia. The name was chosen to reflect the two continents whose languages we teach. Under this umbrella term, we are offering not only language teaching, but also services such as translation and interpreting, cross-cultural consultancy and support to businesses dealing with non-English-speaking countries. In the coming months, we will be progressively updating our branding, stationery and website. Be assured that you will continue to experience the top quality service and courses that you have come to expect.


As Euroasia, we also hope to expand our services to cover a wider area in New Zealand; we will open a branch in Christchurch in April, 2007! 

2. Introducing Fasttrack!

Do you feel you would like to make faster progress with your language learning? Can you manage more than one lesson a week? Euroasia’s Fasttrack courses could be for you!


We have two types of Fasttrack courses, Fasttrack 2 and Fasttrack 5. Both courses allow you to cover the same material, with the same number of lessons, as would normally be covered over 10 weeks. That’s a total of 15 hours, taken either over 2 weeks (Fasttrack 2) or over 5 (Fasttrack 5).


Fasttrack 2 is offered during our current holiday periods, which correspond roughly to standard school holiday periods. Each week, you do 2 hours on 2 evenings during the week, and then 3.5 hours on the Saturdays (10 to 2, with a half-hour break). That makes a total of 15 hours over 2 weeks.


The next Fasttrack 2 will be held over the April term break (2 weeks starting 11 April). Completion of this Fasttrack course would allow you to jump into the next level for the Term 2 intake starting 23 April.


Fasttrack 5 is offered in the second half of each of our current terms. It’s a way of catching up if you missed the beginning of the term. You take classes on two evenings a week, each for 1.5 hours. And in this way you cover the material for 10 weeks over 5.


For information on the languages and the levels offered, please see our timetable or contact us.


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3. Resources

We are often asked to recommend resources to you. We understand that it is very difficult to find relevant and useful resources when there are thousands of products out there. We have an ongoing partnership with New Beginnings, an online retailer of foreign language resources, to offer a select range of relevant materials that will assist you with your language study. For a limited time only, mention ELA when you order and you will get 10% off. Not only that, they will deliver the materials for free to us, and we will hand this out to you in class. Please place your order before Friday 16 March to qualify for the discount.


Please check out their website and the dedicated ELA resource page.

Spanish Language Resources

French Language Resources

German Language Resources

Italian Language Resources


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4. Do you speak a foreign language?

People who have learnt a foreign language may not always know quite how to answer this question. What does it really mean? To speak the language like a native, or, if not like a native, with a very high degree of competence, or simply to get by in daily life? And is the questioner also asking about being able to understand a foreign language, in its spoken or written forms?  What about being able to write it yourself?


The Council of Europe has given some considerable thought to the question of linguistic levels, and has identified six, ranging from “basic” to “proficient”. The levels could apply to any language, because they are defined in terms of what people can actually do with the language in question. And so a basic user “can introduce him/herself and others, and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has”. At the top end of the scale, a proficient user “can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes”.


Which of the levels are we thinking about when we determine whether someone “speaks” a language?  Well, there are no hard and rules here, so I suggest we make them up for ourselves!  Maybe we could actually flatter ourselves here a little and say that we can speak the language we are learning once we have reached the basic level – adding, if we feel the need for modesty, a caveat along the lines of “but not fluently, you understand”.  Which is probably well and truly understood, anyway.


The next question is: if you take a course with Euroasia, can you expect to be speaking your chosen language at the end of it? Well, reaching the Council of Europe basic level is a realistic target: in most languages, it’s not so hard to get to that point.  And if you don’t feel you have arrived after one course, then perhaps another will help things along?


Here’s another way of looking at things. Learning a foreign language is a process rather than a goal. Very few people who embark upon the process achieve a goal of perfect mastery of the language; the Council of Europe “proficient user” level is probably only achieved by a small minority of learners. However, as you learn a language, no matter how far you take it, you are engaged in a process which enriches you in many different ways.

 

Studying a new language:

  • strengthens your mental dexterity and range
  • introduces you to a different way of thinking and looking at the world
  • opens up a new culture
  • boosts the satisfaction you can derive from overseas travel
  • helps you to understand the problems people may have in learning English
  • invites opportunities for new friendships
  • in many cases, assists in deepening pre-existing friendships and relationship
  • shows that you are prepared to make an effort


 

Maybe the best answer to the question, “Do you speak Mongolian (or whatever)?” is a little more subtle than a straight “yes” or “no”.  How about: “Well, I’ve studied it a little, I understand how it works, I understand more about the people and the culture, I think I know a little better how they look at things, and yes, I know enough of the language to get by.  Sure, I speak it!” 


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5. Eat, Move and Be Healthy!

Patrice Carmignani is a former French teacher at ELA who is now a Personal Trainer working from his gym at Mt Eden. We talked to him recently about his pursuits and his passion for educating Kiwis to live healthy lives.

For a limited time, Patrice is offering a free fitness consultation for ELA clients.

Call him now to book in a time (and practice French while you train).

Patrice Carmignani

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step

Lao – Tzu

"I believe this is true for everything we vision in our lives. There are no secrets - stay fit and live a longer, healthier life.


We all insist on finding excuses not to exercise. Time, family obligations, injuries, weather and so forth… But we also know the long-term consequences of not living a healthy lifestyle.


At GYM & TONIC, we treat each person as an individual. To listen and to help you achieve your goals is our main aim.


No, it’s not hard to be healthy, to be productive and to have a beautiful body, it’s just a choice. All you have to do is change your mind, to change your thinking and to allocate your energy into achieving what you want.


I invite you to GYM & TONIC to follow simple life-changing principles so that we can all set a good example for the next generation.


We have created a small, exclusive and friendly environment so that members have, as soon as they come in, a sense of well being."

 

Patrice Carmignani, Personal Trainer

021 454977

mckfrog@xtra.co.nz


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