You may have noticed on our discussion groups and on our Facebook groups that we recently asked for our community’s help in voting on a new name for SPEAKs volunteer teachers, and you did not disappoint us! So, we would like to introduce, SPEAK Buddies! The new name for our wonderful volunteer teachers!
SPEAK is a project with aims to connect migrants, refugees and locals through a language and culture exchange programme. Through our sessions and through our events, we encourage our members to integrate and become part of our community, helping those without friends or family in Portugal to feel a sense of belonging in their new city. We have thousands of kind and generous members in our community!
Guess what? SPEAK has landed in Turin and the first set of courses is ready to start! Woohoo!!
I know, I know. We admit it. We might have got a little excited. Can you blame us though?
What you probably don’t know however, is the amount of great work and help that has been behind this SPEAK achievement. And, with the first few courses starting, the success of our very first event in Turin last month and the next one already on the go, what a better time to thank all our new friends!? Let’s meet them all!
The decision to learn a new language is normally quite an easy decision. Whether you want to be able to chat with the locals on holiday, find the closest good supermarket, or request a tax number when arriving in a new country, making the decision to learn is the easy part. The difficult part comes when you start to learn. Who knew it would be this difficult to speak German? Why does Portuguese have so many different tenses? How do I use the subjunctive in French?
Well, we are here to help! Since lots of the SPEAK courses have just began, and we have more starting in the next few weeks, we have come up with 10 tips on how to make your learning experience a bit smoother
At SPEAK, we want to build a community of participants in each of our cities. Aside from our classes, we use events to gather people together and to share their languages and culture. These are great as people get to meet people from different courses and cultures and create an even bigger network of friends in their new city!
SPEAK volunteers are our heroes. Our Ambassadors do an amazing job in helping the project by organising events, supporting volunteer teachers and spreading the SPEAK word. We couldn’t run the project without them!
Jordana is one of our Coimbra Ambassadors who, alongside her Ambassador partner Mariana Vilela, does brilliant work to support the project and make it as enjoyable as possible for the entire community. Here she is sharing her SPEAK story with us about what it’s like to be an ambassador with SPEAK. Thank you for all that you do Jordana!
It’s exciting news folks! Grab your megaphones and call the press, because SPEAK is going INTERNATIONAL!
Every country has it’s own Christmas traditions. Some people celebrate on the 25th, some on the 24th, and some even earlier. Some countries celebrate advent and some don’t, and even advent is celebrated differently in each country that has it. There are hundreds of different Christmas traditions that billions of people worldwide take part in every year. So we thought that this festive period, it would be fun and interesting to see the difference in the Portuguese and British cultures.
Nelson Mandela once said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
At SPEAK, we agree. We think communication is invaluable, that learning about the language and cultures of others is key. We are now nearly at the end of this semester of SPEAK courses, congratulations to everyone who has made the effort with their classes and is continuing to work hard on their language learning! This week we wanted to talk about inspiring all of you to continue with your learning inside and outside of the classroom.
What is this… copacana? Copacabana? Co…thing that you’re doing? The thing I did was a Capoeira, Afro-Brazilian martial art with elements of dance.
But it doesn’t make sense! It’s neither dance nor a fight! It’s a sect; you’re standing in the circle and singing! Is it ok to do it for Catholics? I’ve heard those and many other questions while practising for two years. Was it a sect? No, I left without any problem. Did it make me incredibly happy and filled me with endorphins and positive adrenaline? Totally. I was addicted, that was what I wanted to do and what I wanted to talk about the entire time. Why?