Als ich vor zwei Jahren über das Erasmus Programm nach Portugal gekommen bin, habe ich mich direkt nach einer guten Möglichkeit umgesehen die Landessprache zu lernen. An der Uni wurden Portugiesisch-Kurse angeboten, sowie im Goethe Institut und vielen anderen Institutionen. Aber wie das als Student nun mal so ist, will man nicht viel Geld ausgeben und selbst an der Uni konnte man die Kurse nur gegen eine Gebühr belegen. Als ich einer portugiesischen Kommilitonin von meinem “Leid” erzählt habe, hat sie mir von Speak erzählt.
It’s raining in Berlin and someone stole my bed at 3am this evening (crazy, right?). I arrived at 2am to an hostel and chose a 4 bed dorm for my first night. Two beds were free, I picked one randomly. At 3am someone comes in and says: “hey, that’s my bed”. I did that wtf-face but moved to the other option with no resistance. The guy gets my first option preferring a used bed to a new one – sometimes the world is a funny place. Anyway, Berlin is beautiful….
In the busy world that we live in today, it can be very easy to get bogged down with the day to day, and to forget the positives not just going on in our own lives, but of the world around us. This week, we decided to recognise some of the little victories for SPEAK and the world. We hope they put a smile on your face!
Situated just 25km, a short train ride away from the centre of Lisbon, Sintra is a perfect day trip from the city. Popular with both tourists and locals, this little town boasts various sightseeing opportunities at beautiful ancient monuments. Follow the winding streets to the town and all the way through the narrow roads up the hill, through the beautiful natural woodland to up to the highest point in Sintra to discover some of the most historically rich monuments set in the most natural and beautiful surroundings.
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!
It’s exciting news folks! Grab your megaphones and call the press, because SPEAK is going INTERNATIONAL!