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!
Do you know how long the shortest reign was for a King in France? Which square in Madrid is the exact centre of Spain? Or which food the Belgians claim to have invented?
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!
The centre of Lisbon is a busy and bustling area, but just 10 minutes walk to the east, you find yourself in Alfama, one of the most historic and peaceful areas of the city. It would be very easy to lose oneself wandering its narrow streets on a sunny day. You may make your way into the district down by the river, but who knows where you’ll end up? However one thing is for certain: you will experience ancient Alfama in all its glory.
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!