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Royal Holloway kick-starts language lessons with Chelsea FC

Posted on 22/09/2010

Karl Pfeiffer, the Goethe Institute, Wendy Buddin, Chelsea, Julie Stoker, Arsenal and Dr Jesus, Spanish Embassy

Royal Holloway, University of London has teamed up with Chelsea and Arsenal Football Clubs to deliver Spanish and German language programmes to primary and secondary schools.

The programme, which is launched this week, uses specially devised resource materials and the power of football to engage and inspire students to learn a new language. Following the World Cup in 2006, Arsenal FC came up with the idea of using football to inspire young people to learn.  Julie Stoker, the language consultant, spearheaded the programme at Arsenal and has been responsible for encouraging 13 other football clubs including Chelsea to support the programme.    

Royal Holloway will provide experienced language undergraduates and coaches to help support the delivery of the programme. It culminates in an exciting inter-school football tournament and a visit to the Chelsea stadium, Stamford Bridge, where the students will have an exclusive tour of the grounds. 

The scheme comes at a time when the number of pupils studying a foreign language is plummeting year after year, with many fearing a generation of youngsters will miss out on the benefits of improved job prospects and the importance of breaking down cultural barriers that learning a different language can offer.

Wendy Buddin, Acting Education Manager at Chelsea FC, said: “Chelsea FC Education is very pleased to be supporting this project. We think that it’s very important for young people to have a positive attitude to learning languages. We hope that KickStart Spanish and German will give them an exciting experience which encourages them to continue studying languages when they get older.”

Tanya Popeau, Senior Widening Participation and Outreach Officer at Royal Holloway said: “We are delighted to be working with Chelsea FC. Football is something that is loved right across the world, with famous footballers spanning across many countries and speaking many different languages. We have designed a range of exciting resource materials which we hope will inspire and encourage young people to enjoy language learning.”



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