The University's Language Centre has won two prestigious awards for its innovation in language teaching and learning.

The University’s Language Centre has won two prestigious awards for its innovation in language teaching and learning.

The Centre's Junior CULP (Cambridge University Language Programme) Project has won both the 2006 European Award for Languages as well as the Spanish Embassy Language Prize for a project including the teaching of Spanish.

The Junior CULP Project aimed to bridge the gap in 14-plus language provision, and, in particular, to help pupils less motivated to study languages at Key Stage 4.

Funded jointly by the DfES and the Language Centre, the pilot project drew on the Centre's approach to learning by combining face-to-face teaching with online learning.

The success of the project has shown that this integrated method works well in a range of environments.

In the first phase, 77 students from Impington Village College and St Ivo School enrolled on Junior CULP. Two languages were on offer: Spanish and French.

In the second phase, which ended this summer, 180 students from six Cambridgeshire schools enrolled and five languages were offered: Spanish, French, Italian, German and Chinese.

Ten of the Centre's language teachers went out to the schools involved to work with groups of pupils. Each school followed a tailor-made programme that combined all-day sessions at the Language Centre with two hour twilight sessions in the schools.

The awards will be presented to the director of the Language Centre, Anny King, and the director of CULP, Nebojsa Radic by Sir Trevor McDonald and Rt Hon George Reid MSP during a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh on 26 September, which is International Day of Languages.

"We believe that Junior CULP has huge potential as a programme that can be "exported" to be applied in a variety of settings, and hope to continue working with local schools as well as those further afield," said Anny King.

Located on Downing Place, the Language Centre provides language-learning opportunities for all members of the University. It offers taught courses in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.

A team of language learning advisers is available for consultations and for the design of tailor-made language-learning programmes.

At the John Trim independent-learning Centre, multi-media and paper-based materials are available in more than 150 languages - from Abaza (a language of the Caucasus mountains) to !Xu (a language spoken on the north-west fringes of the Kalahari Desert).

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