As with any night class, the social benefits are enormous. “In some classes, a lot of the same people come back each year. People become friends and get to know about each other’s lives. Recently, one of the class was in hospital and we sent a best wishes card written in Spanish.”
In terms of lifelong learning, Spanish is ideal in helping people to navigate social situations on holidays. “In the beginners class, we cover the basics, greetings, introductions, then different foods and directions. At the improvers classes, the participants know what they need – maybe going to a hairdresser when living or holidaying in Spain.
“Every class has a cultural element – so, for instance, at Christmas time, we cover what Christmas is like in Spain, compared to what it is like in Ireland.
“And, at the end of the classes, we go to a Spanish restaurant in Cork, so they can use their Spanish in a real setting. Or, in another class, we applied this in class where everybody prepared a tapas dish and explained in Spanish how they did it. Everyone is familiar with tapas!!”