Students' communication skills are to be enhanced, thanks to the installation of a new language lab.
The impressive 16-computer facility at King William's College includes state of the art technology, which will not only help improve vocabulary, expression, grammar and pronunciation, but will allow them to listen to and speak different languages more than is normally possible in a traditional classroom environment.
Based in the school's Modern Foreign Languages Department, it is a timely development with the language syllabus for both IGCSEs and French and Spanish in the International Baccalaureate due to change over the next two years.
It's been made possible by a donation from a former KWC student, Henry Kelly, who inaugurated the lab during a short ceremony.
College Principal Joss Buchanan said:
'At King William's College we realise just how important and in demand language skills are. When Mr Kelly (who studied French and German at College) approached the department a few years ago willing to make a donation, we considered how the school would benefit most from his kind offer. Language labs have been universally shown to be extremely effective in supporting educational success in languages and allow young people to spend significantly more time carrying out language-practice exercises. This is a first-class facility and the MFL Department has named the Language Lab in honour of its generous donor to thank Henry Kelly for this opportunity.'
In the lab, students can actively participate in language learning exercises and receive instant feedback in any of the four language skills, as well as corresponding with students in other countries across the world.
Teachers can also use the associated computer programme to create a wide range of activities, track the progress of each student and receive reports of strengths and weaknesses to better adapt classroom activities.
France Heckel, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, explained:
'Strong language skills are an asset which will promote a lifetime of effective communication, so we are so fortunate at KWC to learn and teach languages at every level. Our language lab allows them to practise without the fear of judgement or making mistakes. They can work at their own pace and learn their language in context. This is particularly motivating for our young people who can see first-hand how their language skills benefit them in real life situations. We are thrilled to have such an amazing facility.'