Thu 20 Jul 17
All this week we are celebrating the achievements of some of our students who are graduating in the class of 2017. Paulina Lewandowska, graduating today from the Department of Language and Linguistics, tells us her story.
Paulina Lewandowska (BA Language Studies) moved to England from Poland with limited English and lacked confidence in the language.
She’ll leave Essex fluent in five languages after studying three intensive initial courses. She has also set up a project which will not only inspire others to follow her example, but which has also given her practical experience for her future teaching career.
As a Frontrunner Paula visited schools to encourage pupils to study languages. A chance conversation led to her setting up the Lingo project, which involves Essex students holding weekly conversation classes in French, Spanish and German with children in local schools.
Paulina said: “One teacher explained how difficult it is for pupils to practise languages. I organised volunteers to work with small groups of children at her school in Brightlingsea. We have been able to make a big difference and the pupils are now much more confident. “The Students’ Union Vteam provided funding for transport and my work as an Employability Ambassador also helped make the project a success.”
Lingo volunteers now also go into a Colchester school and the project looks set to expand further next year. Paulina’s youngest pupil however, is her son, who was just nine-months old when she started her degree. He has attended the campus nursery throughout her studies. He currently speaks Polish and English, but a third language is soon to be introduced!