Students and volunteers at this week’s session. G.P.
Every Monday afternoon, approximately 60 youngsters from Fuengirola head to the Town Hall’s Youth Department building in Los Boliches to attend free conversation workshops in order to improve their command of the English language with native speakers.
The ‘Fuengirola Speaking Club’, which was launched more than a year ago has, according to the Councillor for Youth and New Technologies, Juan Lazo Córdoba, proven to be an “invaluable resource” for local young people.
Speaking to SUR in English at this Monday’s session, Juan, who is himself bilingual, says: “In these tough economic times, when competition for every job is extremely fierce, it’s imperative that young people have a good knowledge of English and can speak it with a high degree of fluency – especially in places such as the Costa del Sol, where the main industry is tourism.
“These workshops, which are entirely conversational, give the youngsters the chance to put into practice what they have learned at school with people whose first language is English. This is vital as the only way to really get to grips with a language is to speak it with native speakers.
“The Fuengirola Speaking Club not only gives them the opportunity to improve and practise, it also, crucially, gives them more confidence in their abilities as we create small, supportive groups for them to work in. Having the confidence to go out and speak a foreign language is, of course, another major factor in gaining fluency.”
The Fuengirola Speaking Club is run by volunteers and is completely free for the students.
“It’s well-publicised that municipal budgets have had to be cut, so we’ve had to become more creative. The Club is a shining example of what can be achieved when different sections of the local community come together for the good of others,” says Juan Lazo Córdoba.
“We cannot thank our English-speaking volunteers enough as they’re giving up their free time to help the youngsters obtain an invaluable life skill that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.”
More information l Any_English speakers who would like to volunteer at the Fuengirola Speaking Club can contact Juan Lazo T 952 461 842