Foreign students make ‘Arbroath Voice’ heard

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A group of eight D&A College students from across Europe are promoting their adopted home of Arbroath by launching a website.

Working on a project entitled ‘Arbroath Voices’, Janis Dumbraitis, Elina Mintale, Aivis Grasmanis (all Latvia) Kristina Baltusnikaite, Agne Balciene (both Lithuania), Malgorzata Romanowska, Maciej Kuc (both Poland) and Metin Mutlu (Turkey) have interviewed and filmed local business people for inclusion on the new website.

The students, who are all enrolled on the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course at the Arbroath Campus, worked closely with retired businessman Alfie Dickson to find suitable candidates for interview.

Work on this project began last October.

‘‘The challenging project helped the students develop their English language skills through working with each other interviewing the local people,” said lecturer Linda Archibald.

“They also built teamwork skills as they collaborated to plan, conduct and film the interviews, all of this in English.”

To show their appreciation to those people who were willing to take part in the project the students invited them to the Arbroath Campus for the official launch of www.arbroathvoices.com

Former Arbroath Herald editor Brian Stormont, was one of the interviewees.

“The students asked pertinent and informed questions displaying an excellent level of English as well as an extremely professional approach,” Brian said. “They even managed to film in one take!”

Student Agne Balciene said: “It was really interesting to take part in this project. The website is very easy to use, well laid out and easy to understand.”

The students spoke with passion about their adopted hometown and were extremely grateful for the people and business owners who went out of their way to help them.

“The students study English for a number of reasons, they want to make friends with Scottish people, they want to be part of the community and that is one of the reasons we have volunteers come in every week to speak to them,” Linda said.

Mr Dickson said: “It has been a pleasure working with these students from all over Europe. It demonstrates the skills and enthusiasm that they have. They are not fluent English speakers but the work Linda and D&A College do, is tremendous.”