Polish (Elementary): Francis Wadsworth
Francis, a member of the public, studied Elementary Polish at the University Language Centre (ULC).
Why did you choose to study a language at The University of Manchester?
I first went to Poland about 20 years ago and fell in love with the country, its culture, and people. Since then my work has brought me more into contact with Polish people and so it was time to start learning the language.
I have tried many teach-yourself courses for Polish but with very little success. I guess I needed the help of a tutor. A Google search for Polish courses came up with the one offered by The University of Manchester.
Apart from class time, how much time did you spend a week on your studies?
When studying at Beginners' level I spent an average of eight hours a week studying.
Now that I am at the Elementary level, I find on average I study about four hours per week.
How did you find your course in terms of level?
I thought the course was pitched at the right level and was delivered in a very engaging style by a very enthusiastic teacher.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
Once I had grasped the basics of pronunciation and some basic phrases it was great being able to put them into practice with the people I work with.
Have you been able to put your newly acquired language skills to use outside the classroom? If so, please tell us how.
I am a Parish Priest of a large parish in the Diocese of Salford. There is a large growing Polish community in the parish. I have been able to celebrate the sacraments for the Polish community in their own language - baptisms, weddings, and funerals, as well as being able to add some elements of Polish into the weekly Sunday Mass.
What advice would you give to someone intending to study a language at the University Language Centre?
The best advice is to take the plunge and start learning and not to be afraid of making mistakes.
I find my Polish friends and parishioners very supportive and grateful for my efforts to learn a difficult language.