By Lisa Rowley
I’ve always enjoyed learning and after school ended up continuing my studies with four years at university then another six months developing my journalism skills on a course.
But my education was put on hold when I became a journalist – a life which involved covering night meetings – sometimes at short notice – and working late. It was difficult to work out where I could fit in some extra studies when you weren’t sure when you would be called out on a breaking story.
It was just over four years ago when my boyfriend decided he wanted to do a photography course that I looked at going back to college again myself. At that time it wasn’t necessarily photography that I wanted to do but languages had always interested me and learning Spanish – something I had only done for a year at school – seemed ideal.
It’s a growing language and second only to Mandarin for the number of native speakers with about 406 million people speaking it from birth. And for 20 countries it is the primary language.
I had studied French to A level standard at school so thought Spanish would be ideal as another language for me to try. At the time my local City of Wolverhampton College ran night courses for a number of languages, including signing, so I was able to take advantage of a Level One course, joining other adult learners one night a week.
The following year I carried on with my Spanish at Level Two but decided, after seeing how much my boyfriend had enjoyed it, to do a GCSE photography course. Luckily, my situation at work then meant that I was able to fit in two nights of study a week. After gaining an A* in my GCSE I carried on with both subjects – and this year gained an A in my A Level Photography. I would have carried on with further studies but unfortunately the high cost of university study prevents this at the moment.
On the other hand, I now feel confident enough to gain higher qualifications in my Spanish and am aiming to take my AS Level exam in June next year followed by the A2 in 2015. My studies have stopped at Wolverhampton College, though. In a move I don’t agree with the college has axed its languages department, leaving fewer places in the city to study languages. At a time when languages are so much more important in life this decision was a step in the wrong direction, I think. I’m now doing my course at Wolverhampton Adult Education Service as well as another class run by my former college Spanish teacher.
There’s a variety of people in my class – from teenagers doing extra studies away from school to other adult learners. One of the differences to being at school is the students there want to be there. It’s not like they are forced to go along to classes. I’ve also added another course to my list as I felt I needed to expand my skills for work. This extra one is website design, which I finish in February, hopefully with a Level Two qualification.
I intend to carry on learning and enjoying going to college – I’ve just got to think of what to do next!
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.