First accredited German language centre in Wales

Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning is the first language provider in Wales to be accredited by the Goethe-Institut to conduct internationally recognised German language examinations.

The Goethe-Institut, with headquarters in Munich, is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany whose purpose it to promote knowledge of the German language and culture abroad. Their examinations correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and are well known throughout the world and accepted as a qualification by employers.

After assessing the Centre and its German language provision, the Goethe-Institut signed a partnership agreement for holding the examinations of the Goethe-Institut at Cardiff University.

Helga Eckart, Senior Lecturer at the Centre said: “With Germany being a top-employment country for British people it is hoped that many will be encouraged to sit these exams. We are excited that from 2013 onwards we will be an examination centre of the Goethe-Institut and I am thrilled that we are the first and the only institution in Wales to sign such an agreement.”

The range of German language courses that the Centre offers, from beginners to advanced, will provide ample opportunity to practise for these certificates.

Juliana Nau, a German Tutor at the Centre said: “Taking some of the Goethe-Institut exams will punctuate your progress and attest your level of competence at any given time. The Goethe-Institut exams offer some of the most widely recognized German language qualifications and are offered at six different levels, from basic to near native proficiency.  They are purely skills based rather than predominantly academic.  In other words, spoken communication, listening to news and interviews, reading texts and e-mails feature high on the agenda.  Most of our German classes follow a syllabus that will prepare you for these exams.”

Over the years, strong links with Paris, Madrid and Sienna have been developed for the DELF/DALF qualifications in French, the DELE in Spanish and the CILS in Italian and more recently Public Service Interpreting – qualifications which many language students have benefitted from. It is hoped that the German examination Centre will be just as successful.

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A new focus on China

A new focus on China

Professor David Boucher

New initiatives to help build closer partnerships and collaboration across the University with China will be developed in response to plans for greater Internationalisation, according to the University’s new Dean for the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Professor David Boucher, who succeeds Executive Director Dr Richard Evans as the Centre’s new Director and Dean, used the recent Chinese Mid Autumn Festival to announce news plans.

In his opening remarks, Professor Boucher announced that the Confucius Institute, whilst continuing to deliver its many external activities, will be developing new initiatives in 2013 to build closer partnerships and collaboration across the University.

Scott Andrews, General Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute, said: “Once again we were delighted to welcome guests to celebrate this important festival in the Chinese calendar.

“The Confucius Institute continues to act as a beacon for China in Cardiff University and is committed to its ongoing initiatives with partners both from within the University and with those partners across Wales with whom we have developed opportunities to further develop an awareness and understanding of Chinese Language and culture.”

Guests were treated to traditional performances from pupils and students before having the chance to take part in Chinese cultural activities and Bo Bing – the Moon Cake Game played at the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The festival was launched by Cardiff University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for International and Engagement, Professor Hywel Thomas who has just returned from a trip to China during which he visited the Confucius Institute’s partner university in Xiamen.

He used the opportunity to highlight Cardiff University’s commitment to developing its international dimension and the significant role that the Confucius Institute and China played in pursing this strategy.

The Chinese Academic Director, Dr Xueyi Zhu closed the event. Dr Zhu said: “The Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival because the moon is at its fullest, purest, and brightest on this Mid-Autumn day.

“Chinese people always associate the bright and full moon with good things, such as reunion, harmony, fulfilment, togetherness, and wholeness. The festival is very popular and important among Chinese people and the Chinese Government listed the Mid-Autumn festival as an intangible cultural heritage in 2006.”

Related links:

Cardiff Confucius Institute