A language course on campus could become a lot cheaper for EUR students after the summer, when Erasmus Language Sharing (ELS) is set to begin – a language course for students, taught by students.

Students Jan Radermacher and Florine Groenen came up with this plan, which Jan explains: “Say you’re planning to do your master’s in Brazil starting in the autumn. Picking up a Portuguese class at the Taal & Trainingscentrum is pretty expensive. Yet there are people on campus who grew up speaking Portuguese. The idea is to match you up with a native speaker. The teacher earns a few extra euros and you get a cheap language course.”

The price for a course is currently estimated at about 45 euros per class, a big drop from the 280 you’re likely to spend at the Taal & Trainingscentrum (TTC). Still, Marjon Menten of the TTC doesn’t see the new project as a threat: “Actually, we think it’s a really great idea. We want to support the ELS from the TTC too. For example, we’re going to give the students involved training in working with groups.”

Any consequences from the extra competition have yet to be proven. “Jan Radermacher thinks that it will open up a whole new market. It’s also possible that we’ll lose students, which would of course be a shame. But right now, it’s all just guesses,” says Menten. A big difference is the fact that at TTC you receive an official certificate at the end of a course. That’s not the case at ELS.

Cultural evening

According to Florine, ELS isn’t just about the language: “We also want to include lessons about the culture of a particular country. And we will have theme nights, where, for example, a group studying French organises a cultural evening about France, and invites the other course groups.”

The development of ELS is still in the start-up phase; Jan and Florine are looking for people interested in helping. Anyone interested is welcome to send an e-mail to [email protected]. ES