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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano


Get your coffee online – at the language café

Even if the Language Centre has had to physically close because of the Coronavirus, nothing will stop them from offering services online, like the first online trilingual quiz yesterday.

After the first online trilingual quiz night yesterday – and with all places filled within 24 hours – more initiatives are in the pipeline, says Andrew Wimhurst.

Andrew Wimhurst, as part of the team helping to organize English language courses, you must have a lot to do at the moment, right?
Yes, because all of our language courses, as well as all of our language learning initiatives, have had to be re-modelled. We sent out an email three days ago inviting people to our first trilingual quiz night online, and all of the spots were filled within 24 hours!

Is this quiz night part of the language café?
Yes, Maria Cristina Boscolo, Renate Koroschetz and myself together with the Language Centre team, organize the language cafés in order to enable our students to meet and talk in the three university languages, while being guided. And they really like getting to know each other in an informal context without being assessed on their language skills.

This is therefore different from the tandem project?
Absolutely, because the Tandem allows people to meet and speak in their target language. Once two people have been matched, they organize their meetings autonomously. We already have 60 people signed up to the service, but our online Tandem platform has a capacity of 450 users. So, any member of the university community who is interested can sign up here 

What else can we expect in the near future?
We had already been planning a language speed-dating event, but in a traditional way i.e. “face to face”. We are now going to discuss how we might be able to run this event online. After the success of the first online quiz night yesterday evening, we are already planning a second night.

So, our students are willing – nevertheless being at home and ‘locked out of university’ – to keep up with their language skills?
Absolutely, they are completely aware of the advantages that having good language skills will make the difference in their future jobs.