Video and photo gallery: Norwich City’s Javier Garrido teaches schoolchildren Spanish

A touch of Premiership class was brought to a language lesson in Norfolk this week when a special visitor leant his expertise.

Norwich City's Javier Garrido dropped into Langley School, near Loddon, as part of Norfolk County Council's Spanish Double Club.

The Canaries' left-back answered the children's questions in Spanish before handing out certificates and awards to a Year 7 class who have been learning the language using the scheme.

The Year 7 children heard that his favourite British television programme was Grand Designs, his favourite band was Coldplay, and player was Messi, as they also quizzed him on his background and family.

It was the first time the pupils had met the Premier League star having previously listened his voice recordings to help them learn the language.


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Mr Garrido said he was very happy to help the students.

'I haven't done anything like this and have no experience in front of young people but I think it good for me and good for them to see a professional football player as it makes them happy. It is something to help to improve their second language,' he said.

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Norwich's centre-back Daniel Ayala had been involved in the launch of the scheme last year, but this year the project has been extended and Langley School are the first to run it.

It is funded by Routes into Languages East and aims to teach children Spanish using football terminology, with voice clips of Mr Garrido teaching the language used in the classroom during a six week period.

Mr Garrido recorded both simple words and fluent conversation to help pupils and teachers with their pronunciation.

Debbis Abbs, advisor for languages at Norfolk County Council, said the scheme was first started at Arsenal where they did a German programme with local students.

'We liaised with Arsenal and trailed this last year with Norwich schools, and this year it is bigger and better,' she said.

Mrs Abbs said that using football as a way of teaching the language was good motivation for boys, as lessons were often more popular with girls.

The scheme is at a beginner's level so can be used in primary or secondary schools.

Study centre manager Paul Wickens said that there had been interest in it across the county already, with a school in Grantham also keen to take part.

It is hoped that in the future they might be able to do a similar scheme with French and German.

For details of the programme, call 01603 218757.

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