Newsletter January 2015

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Interview with our Managing Director
So Howard, after 3 months in the role, what are your impressions?
That what we do is so much more than language learning. For the students it is a real experience! The English course plays a big part, but so does the experience of living with a local family and taking part in day to day British life. The enthusiasm with which the students participate is fantastic and you can see how much enjoyment they get from it.
How do the students impact on the local community?
They are amabassadors for their nations. I visited our local art gallery with my daughter recently, and the manager had recently received a party of our Italian students – and she spoke so highly of them – they had made a real impression. She said that their work was of an incredible quality and that they were perfect students. It made me happy that the students we welcome have such a positive impact.
What is on your agenda currently?
There are two main areas I am working on. The first is our residential summer school at Chester University. My teaching career began (many years ago!) at a Summer School so I know what fun they are and ours is shaping up very nicely. The second is working with our partners on Erasmus+ funding projects - we are happy to hear from any schools or partners wanting to put together a project and working with them on this.

Unsung Heroes
The New Year is upon us and it is a time for reflection. Here at Conlan we feel it is appropriate therefore to recognise our unsung heroes, namely our Host Family network.
It is easy during hectic and busy periods to overlook their contribution. Many of our students have never been abroad before and arrive nervous and apprehensive and missing their friends and families. This is where the Host Family steps in!! They meet their students personally on the first day and welcome them into their homes, ensuring that their initial worries and concerns are minimised. They also transport them to the School on the first academic morning after a hearty breakfast and are a constant point of contact for them during their stay.
They come from a variety of backgrounds. Many have children of their own, providing the student with the opportunity to socialise with people from their own age group. Some have seen their own children grow up and leave home and the students provide them with an opportunity to have young people in their homes again!! Some are retired and regard the students as adopted grandchildren. All of our families are committed to providing the students with good food and a comfortable and warm home, where they feel safe and secure, which is a constant reassurance to the parents at home in their own country.
It is a moving experience when it is time to go as many are in tears at the thought of leaving. But many stay friends forever and remain in contact exchanging Christmas and Birthday gifts.
I am sure the parents would like to join us at Conlan in thanking them all for their support and kindness.
Three cheers for our Unsung Heroes!!!!

Battle of the Organs!
Chester Cathedral’s Grand Organ is one of the world’s finest and it has been played virtually every day for nearly a century and a half.
It has entertained royalty and heads of state and has been played by greats such as George Thalben-Ball, Marcel Dupré and Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé.
Now, after a century and a half of almost daily use, the organ still sounds glorious but it is in desperate need of repair.
A number of events and initiatives are planned for the forthcoming year to raise the profile of this magnificent instrument and to inform and educate cathedral visitors about its venerable history and its on-going needs.
On Saturday 31st January Chester Cathedral has organised an out of the ordinary organ experience as the resident organists do battle with one another and special guests! Attending will be Philip Rushforth, Benjamin Chewter, Geoffrey Woollatt and Nigel Ogden (The Organist Entertains, BBC Radio 2).

Phrase of the Month: "Break a Leg"
This is a phrase that is said to actors and actresses before a performance which means, surprisingly, “good luck.”
Actors have always been very superstitious. For example, it is bad luck to say “Macbeth” in a theatre, to whistle backstage or to say the final line of a play during the dress rehearsal. It is also bad luck to say “good luck” so instead, by saying “break a leg” actors presume the opposite will happen.
It is not a particularly old phrase. There is evidence from letters and memoirs from the 1920s but the earliest printed reference to the phrase appears in Edna Ferber’s A Peculiar Treasure in 1939. She comments about the theatre "...and all the understudies sitting in the back row politely wishing the various principals would break a leg"
Interestingly, a similar phrase was being used by Germans in the First World War. Pilots would say “"Hals- und Beinbruch" (neck and leg break) to one another before flights to mean “good luck.”