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York U3A

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Current "Languages" Groups.                             Members: to find more details/dates/news or to contact a Group Leader, go to our Member's Page

                                                                                       Interest Groups are open to York U3A members only.

Language and Linguistics

Beginners French Year 2

French Conversation

Parliamo Italiano 1

Discover France through Culture, Region and Language

Continuing Spanish

German Conversation

Latin for Continuers:

Year 2 of 2

This is the follow-on course for Latin for Beginners and is primarily targeted at the group that met in 2017/8; however, members of previous groups are welcome if they would like to repeat the second year.  


Latin for Beginners will be offered again in 2019/20 for those with no previous knowledge of the language.


We will be studying Minimus Secundus by Barbara Bell (CUP, 978-0-521-755545-0).  Waterstone's will give you a 10% discount if you show your U3A card.




Venue: We meet at 1.30pm for ninety minutes or so in the Woolman Room on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month


This group aims to explore all aspects of language and the way we use it, including conversation, language learning, language change, dialects and the language of literature.


Members are invited to suggest topics that interest them and offers to present sessions are very welcome.


This is not a course covering a set syllabus over a given period, nor is it a foreign language course. Rather, it is an on-going meeting to explore mainly the English language and, while we do sometimes refer to other languages, no linguistic knowledge is assumed.


Topics planned for next year include: surnames and place names; symbolic language; the function(s) of language; translation; drama; narrative techniques in novels.


Venue:  Meetings are from 2.00 to 3.45 monthly on the 2nd Thursday.

Conversation is based on a variety of materials - short stories, films, newspaper articles plus any interests/hobbies members wish to contribute. Flexible structure.


Not for beginners, a good standard of French is required.



Venue: This group will resume on 4th October 2018 at the Group Leader's house


Meetings will take place from 10am and 12pm on alternate Thursdays.

These meetings will be useful to those who have an interest in France and would like to know more about the country and the culture.


The course will be in two parts.


Members will be encouraged to research and speak (either in French or English) about the topics agreed by the group.


We will look at a variety of French texts relevant to our studies which will include audio text by native speakers and will also include some grammar and vocabulary as necessary.  


Some knowledge of French will be required but this is not primarily a French conversation group. The aim is to further an interest in the country and culture whilst improving our spoken French.  



Venue:Fortnightly on Mondays at the leader’s home starting in October 2018.

This group is a continuation of last year’s foundation course for Absolute Beginners.


We have progressed to a level equivalent to “O” level, but the course will still be tutor-led, with fluency in conversation and accuracy in grammar prioritised.


New members are welcome to the group.



Venue: The Woolman Room, on Friday mornings. 11am -12.30 weekly, starting

on 28th September


This is an Italian conversation group which meets fortnightly on Mondays from 10.30am till approximately 11.45am.


The group is not designed to teach Italian so a good basic knowledge is necessary to facilitate active participation in discussion and general conversation.


We aim to choose a topic in advance of each meeting but it is always very informal and, we hope, enjoyable.


Venue:  La Piazza Restaurant in Goodramgate

There is room in a small group for 1or 2 more members who have studied Spanish for at least 2 years.


Why not come and give it a go? This is your chance to build on what you started all those years ago .


Venue:The Fell Room on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th (where there is one) Friday mornings each month, 10.15 am to noon, starting 28th September 2018


These groups are intended for members who already have a reasonably good grasp of German and who would like to continue to develop their communication skills and build up confidence to talk about a wide variety of topics in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.


There will be texts to prepare for discussion, as well as the opportunity for “free” conversation on everyday matters, members’ interests and general issues.


Members are welcome to suggest topics and offer material.


Group 1

Venue:The Woolman Room, 2nd and 4th Thursdays 10 to12 noon, starting on 13th September


Group 2

Venue:The Garden Room, 1st and 3rd Fridays from 10 to 12 noon, starting on 21st September


Sign Language Stage 2:

Continuation Group

Sign language sessions for those with some experience already.  The sessions mostly use signs from British Sign Language (BSL) but also draw on signs from Makaton and other sources where needed.  


The group visits establishments where sign language is used, watches TV programmes and DVDs and also has guest speakers and signers to help us to extend our signing for general conversation and everyday use.


There is a limit of 8 people for this group.  


Venue: At the leader’s home on the third Wednesday afternoon of the month

from 1:30 to 3:30 for 10 months from Sept 2018


An Introduction to

Sign Language

This is a 10-week course between September and December 2018 to enable people to learn some basic signs that are useful for everyday use and also to practise signing to others. The course is suitable for anyone who is in contact with someone who has hearing problems or who is just interested in learning a few signs.


Signs used during the course will be mostly from British Sign Language (BSL) but also from Makaton and other signing systems that offer a wide range of signs to encourage general communication.


There is a limit of 8 people for this group.  


Venue: At the leader’s home on a Wednesday morning 10.15am to 12.15pm. Dates to be decided to suit the group members between September & December 2018.  


Learning Italian, Beginners Class

This will be an Italian class for complete beginners, where we will all make a contribution as we share learning together.  The class will be led by Manuela but she will not be teaching Italian, but leading and structuring the class lessons, as well as her own learning with the rest of the group.  


The principle of the class is to learn Italian, encourage each other, share information, interesting Italian articles, ideas and individual methods of learning which might help others in the group. It is also about fun and making friends – and, who knows we could even arrange a holiday in Italy in the not too distant future so that we can practise what we are learning!


Because this will be a close knitted group of learning and sharing, the maximum numbers for the class will be 10.  There will be a waiting list for numbers over 10 and commitment is expected from those in the class.  


We will be using the BBC Italian for Beginners book from the first week. It is readily available from bookstores and the internet. It is very easy to follow and has a CD.


Venue:Fell Room on the 2nd and 4th Fridays in the afternoon starting at 1pm for 2 hours with a short tea break.  The class will start on Friday 26th October 2018.



French Conversation - Woolman Room

This is an informal conversation group for those with a knowledge of the French language who are interested in improving their spoken French.


The general format that we follow is to warm up with some reading and translation of a text, followed by open conversation on topics of interest.


A text and a topic are decided upon before the meeting so we can prepare.


Venue:The Woolman Room on 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 10am until noon.


French Conversation -

Café Rouge

Two groups meet at Café Rouge. The first group begins by discussing topical news items and other points of interest. This is followed by the translation of a prepared text from a book, magazine or newspaper.


The second group follows a similar format but also concentrates on various aspects of grammar from time to time.



Venue:Café Rouge on 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 10.00am until noon.



Parliamo Italiano 2

The aim of this group is to become more proficient in speaking Italian. Activities in the group vary, though we usually start by talking about our recent activities and interests.


This is not a course in the sense that we teach Italian, so some knowledge of the language will be expected, but you don’t have to be a brilliant speaker to come along.



Venue:The Fell Room, 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Starts 19th September


Improving Oral German

If you have learnt the basics of German Grammar and would like to practise speaking the language, this group may be for you. It is not for absolute beginners nor for those fluent enough to follow a conversation.


Last year we read books by Andre Klein “Learn German With Stories” and we will continue with the series this year.



Venue:The Fell Room or Garden Room on the 1st and 4th Wednesday mornings of the month from 10.30 to 11.30. Starting on 26th September.