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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

French Beginners, Year 2

French Conversation

Parliamo Italiano 1

Discover France through Culture, Region and Language

Parliamo Italiano 2

German for Beginners, Year 2

Continuing Spanish

German Conversation (Intermediate upwards)

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 2015/6; however, members of previous groups are welcome if they would like to repeat the second year.  Latin for Beginners will be offered again, Deo volente, in 2017/8.

We will be studying Minimus Secundus by Barbara Bell (CUP, 978-0-521-75545-0).  Waterstone's will give you a 10% deposit if you show your U3A card.


Venue: Woolman Room 1.30 pm for about one and a half hours on Tuesday afternoons


Conversational French

(2 Groups)

This group aims to explore all aspects of language, including conversation, language learning, language change, dialects, children’s language, and the language of literature and special groups. Group members are invited to suggest topics that interest them, and we invite members and guest speakers to talk to us about areas in which they have some expertise.

This is not a course covering a set syllabus over a given period, but an on-going meeting to explore language as long as members wish to continue to do so. Language affects us all in so many ways that it is an inexhaustible subject. Last year we looked at, among other topics, Child Language Acquisition, the Philosophy of Language, the Phonemes of English, the Development of English, gender issues in language, and linguistic relativism, but there are plenty of other topics to discuss, and some that we might return to examine in greater depth.


Venue:Meetings are from 10.00 to 11.45 fortnightly on Monday mornings from 26th September in the Garden Room in the Friends' Meeting House

Conversation will be based around a variety of materials; short stories, film, articles, and interests/hobbies members wish to contribute to the group.  


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



Venue: This group will resume on 6th October 2016 at the Group Leader's house

We are two informal groups of U3A members who are interested in improving our 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 and Café Rouge on 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 10.00am until noon.


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;


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

2.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 updates as necessary.  Occasionally we will have the benefit of French visitors who are friends of the leader.

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 on the 19th September 2016.

This taught course will be a progression from basic French grammar and vocabulary and  would be suitable for those with some knowledge of the language.


A revision of grammar and comprehension will, hopefully, lead to fluency and confidence in conversational French.


Venue: Woolman Room every Friday from 11:00 to 12:30 commencing on 23rd 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

This course will run in 2017 for members interested in a 10 week course of Holiday Spanish.


This is a beginners group and will start from scratch.



Venue, day and time to be arranged. Members can see future Newsletters for details.


This is a relatively new group to give people with some knowledge of Italian the opportunity to practise speaking.


It is not a ‘course’ in the sense that we teach Italian. At a typical session we might do an exercise or play a game to get us going then read and discuss an extract from an Italian book or newspaper. You don’t have to be a brilliant speaker to come along - most of us struggle - but you should have a reasonable grasp of Italian grammar.


Venue: Fell Room 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Starts 7th September 2016

Spanish for Beginners

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 23rd September 2016


This group is intended for members who already have a good grasp of German grammar and who would like to continue to use their German at a higher level of communication in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.


There will be a variety of texts (such as articles from the internet, extracts from novels etc.) as “prepared” input and a basis for discussion, as well as the opportunity for “free” conversation on everyday matters, current affairs, members’ interests and general issues.


Anyone with a reasonable level of fluency and an interest in maintaining and polishing up their German language skills would be welcome.


In year 1, we tackled the basics but there is much to be done! We will build on that foundation towards fluent, confident conversational and written German.


If you would like to join us, you would be very welcome.


Venue:Woolman Room on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Thursdays of the month, commencing 22nd September, 2:00 to 3:30