SQA French classes prove successful with Alzheimer Scotland service users

Friday 9 December 2022

Alzheimer Scotland service users recently took part in a 12-week French language course at Lingo Flamingo, a social enterprise language centre based in Glasgow. The course, which included an SQA National 2 unit in French, was made up of three couples, where one person from each was living with dementia. 

Lingo Flamingo offers French, German, Spanish and Italian language classes to older adults, as well as to people living with dementia in care homes and day centres across Scotland. The classes help with confidence building and creating connections between learners, but also help stimulate the mind. The classes have been shown to improve the participants’ decision making and multi-tasking skills, heightening their ability to concentrate and communicate.

Learning at all ages

Two participants eager to learn were husband and wife, Malcolm and Val.

Val said: “I think the classes have been great, Malcom did French at school and a lot of his knowledge has come back to him. The tutor had loads and loads of patience too.”

Malcolm added: “It’s been good in the sense that you start using your brain again so it’s not just the language, it’s about learning! I realised that you are never too old to learn, and I still find it a pleasure to do so. When you learn something, it stays with you, and you carry that with you.”

Building confidence

Ian Houston, Dementia Advisor at Alzheimer Scotland explains: “I saw a change in confidence after a couple of sessions. It was great to witness people getting answers right and the sense of pride they took in that. 

“Getting the SQA certificate was really special. Most of the participants were saying they never thought they would get an official certificate later in life. Everybody was over the moon about having achieved the certificate and were proud to show it off to the rest of their families.”

Learn more

To find out more about Lingo Flamingo’s language classes, visit www.lingoflamingo.co.uk.