A group of 33 students and volunteers from the Castlebar Fáilte Isteach Project visited Dublin on the 12th of February for the launch of the newest Fáilte Isteach Centre which is in Blanchardstown. This, the 17th Failte Isteach Centre in Ireland, was officially launched by President Mary McAleese at Mountview Community Centre, Dublin 15. The 18th centre is currently being set up in Ballina and will open next month. Future plans are to have centres in every town in Ireland.
Fáilte Isteach is a community project which provides free conversational English classes for migrants. The classes are taught by voluntary tutors from the local community.
The launch was also attended by Mr Denis O'Brien and Minister John Curran. With the support of Denis O'Brien and the Iris O'Brien Foundation and further support from the Office of the Minister for Integration, Fáilte Isteach is helping to build better, stronger, and more inclusive communities with new migrants feeling they have a right to belong and to play an active citizen's role in the life of the community.
Castlebar Failte Isteach conversational English Class is held on Tuesday evenings in the Le Chéile Family Resource Centre, Tucker Street, Castlebar from 7 to 9pm.
The classes are student-centred and delivered in a way that is welcoming, inclusive and practical in nature. Each week a topic is chosen for discussion, from everyday situations such as "visiting the doctor" or "shopping" to more complex, practical lessons based on "form filling", or debating topical issues. English language students of all levels are welcome and encouraged to attend. There are currently 30 students including members of the Karen, Polish, Chinese and Venezuelan communities. We also have 15 volunteers who give their time to teach classes every week.
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