Friday 22 February 2013
There was no real score kept of the football match today between students from Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow and counterparts from Maerkisches Berufskolleg in Unna, Germany.
But the friendly game – possibly 8 -8 – played at Toryglen indoor football centre, was great fun. It was followed by a visit to
Hampden Football Museum.
Said Mary Farrell Head Teacher of Hollybrook in Govanhill: ‘We have a jam-packed itinerary planned for our visitors, including trips to the Riverside Museum, Anniesland College, Xscape and orienteering in Mugdock Park.’
Some of the local students – aged up to 18 – and the German visitors – aged up to 23 – plan to hire kilts for their final fling – a ceilidh at the end of the two week visit. Said DJ NotNot alias Declan McNaughton (16): ‘We’ve sorted out the music for the night. There will be chart stuff, ceilidh music and music the German visitors want.’ Added DJ Barbie alias Stephen McLauchlan (17): ”All the equipment is organised as well as the lighting and the food.’
The two schools for young people with additional support needs, have been in touch through an initiative funded by the British Council supporting a bilingual Comenius Project.
Said Hollybrook teacher Silke Bryce, who is German and taught English before coming to live and work in Scotland: ‘This is a two year sports and leisure project. It allows an exchange of teachers and students and stimulates them to learn about each other’s country, culture, life style and language.’
The Glasgow students aim to travel to Germany next year but they haven’t worked out yet what they can do about kilts…
How do visitors manage travelling around Scotland?! Despite the very friendly and efficient Traveline Scotland service, where real people with local accents answer your call, the job of going from place to place is really complicated. That’s for me as an indigenous Scot! So what it is like for a visitor speaking English as their second or third language and using a mobile phone?
Frustrating is the first word that comes to mind. Having tried to organise a group of people from Glasgow to Inverkeithing Highland Games recently, I spent, in total, more than two hours on the phone trying to get answers to simple questions: What time do we leave? What time do we arrive? What time can we travel back? What does it cost?
I’m finding the same complication arising for a journey to Mugdock Country Park. this is the place where the West Highland Way starts. But oddly enough, no bus stops anywhere on the perimeter of the Park. The best option is to go to Milngavie by train from Glasgow then register for a local bus service which will slot you in with other bookings, like a taxi company.
At every point, people are helpful and polite. But at every point they come to the end of the information they are able to provide and offer a phone number for the next link in the chain of information. It is costly in phone calls and in time. And I fear to think what confusion this could cause someone speaking hesitate English.
Traveline Scotland is a good service – don’t get me wrong. I use it a lot and it works well. But when the friendly folk at the end of the line need to give more than simple information – bus number X will be at bus stop A at such a time and will arrive at bus stop B at that time – their system can’t cope.
Surely we can offer a more comprehensive, integrated travel information service to make life easier for visitor and local alike?
If you have recent experience of travel information frustration and want to tell air that on this website, please email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org