A MULTI-LINGUAL Vale-based language teacher has been rewarded for the quality of the lessons and teaching that she provides to children in the area.

Sian-Elin Jones, who speaks four languages, teaches extracurricular French classes to children, through the award-winning La Jolie Ronde programmes, at primary schools in Barry and Cowbridge.

Known as Madame Sian El to her pupils, she was honoured with the La Jolie Ronde Licensee of the Year Award for the South West and Wales, at a conference in Bristol.

It was a double celebration for Ms Jones as 2019 marks five successful years of running her business.

She said: “I’m honoured and hugely surprised by the award. I love teaching languages and generally children love learning them. The younger they are introduced to a new language the better. It’s a magical world for them. Foreign language learning is however on the decline in the UK, sadly. There’s too little space in the current curriculum, especially at secondary level. With so many compulsory GCSE subjects, pupils will often only be able to opt for three or four subjects of their choice. You need to be a committed and talented linguist to choose two languages to study. If you do, it is very rewarding and will open doors in the future, especially in terms of global travel.”

Ms Jones speaks English, Welsh, French, and German.

She encouraged her children’s head teacher to introduce French into the primary school curriculum of the Welsh medium schools in the Vale as part of the transition programme with Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.

This initiative was a hit with parents and pupils and years later twice as many pupils as usual chose to study French for GCSE.

Ms Jones teaches La Jolie Ronde French to around 90 pupils a week in Ysgols Sant Curig and Gwaun y Nant, in Barry, and Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg, in Cowbridge.

She said: “As a parent I understand the importance of education and providing young people with the best learning opportunities in life. I will continue to pass on my passion for languages and different cultures to the younger generation. I am looking forward now to the next chapter and will be starting pre-school toddler French classes soon.”

La Jolie Ronde general manager, Steve Baker said: “Sian-Elin joined La Jolie Ronde back in 2013 with just 14 pupils.

“Her outstanding classes flow professionally, without disruption and are dynamic, appropriately timed and great fun. Her pupils display a brilliant command of language and attention to pronunciation is accurate and acute. Sian-Elin's lessons are delivered in a manner that doesn’t simply just ‘meet with’ but surpasses expectations in all categories!”