Emma Musson is a BA (Hons) Education Studies graduate
While coming to the end of studying BA (Hons) Education Studies with optional pathway in SEND, TESOL or Career Development, my tutor contacted me regarding an exciting opportunity to travel abroad and gain international education experience.
My time on the course, experience in Primary Schools in Derbyshire, and independent study research into the University's international students and their English language education, meant that I had the knowledge and relative workplace experience that the organisers, Programa AC, were looking for.
While in Spain, I stayed with a lovely host family who showed me lots of local sites; they even took me to Andorra with them to watch their eldest son play in a basketball tournament.
For the internship, I visited Vilanova I la Geltru, near Barcelona, for ten weeks to work as an English language assistant in a Spanish school, where I took small groups of children aged 6 to 12 years-old and developed their spoken English – pronunciation and oral skills - through activities and games.
When teaching the younger children (aged 3-5 years), I remained in the classroom with the teacher and used songs to expand their basic English vocabulary.
Within the classrooms, the children have a lot of written work, but little conversational English. Schools like to have a native English speaker so the children have to converse in English on a regular basis, which extends their use of the language further than their English lessons.
Having never taught English as a second language before, I was given a tutor at the school who offered support and provided me with a lot of guidance, aiding me in developing my teaching skills. This gave me the confidence to help a class of nine year-olds perform a short play developed from one of their English books. The children learned to memorise and deliver a series of English sentences, increasing their vocabulary by expanding on general terms with more specific wording.
I really enjoyed my time in Spain, so much so that I’m going back to the same school in September for nine months in a similar role.