Monday, 12 August 2013

Y-O-U-R means 'your'!

We are one week into our TEFL course and have been working hard to re-learn the grammatical structures which govern the English language. These are rules we apply everyday without realising, but are very difficult to articulate, and differentiate. 

Someone commented that it must be simple to teach a language you already speak. Well, I can assure you that it is not as simple as it sounds. Can you remember the difference between the present simple and the present perfect tense?  Were we even taught that at school? I'm not so sure. I can only compare revising grammar to learning your own language again from scratch, just with a wider range of vocabulary!

This really hit me when it took me 3 attempts to pass an assignment on how to teach a class the use of 'going to' to show future plans. I passed eventually, but this showed me how difficult it is to learn the grammatical structures of a new language, let alone teach it. This will be a challenge, but I'm glad that my frustration with the task was based on not understanding the concept, and not over failing the task. If anything that proves the course and career change means more than a way out, I want to do it well!

I can't wait to get on with the rest of the course, and get some much needed revision done! 

Where's my highlighter! 

Monday, 5 August 2013

The students and me

Language students have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, each summer we would go pick up one or two students from "Stewart". He was an Englishman who, as far as I could tell, had moved to Spain and now brought Spanish teenagers back for 2 weeks each summer to learn English.

(Stewart used to joke about whisking me and my mother off to live in Spain whilst my parents were divorcing. Looking back, I'm sure he flirted with all the mothers on our lane, but the dream never really left me!)

So one summer evening, I'd wait with my mum at Baiter (back when it was just fields) to see who would be coming to stay with us. The itinerary would be put on the side of the boiler and they would become part of the family.

Each student fascinated me! They came from a different country, looked a bit different, spoke a lot differently and were always way cooler than me! Up to the age of 14 or 15 we had students come to stay with us; Pascale from Basel in Switzerland even stayed more than a year! She wasn't just any regular student, she became family.

One year I had an au pair. Her name was Marta. She was from Barcelona. She had a peace sign belt buckle!!

So this has to be where is all began right? This longing to travel, to be the cool outsider who is exotic and mysterious... well, as exotic as a pasty white British girl can be!

I want to live in a new place, not just pass through, but work, live, be there.

Today I am putting the wheels into motion to stop talking about it and do it.

Today, I start my TEFL training!