Archivo de la etiqueta: Teaching

Villanueva in July and More – Janine

Hello all!
Things are starting to wind down in preparation for the feria, and the other interns are trickling out of Villanueva. Libby and I are the only interns still in Villanueva hanging out in the Academia today, and it seems more quiet than usual. Tomorrow I head out of Villanueva for the break to do some traveling with my mom in Amsterdam, and then I’ll be back in August for a couple more weeks of classes!
I am shocked at how quickly the last month has gone… Time flies when you’re having fun! At the Academia, classes have continued to be busy and engaging. My students have become more comfortable with their use of English, even if they are sometimes rather reluctant to speak out loud. I understand the nervousness that accompanies using a second language- when I speak Spanish it is very apparent that I am speaking with an American accent, and there are plenty of times when I am not 100% sure what is being said in a conversation. One of my classes finds my co-teacher Maya’s inability to roll her r’s hilarious. I suffer from the same inability to distinguish my pronunciation of pero and perro. Still, it has been great to slowly understand more Spanish as my students are also improving their English skills! I still am sometimes shocked when I realize I am understanding and listening to a conversation in Spanish. We also have added a couple new games to the mix in classes. My favorite game involves choosing three categories (like entertainment, money, and travel, for example) and then choosing one letter. Then everyone has to think of words that fit within the categories that all start with that same letter!
These past couple weekends have been relaxing and also fun. A couple weekends ago, I took a trip to Málaga for a beach day with Libby and my friend Emma. As someone from the Great Lakes, it still seems weird to me to be surrounded by salt water. The beaches in Málaga are super busy, but they are also perfect for a lazy Saturday! The next weekend, I spent some time in Pozoblanco in the morning with Maya and Libby. It is very similar to Villanueva, except a bit bigger! Pozoblanco’s main street is beautiful and full of restaurants, and there are lots of cute shops. That night, I experienced the Spanish summer tradition, el botellón, in Villanueva with Luna, Libby’s host sister, and some other interns. El botellón is not like anything I have ever seen in the States. People park their cars, blast music, and drink on the street. It was super strange to see my students there! I truly do not understand how Spaniards can stay out so late. When I asked my students about el botellón during the feria, they said they stay out until 7:00 am. If I tried to stay out this late, I would probably die. Sleep is important! Hopefully everyone has plenty of opportunities to sleep during the day while the feria is happening!

Deja un comentario

Archivado bajo Blog, Uncategorized

Last Weeks in Villanueva – Libby

Hi everyone! The last few weeks and classes went well. It is nice to get to know my students better. In one of my classes we did a questionnaire about what they wanted to work on in English and what kind of activities they like the most. This was very helpful for me, and Giulia and I used their feedback when we made lesson plans. Last week, Janine and I started to work with two new women who want to learn English for their jobs. In my classes that week, we listened to “If I Were a Rich Man”. The students understood it well and thought the song was fun. Janine and I also taught a new B2 for the first time. It was nice to learn about his life and talk about the meaning of songs.

That weekend I went with Janine and my friend, Emma, to the Málaga. We went to the beach. Janine and I were going to take the tour bus with the tourism office, but it was full. It was fun, but the sun was so hot that we got tired and a little sunburnt. There were a lot of people at the beach. I liked swimming in the water, but I didn’t know it would be so salty. We saw some other English speakers there, who were British. Emma really wanted paella, but all of the restaurants were closed because of siesta. We had lunch at the train station mall. We had a good time.


Back at the academia, this week we played twenty questions. My classes really liked it, especially my high school class. They really liked playing in teams because they are very competitive. I taught the young learners class alone on Thursday and the kids really liked playing with play dough again. They also liked a video about broccoli and ice cream. I was happy that they wanted to sing the songs. In the upper level classes, we played “Chained to the Rhythm” and it was interesting to look at its meaning. Through talking about it with the students, I saw how much more complicated and interesting it is than I first thought, which was cool. We also practiced numbers and writing sentences with different tenses. Next week will be busy and we plan on doing a fun last thing in classes. I’m sad that this is my last weekend in Villanueva, but I’m excited to go home.

Deja un comentario

Archivado bajo Blog, Uncategorized

Life in Villanueva – Janine

It’s been a super busy time in Villanueva! After intensive courses started, I’ve been teaching a least a couple classes everyday. It’s been great getting to know my students and learning to teach lots of different age levels, from younger children all the way to college students and adults. Slowly my students have been gaining confidence in their speaking abilities, and I enjoy seeing my students become more comfortable using English in the classroom. Sometimes, though, my instructions in English are hard for students to understand, which can lead to me speaking in my often confusing Spanish. I’m always super happy when, after a mixture of some interesting Spanglish, everyone understands what is going on in the classroom. I also find it hilarious how much all of my students love games, regardless of their ages. The 8-year-olds I teach love playing hangman just as much as the college students! Games definitely make the classroom more fun and less intimidating, and I hope to think of some interesting games to incorporate in lesson plans in the coming weeks.
When I’m not teaching, I’ve had plenty to do in Villanueva and around Spain! I went to Madrid a couple weekends ago for World Pride, which was a great experience. Madrid was absolutely packed with people, and it was amazing to see so many people from different places all celebrating together. Madrid is a beautiful city, even though it also feels a bit crazy. I’ve never been to New York City, but I imagine Madrid feels similar in a lot of ways to NYC. There were so many different types of people and so many giant stores lining the streets of Madrid. I stayed in an apartment near Callao with some of the other interns from Academia Manhattan, and the apartment was pretty classy. I also ate some really good Mexican food that weekend! Overall, I’m glad I was able to experience Madrid during World Pride, despite the craziness!
This past weekend, I went to see Córdoba, which was also interesting. Córdoba feels ancient, which is a feeling I never get from cities in the United States. I saw a bridge that the Romans built, which is still standing today! Córdoba definitely has a lot of history and I was happy to experience it, even just for a day. I also went to a concert from the guitar festival. I’ve never really heard flamenco style music before, and it was special for me to experience it first-hand.  It was also fun to visit Córdoba with Catherine and Libby, two other interns, who spent their past semester studying in Córdoba. I (and all of the other interns!) appreciated their knowledge of the city and their skills as guides for the weekend.
That’s all for now!

Deja un comentario

Archivado bajo Blog, Uncategorized

Learning through teaching – Lucy C-H

A lot has changed since my first week in Villanueva. I have moved out of the transition phase and grown more and more accustomed to life here with my family and at the Academia, creating a routine and familiarizing myself with the people of the town.

Even though the transition phase is over and we are beginning our third week of intensive classes, I find that teaching the courses here is constantly engaging. Each week I teach several classes, at least one of each level, whether it be B1, B2, C1, or our adorable young learners. This provides me with the opportunity to design and execute lesson plans for a variety of students with different levels and strengths. It is fascinating to see how individuals interact in class with the material. I am learning how to facilitate learning, something that is very specific for each person and also very particular for Spanish speakers learning English! It forces me to think quickly in both languages and consider the contrasting communication styles of each.

It is also important to mention that the students at the Academia are wonderful. Truthfully, I greatly admire their dedication to their English studies, especially during the summer. For some it is obligatory for a job or for school, but for some it is purely for their own satisfaction. However, no matter the reason, every student arrives to class with a positive attitude and a real desire to improve. Because of this, teaching at the Academia is a pleasure.

I am already starting to feel sad at the thought of saying goodbye to my students in a few weeks. I could not have realized how special it would be to be able to discuss all sorts of themes with them and get to know their personalities in such a unique way. Through each week’s topics, such as travel or media, politics or fashion, I have been able to see the world through their eyes a little which is truly enriching as we come from such different backgrounds. I will certainly remember the things I have learned from my students long past my short stay in Villanueva because they have allowed me a greater understanding of Spain and its culture.

Deja un comentario

Archivado bajo Blog, Uncategorized