ECL’s successful Spanish exchange
17 March 2011
As the result of an exchange programme set up by the Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, five students from the University of Las Palmas at Gran Canaria were recently given the opportunity to take up teaching placements at St George’s Primary School, Wallasey. This proved to be a great success as the students tutored the school pupils in maths and literacy in addition to Spanish.
Steve Smurthwaite, Head teacher of the school, told the Liverpool Echo that this had proved ‘inspiring’ for his pupils. He additionally commented on the new and exciting culture the trainees teachers brought into the routine of school.
Natalie Seeve-Mckenna, LJMU Senior Languages tutor in the Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure also added in comments to the Liverpool Echo: "Spain and the Wirral have come closer through LJMU's exchange programme; it's been fascinating to see Spanish teachers adapt to the English school system, bringing new ideas and new experiences to the children".
The Spanish trainee teachers said of the experience:
Juan Pedro Tacoronte: “It has been a very rewarding experience. My placement at St. George’s has provided me with a deeper knowledge in teaching-related matters which will help me in the forthcoming years. Learning from first-hand experience overseas in an English school has not only enriched my pedagogical competence but also my cultural understanding of the country."
Hector Rodriguez: “Without a doubt this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have been able to improve my English and my professional and pedagogical competences. Further knowledge of the English culture and the education system has been acquired during my teaching practice period."
Seven LJMU teacher trainees have just returned from their leg of the exchange programme which is part of the BA with QTS teaching programme. These second year BA students (level 2 Modern Languages,Spanish) taught at primary schools in Gran Canaria, adapting quickly and teaching their lessons in Spanish. The school teachers all praised their high degree of preparation, resourcefulness and professionalism, and said they would love to have LJMU trainees back again.
Comments from the LJMU students included:
Jonathan Jones :"The experience in Gran Canaria was the perfect opportunity to put the skills we had learnt in the UK into practice in a different setting."
Victoria Village: "Teaching in Gran Canaria not only enabled me to broaden my intercultural understanding, but also provided the opportunity to teach in a completely different environment. It was a once in a lifetime experience and by the end of the placement, I didn’t want to leave!"
Pictures: Trainee teacher Victoria Medina Artiles with a pupil, Spanish trainee teachers Victiria Medina Artiles and Juan Antonio Montesdeoca Godoy with pupils