This semester, I have interned at La Corredoría Secondary School and have really enjoyed it. Secondary school in Spain has students who are ages 12-16. Every Tuesday from 8:30-11:30, I go to different classrooms and help the teachers with their English lessons. Sometimes I assist with the lesson, but more often I work in groups of 2-3 students, conversing in English. The teachers are great and always chat with me about their classes, my school work, and where I have traveled. It is honestly one of the best parts of my week because the kids are eager to talk to me and are so nice. They truly ask me the best questions.
The first couple of times I was there, I was asked many questions about life in America. My favorite questions that I have been asked have been how much a Big Mac costs, if it’s true that Americans only eat junk food, if we throw our caps in the air at high school graduation, and what was different about life in England from Spain (right after they were told that I was from the United States!).
I am an International Studies and Spanish major and I did not think I would ever want to teach. However, after this semester, I am very interested in looking into some programs where I could teach English in a Spanish speaking country such as Spain or somewhere in Central or South America.
My practicas at IES EL PANDO, a highschool is great. I help with Bachiller 3, which is with 17 and 18 year olds and like AP english and also with Level 2 with 14 year olds. Both classes are great and it is really fun to do activities with the students. The teachers actually turn the class completely over to me and leave the room so the students will be more outgoing and not worry about messing up in front of their teacher, and I even get to make my own lesson plan so it is like I am student teaching! It is wonderful and the kids are always excited to see me and talk to me.
In my internship I am working in La Escuela Inmaculada with 2 groups of students on Tuesdays and with a teacher on Thursdays. It is only 3 hours a week, but I work with Technologies, Natural Sciences, and Arts. In the art class, I work one on one helping the teacher prepare her English lesson plans because the school offers a bilingual education program. I also taught my students in the technologies class how a computer works in English. It was very difficult, but I really enjoyed being able to get up in front of a group of students and teach. It has been a really great opportunity.
My favorite class at my internship at a high school here in Oviedo is a roomful of 16 year-olds. We basically talk for the entire class period; they first ask me questions, which leads into a discussion, which leads to me asking them questions. They’re really inquisitive and quite intelligent, for instance, during my first day we had a debate about school uniforms. Their favorite topics to discuss are cheerleaders, guns, school dances, music, sports, going out, and other topics that they see in movies…
For my “prácticas,” I go to high school English classes once a week for a few hours. The first few weeks I was there either for the students to ask me questions about myself or just to observe how the Spanish classroom works. That was cool because it gave me a sense of the differences (and believe me, there are plenty!) between the American and the Spanish classroom culture. Now I’m actually teaching lessons every time I go. The lessons are on pretty general topics, like American sports or American foods, but it is still great practice for preparing a lesson and actually carrying it out. My favorite part is getting to see a bunch of different classes with various English language levels because each one presents its unique set of challenges and easy parts. I also feel like I’m actually doing something with these classes, not just being a blowoff presentation for the students. In fact, the other day I was able to get one student to talk in class and ask a question, something that he apparently has not done voluntarily this entire school year before now! I was a little unsure about doing the prácticas, but now I am so glad that I have because I feel like it has been a great experience for all of those involved.