Over the past two months I have learned a lot thanks to the learning from life experience. However, one of the main things I have learned from working in a French primary school is the importance of teaching and learning a foreign language from a young age. Being submerged in the French culture has allowed me to further develop my linguistic skills and I am so thankful for this. Without the learning from life experience I would never have had the opportunity to become so involved in teaching English as a foreign language. It is something I would recommend to anyone going into their second year at the university of Dundee. I believe that everyone should take advantage of this amazing opportunity that the university provides us with.
Being the first year to go to Orléans has allowed me to do something that no other students have done before. I am excited to go back to university and talk to the new second years about my experience and encourage anyone to consider Orléans for their learning from life placement. I couldn’t have had a better experience, getting to know new people and also making new friends on my course has all added to my overall experience.
I have learned so much about myself throughout this experience. Going abroad for the learning from life placement allows you to challenge yourself and do things that are possibly out of your comfort zone. Teaching English as a foreign language is something that I had no previous experience of. However, I now have a much greater understanding of how to implement this successfully. Children in France learn English from the beginning of school. This is something I have spoken about within my blogs over the past two months. My love of languages has grown, and I am determined to take advantage of my level of French when I become a qualified teacher. Children in Scotland should have the same opportunities to learn a foreign language. Because I have had this experience which has allowed me to improve my French speaking skills, I believe that I will be sure to implement language where possible in my future career.
I have also learnt a lot about the different teaching strategies used throughout the various stages of the primary school. Before this placement I had never taught children at early years level, this was a new experience for me. I am grateful to have had this opportunity because it was a great way to prepare me for my placement in third year. Making lessons simple, interactive and creative as all important aspects of teaching younger children. I used flashcards, story books and songs to engage the children and teach them new topics in English such as colours and fruits. I received a lot of praise from the early years teachers regarding my lessons as the children enjoyed each lesson so much. It was very rewarding seeing children progress whilst being so enthusiastic about learning a foreign language.
Moving forward, everything I have learned throughout this experience will help me when I become a teacher. I have the knowledge and skill of teaching a foreign language to children at all stages of the primary school. Having improved my French whilst being here, I believe that I can use this to teach both English and French in Scotland. I understand the importance of speaking and repetition when it comes to teaching a foreign language. I believe that learning from life has allowed me to gain skills that I can use throughout my career. I would not have gained such skills if I hadn’t chosen to do my second-year placement in Orléans.