Author Archives: Sydney Thomson

Reflection

As my time at Global Find comes to an end, I have started to reflect on the goals I made at the beginning and my progress throughout the 6 weeks.

  1. Deeper knowledge of the Italian language
  2. Gain experience in taking adults classes
  3. Further improve upon my classroom organisation and behavioural management skills.

1.

In preparation for coming to Italy, I had taken an Italian Stage 1 Module at university. I had a basis understanding of the language in terms of grammar and structure as well as a small vocabulary of words. However, I was well aware that the extent of my knowledge was not going to prepare me for living in a lesser known Italian city where most of the locals would not speak or understand English. Our host, Daniela, provided an Italian tutor for Lisa, Jemma and myself and since the beginning Emilia has taught us for 2 hours twice a week (Monday and Friday). I feel my understanding of Italian has vastly improved and I am more confident when interacting with shopkeepers, restaurant staff and other locals we have come into contact with. Daniela and Ida encourage us to use our knowledge during conversations with them and throughout our cooking lessons. I feel I am less confident in speaking still – which is something I would like to continue to work on – but I make an effort to converse as often as I can. Throughout my time here, I have also been using the app ‘Duolingo’. I have had great success with this in the past and felt this would help me to broaden my vocabulary in addition to my lessons. I will continue to use ‘Duolingo’ when I return home to maintain my understanding and continue to learn the language.

2.

In addition to teaching classes with children and young people, I have been taking a 1-2-1 lesson with a woman in her twenties. Initially, I was quite anxious to teach individual lessons, especially with an adult. However, I was surprised by how enjoyable it could be. The woman is a pleasure to teach and will often comment on our successful (or otherwise) each lesson was. She isn’t afraid to ask questions which helps to break up the lesson and gives her an opportunity to improve upon her speaking in addition to the writing and listening activities in the worksheets. I find it a lot easier to change and adapt the lesson to suit her needs as opposed to teaching a class of 10 or more people. In addition to taking adults lessons, I have also had the task of teaching teenagers. I have never been interested in becoming a high school teacher so when I first looked at my timetable and found out that the majority of my classes were older, I felt a bit apprehensive. During the first few classes, I felt a bit out of my comfort zone especially due to the language barrier however, I did eventually ease into it and have actually come to prefer these classes. They are further along in there learning and can therefore converse more easily with me. They are more interested in asking questions about Scotland and my life back home than the younger groups and I am able to ask them about Italy and their life here.

3.

Similar to last year’s placement, I aimed to improve upon my classroom organisation and behaviour management.

Organisation

I have been extremely lucky in this placement as I have not been required to plan my lessons. Global Find follow the Cambridge English Curriculum therefore already have the resources required to teach the classes at multiple different levels. Daniela arranges the resources a day or two in advance and I will either choose to look over the workbooks at home the night before or in school before class. I always ensure that I look over the work thoroughly so I know what is expected of the pupils. Also, I try to find areas which I can focus on to ensure that I am deepening their understanding of the relevant topic.

Behaviour Management

As most of my classes are younger children or teenagers, I haven’t had much of an issue with behaviour management. By this age most to the young people are here either because they choose to be or they understand the importance of it. Public schools in Italy examine their pupils on their development of English so those that attend additional English language school appreciate the advantage they have. I have had one or two issues in the younger classes I have on a Tuesday and a Saturday. This is mainly due to the language barrier. As the weeks have gone on, and my knowledge of Italian has improved, I have noticed the issues improving as I can now understand what the issue is and help (most of the time). I think before the children were becoming frustrated by not being about to communicate this me – especially the very young children aged between 4-6.

 

Overall, I have very much enjoyed my experience and my time at Global Find. It had been very interesting living in another culture and learning about the differences between Scotland and Italy. I would definitely consider doing an experiences like this again and I feel that the knowledge I have gained will definitely have an effect on my future as a teacher.

WEEK 5

MONDAY

(15/4/19)

5:30pm – Pet (B1 Level)

Tonight, the class were learning about the differences between text talk and normal english language. The worksheet introduced new vocabulary such as:

  • replacing words with letters (are = r, you = u, etc)
  • replacing words with numbers ( to = 2, for = 4, etc)
  • using letters and number together to create words (l8r = later, b4 = before, etc)

Using this new knowledge, the booklet then asked the class to change an email using proper english into a text message using text talk.

For the last 15/20 minutes, the class played the board game pictured below. The game provided answers and asked the class to create possible questions, for example:

A: I’m a teacher

Q: What do you do? / What is your job? / What do you do for a living?

A: I think I’ll stay at home.

Q: Do you want to go out tonight? / What are you doing tonight?

A: I collect coins, read comic books and surf the internet?

Q: What are you hobbies? / What do you do in your spare time?

 

TUESDAY

(16/4/19)

5pm – Starters (A1 level)

This week is the last week the school is open before closing for a week over Easter. The younger classes are completing Easter-based activities instead, including arts and crafts and baking. Tonight, with the starters were made chocolate rice crispy cakes and an Easter bunny craft, as well as some Easter related games at the end. The class really enjoyed tonight and left the building with full bellies and smiles on their faces. Activities such as these fit into the point I made in my ‘Award Ceremony’ post, that coming to English classes should be enjoyable and the children and young people should be rewarded for this hard work throughout the year.

 

WEDNESDAY

(17/4/19)

6pm – Pet (B1 level)

Tonight, the class were learning about following instructions and how to write clear instructions to another person. We worked throughout a number of exercises which focused on gathering information from a note left by Tomas to his friend and then moved onto how to construct the instruction left in a note.

Exercise 4 asked the students to choose between:

Long sentences / short sentences

using subject pronouns / not using subject pronouns

using present simple tense / using present continuous tense

using sequencers / not using sequencers

when making their instructions.

Then, using this information we wrote a note to friend giving them instruction for how to use the washing machine. (see examples of their notes below)

Lastly, I gave the students a ‘Post-it’ sized piece of paper and asked them to write another list of instructions which could be stuck on an object. This time they had to be more concise with their wording.

After completing unit 5, we discussed different past time activities for the last 15 minutes of the class. We used the ‘Time Out’ worksheet to initiate the discussion and introduce the class to some new hobby themed vocabulary.

 

THURSDAY

(18/4/19)

4pm – Puppies (pre A1 level)

Tonight, the puppies had their opportunity to make chocolate rice crispy cakes and Easter bunnies – alongside the Easter cards they made with Lisa on Tuesday.

 

6pm – 1-2-1 lesson with Elizabetta

Following last weeks topic of shopping, tonight we discussed the topic of buying online and also the process of booking something online, for example a flight or a rental car. Elizabetta completed both units with ease and at the end of the lesson we used the book below to fit in some speaking practice.

 

FRIDAY

(19/4/19)

3pm – Starters (A1 level)

This afternoon, I continued with the ‘Welcome to School’ booklet that the class started last week.

 

SATURDAY

(20/4/19)

10am – Puppies (pre A1 level)

This morning, the puppies made the Easter bunny and card crafts, as well as various Easter themed worksheets.

Award Ceremony

On Saturday night, the school hosted an award ceremony for the students who had taken their exam in December. Daniela had asked if Lisa, Jemma and I would help in handing out the certificates and say a little about each of the students when doing so.

The atmosphere in the room was one of pride as each student came up to collect their award and receive praise from all their hard work. It is important that the children and young people experience this to ensure they remain dedicated and interested in learning English. Daniela has often said that she believes learning English should be fun. While her first aim is to teach english, she wants the children to have fun while they learn and prepare for their exams.

 

Cooking Lesson 5

(16/8/19)

Pastiera di grano

Today, we made a traditional Italian cake that it made for Easter. There are a lot of steps in the recipe and it requires a lot of ingredients but the result is worth it.

1.Lisa cooked wheat (grano) in a pot along with 250ml of Milk and some orange and lemon peel.

2. In another pot Ida combined the ingredients for the crema and Jemma cooked the mixture on the hob.

3. Ida then mixed together the ingredients for the base (pasta frolla) to create a ball of dough.

4. I the minced the riscotta cheese and mixed it with some caster sugar.

[insert picture of mincer]

5. The 3 wet mixtures were then combined into one and added to the base.

6. Ida rolled out some of the remaining pasta frolla to make strips to go across the top of the cake.

 

7. At the beginning we doubled the recipe so after the first cake was made, I went ahead and made another. We put them both in the over at 180 degrees for 40-60 minutes until golden brown.

With the remaining pasta frolla, I made biscuits for the children to have with their tea in the afternoon.

 

New vocabulary:

girare = stir

grattugiate = grate

assorbire = absorb

fratempo = meanwhile

rafredano = cool down

coltello = knife

tasgliare = to cut

mattarello = rolling pin

WEEK 4

MONDAY

(8/4/19)

5:30pm – Pet (B1 level)

Tonight, the class were learning about following instructions and how to write clear instructions to another person. We worked throughout a number of exercises which focused on gathering information from a note left by Tomas to his friend and then moved onto how to construct the instruction left in a note.

Exercise 4 asked the students to choose between:

Long sentences / short sentences

using subject pronouns / not using subject pronouns

using present simple tense / using present continuous tense

using sequencers / not using sequencers

when making their instructions.

Then, using this information we wrote a note to friend giving them instruction for how to use the washing machine. (see examples of their notes below)

Lastly, i gave the students a ‘Post-it’ sized piece of paper and asked them to write another list of instructions which could be stuck on an object. This time they had to be more concise with their wording.

 

TUESDAY

(9/4/19)

5pm – Starters (A1 level)

Tonight, the pupils were learning about birthdays and how to write an invitation to a birthday party. Their first activity was to listen to an audio track and colour in specific balloons the correct colour e.g. colour the balloon on the girls t-shirt red. The next exercise asked the pupils to answers questions based on their own opinion and experiences. This is useful for me to see each child’s individual ability. As all their answers are different, I know that they are not relying on someone else to supply the answer.

Once the class has completed the rest of the exercises in the workbook, I gave them a worksheet about party invitations. They worked their way through this and towards the end of the class I gave each child a bit of paper and asked them to make their own invitation – based on the example on the worksheet.

6:30pm – Ket (A2 level)

Today, was the third time I’ve taken this class and I have to say it it the most difficult 90 minutes of the whole week. One of the pupils always seems very disinterested and does everything in his power to distracted the other from their work. In the past two lessons I have threatened him with taking him out of the class and having him sit in Daniela’s class. This week it resulted in that. Before we was removed from the class, we had other reached the bottom of the 2nd page, in an hour! The class continually talk over me (in Italian) and pretend that they do not understand just to waste time. Today, once one of the boys was removed we managed to work our way through the rest of the workbook and two extra worksheets.

I  sought advise from Daniela  about the boys behaviour, prior to todays lesson. I hope after today they understand that I am not telling them empty threats. I hope the boy has learned his lesson and the others see that removal is an option for them as well. I am optimistic for next week and the behaviour of the whole class will improve.

WEDNESDAY

(10/4/19)

6pm – Pet (B1 level)

Tonight, we were working through unit 4 of their Pet Objective 2 workbook – discussing reserving and booking hotels. The students worked through the exercises, mainly finding the appropriate information from the texts, and then I asked them to write a letter to a hotel enquiring about a booking. They had to include:

the dates of their stay

what room type their required

additional information about the hotel or the surrounding area

Then, I collected in the letters and handed them back a different one. The had to then reply to the enquiry as a member of staff at the hotel – informing them whether there are any rooms available on their chosen dates and answering their additional questions.

At 7pm, we finished the workbook and moved onto a worksheet discussing food shopping and discussing different options for shopping.

I teach this class twice a week and I feel that each lesson is getting better, in terms of conversation and their confidence in speaking and replying to my questions. Tonight, we were able to have a discussion over the pros and cons of going to a large corporate supermarket compared to a local fathers market.

THURSDAY

(11/4/19)

4pm – Puppies (pre-A1 level)

Tonight was a very successful class with the puppies. The 3 boys are aged 4 so their interest in particular topics and therefore their behaviour can be very unpredictable. However, from the off-set today the seemed to have an interest in the topic of family. I began by showing them the ‘My Family Tree’ worksheet and going over the vocabulary they had learned on Tuesday with Lisa. They drew their family members in the boxes and we compared the Italian words to the English words to ensure the understood fully. For example:

Madre/mama = mother/mum

padre/papa = father/dad

fratella = brother

sorella = sister

nonno = grandfather

nanna = grandmother

Then, I showed them the family tree on the British royal family. We discussed the names of the people and how they were related to one another e.g. the Queen is the grandmother/nonna of Prince William and Harry. Then, they completed colouring sheets of the Queen and her son, Prince Charles.

6pm – 1-2-1 lesson with Elizabetta

Today’s lesson focused on shopping. Elizabetta read an article on ‘Montreal’s Underground City’ and answered questions on the words used within the text. While she read, I asked to her change the way she read to improve her reading speed and her words per minute. She read the first and second paragraph normally and I timed her so we could gauge her normal words her minute rate. For paragraph 3 and 4, I asked her to focus only on the most important words such as the nouns, verbs and adjective etc. bypassing articles and prepositions.

After the worksheet, we completed another reading exercise – this time about the price of plus-size clothing ‘Should plus-sized clothes be more expensive?’. She read a lot this time and after I asked her about her opinion of the text. Lastly, for the last 5-10 minutes she wrote a response to one of the two authors of the articles and gave her opinion – whether in agreement or disagreement with their view. She choose to reply to the YES author and told her why she disagreed with her opinion. I enjoyed reading Elizabetta’s response. I gave her an opportunity to use more of her vocabulary, which I think she enjoyed. In our lessons, there are not many opportunities to practice writing (mainly reading, listening and speaking). In future lesson, I hope to provide her with more opportunities to express herself through writing.

FRIDAY

(12/4/19)

3pm – 6pm in Pompei.

3pm

Today, I started a new class in Pompei with 8 children aged between 6-10 years old. They had never attended an English class before apart from in elementary school. This first lesson was aimed at gauging their understanding to prepare for the weeks ahead. We made a start on the Unit 1 book ‘Welcome to school’and discussed vocabulary such as chair, pencil, book, rulers clock and computer. Their current knowledge was fairly impressive for never having attended an English lesson before.

To finish the lesson, we played the game in the picture “My English Dictionary”, which the children really enjoyed.

 

4pm

The next class was 4 4 year olds. They were learning about farm animals. At the beginning, I set out a play mat with different farm animal figurines. Using the flash cards, I taught the vocabulary as the children picked up each animals. Then, we made a start to their farm animals booklet which will get added to each week. Starting with colouring the front cover and then a picture of a cat and a pig.

5pm

With the last class, we were discussing zoo animals. I started by using the flashcards and allowing them to revise the names they had learned the previous week with Katia. We played a few memory games with the flashcards before moving onto completing the worksheets. They had to first, decide where each animal lives: in a house, on a farm or in a zoo. Then, a writing exercise.

The end the lesson, we played tombola (bingo) which the children very enjoyed and it helped them to solidify their learning on the animal names.

 

 

SATURDAY

(13/4/19)

Similar to the last two weeks, the puppies were learning about food again – this time dinner foods. They learned the names of the food from flashcards and then completed a number of worksheet on different English and Italian dinner options. Then, in the second hour, we discussed likes and dislikes – suggesting examples of food they liked and disliked while i wrote them into the appropriate column on the board. Lastly, they completed a writing worksheet where they wrote either “Yes I like” or “No I don’t” under a picture of a specific food.

Cooking Lesson 4

Gnocchi pomodoro e basilico

(10/4/19)

Today, we made my FAVOURITE meal – gnocchi! I have always been intrigued as to how to make gnocchi. I have made pasta in the past so during the first cooking lesson I have some existing knowledge, however today it was all new to me. I knew it was a very simple recipe but I had no idea how easy it really is. The base = flour and water!! The sauce = passata, oil and basil!

I very much enjoyed rolling out and shaping the gnocchi and I can’t to show my new found skill to my family and friends.

New vocabulary:

basilico – basil

fuoco – flame/fire

continuamente – continue

bollire – to boil

 

  

Pompeii

(7/4/19)

 

On Sunday, we went to the Pompeii ruins for the first time since arriving in Italy. I have been before but for Jemma and Lisa this was their first experience. I made a little video to summarise our day: