Category Archives: 2.2 Education Systems & Prof. Responsibilities

Week 3 – Learning from Life


Monday 1st April 


Continuing work on the house. We are moving on to the Living Room. Introducing the vocabulary of common living room items.  Tonight, me and lisa prepared the lesson for our classes, we printed off vocabulary sheets for the lesson on the Living Room to ensure that children could see the words written after we spoke them as well. The classes went back to the normal groupings and the behaviour of the children overall was a little bit better.

Starters – 

Tonight I was using the story of Kim’s Birthday – which I have previously done with the class in Pompei. The children seemed tired and bored at the beginning of the lesson so I decided to and get them more awake and excited to learn by introducing party games and objects from in the UK. So for example- I asked the children if they knew what a balloon was and then showed them I had balloons for us to blow up and tie for our class party for Kim. The children immediately showed full attention. After they blew up their balloon I asked if they knew what to say in English to someone if it was their birthday. After we talked about that we wrote on our balloons ‘Happy Birthday Kim!’ and threw them around the classroom. The children were in a better mindset now to read the story and complete the tasks which they did very well. Afterwards I explained how to play: musical chairs, musical statues and other party games in English. They really enjoyed getting to move around and play in the classroom and use the words they had been learning to play the games. With this class, I think I am making the most progress in developing a good professional relationship with the children. I feel that we are all opening up to one another and the children are getting a lot more comfortable around me in the classroom so that they are not embarressed to make mistakes.

Tuesday 2nd April 

First B2 –

Tonights lesson was on travel and writing home or documenting your travel experiences by letters, emails or blogs.  We discussed the use of differnet language in writing depending on who we are writing to. For example- colloquial language to your friends such as “Hey you guys”. The teenagers work in pairs to write a piece of travel writing to either a friend or family member. We also discussed Gap Years, which came up in some of the travel writing. They had not heard of the term or the concept of a gap year. After I explained i then asked the class if any of them would like to do a gap year at some point and only one of the students raised their hands. I was a little surpised because I think it is an extremely commmon thing in Scotland to either take or want to take a gap year, to work or travel or try something different. They were surprised when they asked if I had taken a gap year and when I told them that I did not want to go to University because I wanted to work so I didn’t go to university until everyone my age from school had graduated the year or so before. 

Wednesday 3rd April

Eric (Business) –

Today we were looking at Employment and the important aspects that employers look for in a potential employee. We discussed what was important and not as important when hiring for a business.

Eagles  – 

Tonight we worked on the Living room again and revised vocabulary of items found in the living room. Tonights class I only had three children which I found a lot easier to cope with in terms of providing the best support I could for the children who were struggling. Two of Lisa’s boys asked to come through to my classroom to get away from the noise of the others in their classroom. In Italy it doesn’t seem as though schools have the same behaviour management procedures in place that are so important in schools in Scotland, because of this, it is really hard to know what you should and should not do to try help children to behave in a way that will benefit their learning.

Thursday 4th April

Pet 3 – B1 –

Comparing life in the UK and USA.

Different case studies looking at the differences in home life and school life in the uk and usa and then we compared to life in italy and the different things we think of each of the countries and why we think that… I really enjoy working with the class because I feel that it is improving my self-confidence in working with teenage students. This is something that in the first few lessons I was apprehensive about and I now feel I am getting more confident and comfortable in lessons.

Friday 5th April

Ket A2 

I’m not feeling very well

Today we were learning new vocab about illnesses and problems, about hospitals and staff. I feel that I organised the lesson well and ensured there were plenty of engaging and fun activities for the children to work on between the essential work they need to compelte in their handbooks. One of the games we played used flash cards of the vocabulary that they were learning. I am glad I prepared myself for plenty of active games with this class because they were a lot more engaged than they usually are. I feel that this made the lesson more memorable and enjoyable for all. 

Saturday 6th April 

Movers A1

Where? There and then

We were learning about using the correct terms for giving directions. This movers class has a lower ability than my other Movers class and I feel that it has taken time to accept the difference between the classes and change the way I approach lessons with this class. The children have a lower level of understanding and so I now ensure that the children have more time to discuss the topics before trying to respond to questions and have discussions.





Wednesday 3rd April

Cooking Lesson with Ida-

Today we cooked another traditional dish from this area, Salsiccia e friarielli! (Basically sausages and broccolli) It was a nice and easy dish to make and so for the rest of the time Ida gave us a lesson in Italian focussing on being in a restaurant or cafe. The lesson she gave was really useful for the types of things I usually try to say in the restuarants or cafes and now I feel more confident in speaking after having more practice.


Thursday 4th April

Anniversary Party-

We were invited to join Daniela’s parents 45th Wedding Anniversary Party. The party was at their family home and was a brilliant night involving singing and dancing and congratulating the couple! The food that Danielas mum prepared for her party was beautiful and there was so much that she had spent days prepraring before the night. 

Saturday 6th April

Vietri Sul Mare – 

We decided to go explore the first place along the Amalfi coast after lessons, called Vietri Sul Mare.

It was a beautiful seaside town overlooking the sea. We walked around and looked in the homemade ceramic art shops. It was a wonderful afternoon out in the sunshine relaxing, although when we went to get a train home, we were stranded at the train station because the trains had gone on strike and we didn’t know about it in advance.

Thankfully, we have such a caring boss here in Italy, and she drove all the way to Vietri to pick us up.. On a Saturday night.

Sunday 7th April

Pompei Ruins- 

We finally got round to visiting the biggest tourist attraction near us.. The Pompei ruins!!

The site was a lot bigger than I expected, and even though I knew it was a town that was wiped out by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius somehow, I didn’t quite understand the amount of people that were affected by the events in 79 AD

The ruins… for their age and for withstanding volcanic eruption are in incredible condition and you feel as though you have stepped back in time as you walk the cobbled streets. The whole experience was so enjoyable until halfway around the site when inside of the well-preserved homes was glass case containing a preserved body of a victim of the eruption. Of course, I knew many many people were killed in a horrific way in this site but until seeing that first body solidified in time, I didn’t really take in the enormity of the effect Vesuvius had on the beautiful town. After this, I also saw a dog, small child and man holding his baby further around the site. It felt emotional walking around and considering what everyone must have thought on the day that this happened.


As soon as arriving here in Italy, I have felt extremely welcomed by Daniela (our boss) and her whole family! Last week we talked about what foods we liked eating at home and one of the things mentioned by someone was Kebabs.. We spoke about the differences and how in Scotland they are usually very greasy and not very appealing to most people. Daniela suggested getting a kebab takeaway from an Arabic shop she knew of. So after our Pompei experience we all went to get a kebab for each of us and her family.

We ate together at Daniela’s parents house and afterwards her mum tried to keep feeding us with food she had made throughout the day, fruit and Italian style artichokes.

Week 2 – Learning From Life

Monday 25th March


The topic of the lesson is rooms of the house. We bagan the topic by looking in particular at the bedroom and what objects we can find in the bedroom. I started the lesson by introducing new vocabulary of common items found in the bedroom by using the whiteboard to draw pictures and the words, and also using some flashcards that were already prepared. In the class there is a wide gap in ability, half of the class are able to grasp concepts extremely quickly and repeat words with good pronounciation, while the other half of the class struggle with concentration and listening to instructions. It makes it very difficult to find a balance to ensure all children get the support they need. I find that half the children find the work easy and manage to understand everything and answer all the question with ease and so would benefit from more difficult work, but the other half each would benefit from one to one support to complete tasks.

Starters (A1)

Our lesson tonight was based on a short story we read together. The story was called “Monsters in the Park” and the aim of the lesson was to work on the use of prepositions and when and how to use them. For example- Beside, in front of, on, under, in. To support the childrens understanding of the meanings of each of these, after the story and tasks we played a game. I told the children a sentence using a preposition and they had to show me what I was saying. For example- Charlie is beside the whiteboard.. The chidlren found the game really fun and I felt it really helped to consolidate their learning. I will repeat the game at the beginning of the next lesson to revise the learning of this lesson.

Another thing we disccused during the lesson was names. We talked about how their names are very similar to ones in English for example- Francesco is very similar to Francis. The children found this amusing and so in the future lessons we are going to use the english variations of their names.


Tuesday 26th March

First –

Tonight we were working on how to complete forms correctly. These teenagers are working towards their Cambridge English exam in June and part of the exam involves completing forms correctly. We worked through different examples of forms, for example- railcard, bank account applications, landing cards, visa applications. We discussed important factors in completing application forms such as writing in block capital letters. I found it really interesting while discussing the completion of forms that none of the teenagers have their own bank accounts because typically in Scotland, teenagers have their own accounts or saving accounts.

After we completed this we moved onto our next topic which was Our Society. This part of the lesson looked at British society and culture. The worksheet included a reccent survey in the UK looking at immigration. We discussed the  results of the survey, which include the question- Do you think the UK welcomes immigrants? The survey was a poll and showed YES, NO, DON’T KNOW answers in percentages. This survery provided a lot of good questions and interesting responses from the teenagers in the class. A lot of them felt that the UK was not welcoming and that it was seen as a racist country. Leading on from this I asked them what they thought about the UK leaving the EU. (Brexit) and the class got very involved in both sides of the argument for staying or leaving the EU. The class was extremely enthusiastic about this and so I asked each individual whether they think the UK should stay or leave and the class was split 50/50! I was really surpised. From this, I split up the class into the two groups and asked them to prepare a list of reasons for why they believe the UK should stay or leave. What I am enjoying so much about this placement is getting to see what other people think about my country, and having the opportunity to talk to other people about their ideas and thoughts.

Wednesday 27th March.

ERIC (Business)

Today we looked at Culture. This is a topic I am very enthusiastic about and always find interesting to research and talk about. My student is from Senegal and so this lesson allowed us to look at three completely different cultures: UK, Italy and in Senegal. Eric’s lessons always have a business approach to them so we were looking at how business can have an impact on cultures. One of the questions we considered was “Why is cultural awareness important for businesspeople?”. Eric has a good level of English and it allows him to express views that he really feels which made our talk throughout the lesson really interesting and valuable. I remember learning French and now while I am learning Italian, I feel that I have a bank of phrases I can use to describe how I feel or what I think about something, and so having a in depth conversation with someone with EFL is really impressive to me.


Today we revisited our learning about the Bedroom. At the same time as my class, Lisa also has a class of the same level. In my class is only girls and in Lisa’s class there is only boys. The behaviour of the children in both our classes can be extremely challenging for different reasons. In my class, half of the girls struggle to understand what is going on whereas the other half understand straight away. The difficulty is not that the children do not understand but that those that are struggling in my class do not listen at all to instructions. So for example- when I begin the lesson by showing drawings or flashcards and introduce new vocab to the class, some of the girls do not participate or do not listen to what is happening therefore when I move on after playing vocab games to explaining the tasks that they can complete they have no idea what is going. At this point these children begin shouting “teacher, teacher, teacher!” without a break to even ask… yes? then they shout in Italian what do we do? When the children who have been concentrating are working individually on their tasks these children are consistently coming up to me and asking for the answers on their work and asking “does this go here?” (in italian). It is extremely hard work and difficult because then the children who are engaged in the lesson are finished and sometimes are waiting to show me their work and need something else to do.

The behaviour in Lisa’s class with her boys is different. I do not know all the information but I believe the boys do not work well together in the class and can often be violent to one another.

To try and attempt to solve both of these issues, we discussed with Daniela a possible mixup of the classes to try and improve both situations. She told us that originally it was just one class of boys and girls together but it did not work well. She gave us the go ahead to try the classes mixed up again to see if it would have a positive impact on the childrens learning.

We decided to mix up the weaker girls with some of the more able boys and the stronger girls with the less able boys. For Lisa’s class this worked very well as the girls were able to provide a really positive example to the boys for both behaviour and engagement. For my class, the more able boys saw how much attention the less able girls needed and saw it as an opportunity to push boundaries. Which again made it very difficult to ensure all children were engaged throughout the lesson.

Overall, we decided that the combination would not be a good idea to do again even though it worked well for one of the classes because it meant that one class had both behaviour management struggles and children who require additional support throughout the lesson.

Movers – 

This was a new class for me. These children are 9-10 years old. The lesson was based on a story of Meg who kept losing her belongings. The story helped children to learn about how to read words in italics, bold, underlined and exclamations. The class was very engaged and motivated to learn and understand and were very eager to ask questions related to the topic. One of the children was very weak in their reading skills and I think because the rest of the group were strong readers they struggled to keep up and there were in and out of the classroom trying to avoid doing reading or answering questions.


Thursday 28th March

Pet 3 –

Booking hotel accomodation and confirming your stay. Tonight the teens were working in groups to structure and write an email to a hotel to ask for availability of a room of their choosing. After this they swapped with another group to read and correct any mistakes. On swappign they also then had to wrok together to write a reply to the email from the hotel to notify them of availability. The teenagers worked really well together and were on task throughout the lesson. The only real difficulties they had was with pronounciation of Availability and Travelers. We spent time discussing this as a class to help with the pronounciation. After this we worked on writing a letter to confirm the hotel stay. We explored what we needed to write an effective letter and how letters need to be structured. For example- position of the address of sender, how to end the letter.

To end the class, I prepared a listening activity for the group to the song Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. I played the intro and asked if they recognised the song. They all cheered saying  yes of course it is very popular here. So I told them I was going to test their listening skills with a fill in the blank game. I wrote out the lyrics to the song leaving blank various words so they had to listen very carefully to decide what was being sung. They found it a lot more difficult than they expected they told me because they forgot how quickly he sings. They did really well and when they came across blank spaces they didn’t know we had fun as a group re-listening and trying to decide what was said. I asked if they found it easier or harder than the last song.. and they said harder but that it was good. So I will need to find some more popular songs for them to fill in the blanks to at the end of their lessons.


Friday 29th March

Ket – 

Todays lesson was about visiting the post office and the bank. This listening was heavily based on listening activities, in which the children needed to listen to decide what the customer was asking for and whether they were in a post office or a bank. We also talked about the different things you can do in a post office in the UK or in Italy.


Saturday 30th March

Movers –

This mornings topic was “At the hospital” and “What is the matter?”. We spent a lot of time discussing new vocabulary related to hospitals and DR’s and played matching up games afterwards with flashcards of photos and words. After completing the workbook tasks we played role play games taking turns in being the patient or DR or Pharmacist to ask for help with an illness or problem. For example- Can you help me, I have a sore throat? Yes, take this medicine twice a day…

The children enjoyed using the flashcards to create role play scenarios but I find that after an hour or so they tend to get distracted and try to go off topic either talking in Italian, trying to use their phones or trying to ask me questions off topic to avoid doing work. At times, I let them ask questions as long as it is in English but I have to think on my feet something they might enjoy to try and get them to re-engage in the topic.



Week 2 – To reflect upon my week, I feel that I have made good working relationships with the students I have seen again this week and that I am starting to see their different personalities and beginning to see their strengths and weaknesses.

This week I am really enjoying the lessons that involved comparing differences in Italy, UK and USA. I find that it sparks a good response in both the students and myself. I feel that as a natural interest I have it is easy for me to develop respect for the students in my class because they are able to give me a point of view and back it up with reasons. I feel that it is important to be able to do this in any working environment.



Tuesday 26th March – Italian Cooking Lesson

Our second italian cooking lesson today we made Pizza Di Scarola! It is a typical dish of this area and is not actually a pizza…

Ida teaches us entirely in Italian and today was hard work! She prints off the recipe for us to keep and take home to Scotland, but its in Italian and when we try to read along the instructions in the kitchen we take a while! Sydney told us that capers were a type of seafood (which I don’t eat) so Ida tried to tell us in Italian that it is not a seafood…. of which none of us understood and resulted in me adamently saying “I …. DO… NOT…. EAT…. SEAFOOD..” Ida found it hilarious us getting so confused… (I guess it’s funny now…)

Pizza di Scarola is basically a baked pie almost that is filled with fried lettuce, olives, capers and chillies.

Saturday 30th March – Salerno

We decided to go back to Salerno this weekend with Sydney’s friend to visit the city too! We decided to stay at the same B&B as last weekend as it was perfect for what we needed.

We spent our day off relaxing on the beach in the sunshine and trying to speak (in Italian) to locals who tried to ask us questions about where we were from and why we were in Salerno. It is still awkward when people ask us questions and we have no idea what they are trying to say, we all look at each other so confused. I think we are getting better though because we are picking up from words from the children at the school as well as in our lessons.

We decided to have an Aperitivo before tea. The Italians do not eat here until much later than back home. So, it’s certainly still an adjustment. When we went for pizza a table of women asked us if we were English and we started chatting to them (in a mixture of broken Italian and English) about what we are doing here in Italy. One of the women asked us to come and teach at her school in Salerno.

The next day we relaxed at the beach and went for a walk around the local market stalls along the harbour. There was lots of handmade lemoncello and chocolate and fudge and it all smelt so beautiful! At the end of all the market stalls there is a giant ferris wheel and little fairground area. In the area was a traditional puppet booth and there was a puppet show on! It was so lovely to see because I don’t think I have ever seen a live puppet show!

Sunday 31st March – Chinese food…. in Italy…

Daniela, Jana (her cousin) and her friend (and her daughter) took us to a Chinese restaurant outside of Scafati (a 35-minute drive) which is the closest place to get Chinese food to eat.

Last week we told Daniela that our favourite takeaway was Chinese food. So, she planned a trip for us to get Italian-Chinese food! It was so good to try the food as it was not what we were expecting at all. It is nothing like the chinese either of us have tried at home in Scotland. In the town we went for the food, there is a huge Chinese community and none of the staff spoke italian or english… only Chinese. The town is known for having such a large community of Chinese people and the people in the town do not send their children to Italian speaking primary schools but have their own schools in Chinese.