Fonction : Coordinatrice Erasmus+ jeunesse
Organisation : Anefore
Témoignage : In 2014 I took part in the European Programme Comenius. As I had just finished my BA studies in English and Spanish, the Comenius programme gave me the perfect opportunity to explore a possible career path and strengthen my intention to continue my studies in the area of languages and education. As a language assistant in the bilingual school Manuel Sainz de Vicuna in Madrid, I could not only improve my Spanish language skills, but also gain invaluable experience in teaching. The task of an assistant gives you a lot of freedom to plan your lessons, develop lessons and your own teaching materials, or bring your own creativity into the lessons of the colleagues you assist, whilst still being accompanied by an experienced teacher. Further, I got the opportunity to coordinate an e-mail exchange between Spanish and Polish students, which was a hands-on way to work on the students’ written English skills and foster intercultural learning.
Once per week during lunch breaks I met a colleague for a tandem exchange, we would speak English and Spanish respectively, so both of us could improve our foreign language skills and learn about each other’s culture.
The network of other Comenius assistants in Madrid or Spain was also a huge support when it came to making the first steps in a new city and exchanging teaching methods and ideas. I feel like the programme had given me a more tangible notion of what Europe means and strengthened my feeling of belonging to the European union.
Another asset of the program is that you get the possibility to meet and work with people that you might not have encountered otherwise. I still keep in touch with the staff members of the school and the Comenius assistants I met during my placement.
As a result of Comenius, I also feel more comfortable when using Spanish. My foreign language skills helped me during various summer jobs in the sector of tourism.
Later, the intercultural, organizational, and teaching skills I acquired during my language assistantship helped me during my first job as a teacher in a school with kids from different cultural backgrounds.
It was an invaluable experience that I would warmly recommend to anyone!