Sigue a través de este blog bilingüe noticias relacionadas con el IES Profesor Tierno Galván de La Rambla (Córdoba)


Chelsie Mejia – 2021/2022 English Language Assistant in La Rambla

Hello to all! My name is Chelsie and this year I have been working as the English Language Assistant at Profesor Tierno Galvan in La Rambla, Cordoba. My experience has been filled with so much joy and wonder, and as the end of the program approaches I can’t help but reminisce on the memories I have made in these past 8 months. 

I first arrived in Spain in September 2021. Immediately upon arrival I got COVID- a worldwide outbreak we are all too familiar with now- and despite the week-long sickness, I fully recovered and was ready for my first day of work in La Rambla! The first week was full of introductions and presentations about myself and about my country! This was a great way for students to get to know a little bit about me and where I come from. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and moved to Seattle, Washington about 2 years ago… quite the change, I know. The cross-country move was a spontaneous way to explore a new city and way of life, as was this decision to move to Spain! When I tell my students where I am from, I often hear these exact two words: “Que Guay!” meaning “How cool!”. I love sharing my experiences and culture with others and learning the differences of how we were brought up, how we speak and the way we act. 

During my time at the school, I taught Math, Biology, History, Geography, Music and Physical Education. These are the bilingual subjects at the school so as an english language assistant, I played a big role in helping students with pronunciation, terminology, and grammar. With the help of the teachers, I prepared presentations and activities for the students to engage with. I worked with a range of students from 1°ESO to 4°ESO so I adjusted the activity difficulty according to their levels. I found all classes responded very well to activities that allowed the students to be competitive and work in teams. At the same time, it was fun for me to come up and create games based on the material that was being taught! It is a great way to foster a positive and fun environment in the classroom. 

Some of my favorite presentations included the ones that educated the students about my city back home. For example, I did a presentation about climate change in Miami, FL and although the topic is not a positive or optimistic one, I was eager to inform the students about the real issue we are facing in different parts of the world, Miami being one of the highly impacted areas. From that presentation I had students asking questions and conversing about different ways that we can combat the problem of rising water levels in the city. It was encouraging to see the amount of interest that topics like this create in the classroom and it plays a big part in why this role as a language assistant is so rewarding in the end. 

One thing you will notice in the school is that students are curious about you! They want to know about every topic ranging from how many pets you own to if you are married or have kids. I enjoyed telling my students more about myself, my hobbies and perspectives. It gave me a better understanding that even though our cultures and upbringings may seem vastly different, we can find common ground in other areas such as hobbies, interests, beliefs, and help unify us despite our differences. The conversations I’ve had with my students are highly valued and I do not take them for granted. I discovered so much about Spain’s culture, specifically the Andalusian region, through their eyes. In the same way, they have learned more about American culture through my eyes and I am able to give them more knowledge about a part of the world that they may not be too familiar with. This cultural exchange creates so much curiosity, fascination, and realization about the MANY different ways of life and how our culture is perceived to others, and that is one of the best parts about this program! I know that I will be leaving back home with so much knowledge and first-hand experience of the Spanish lifestyle and culture. 

Working only four days out of the week, I was able to go on adventures on the weekends and explore the different sites that this country has to offer. Spain is so magnificent and each city has something new to see! Transportation throughout the country is easy and accessible so it made it possible to go on weekend trips whenever I planned to. One great thing about this program is that it gives us the flexibility and balance to work while also exploring during our free time. There are so many sites just near and around Cordoba that are well worth visiting and just a bus or train ride away. One of my favorites was the small town of Ronda in the province of Malaga that is situated on a deep gorge! I only have a couple of weeks left of the program but I am still making plans to travel as much as I can and take in the beauty of this country while I still have this opportunity. Plus flights are much cheaper from here than they are from America! 

A big thank you to my coordinator Maria Jose Marin and to all the teachers I worked with who have made this experience so memorable and fun. I can’t thank them enough for their patience and kindness throughout this academic year and for being so accommodating to me and my needs while abroad. There have been challenging moments and times where I needed a little push, but my teachers were always able to help me and steer me in the right direction. I will strongly miss this center and all of its faculty and students who never cease to put a smile on my face and make me laugh. They are so hilarious and fun! At the end of the program I will be going back to Seattle in pursuit of my next journey, but there is no doubt in my mind that I will return to Spain for a visit or two! I have fallen in love with this country and its personality! I’m incredibly grateful for this experience and know that it is something I will fondly look back on– in fact I got a tattoo of my Cordoba zip code (14011) this year! With all of this being said, I hope you are ready for your next adventure, so strap in and enjoy the ride!


My Experience As An English Language Assistant

My name is James, I am 25 years old and I come from a town called Loughton in Englad. I have been working as the English Language Assistant in IES Profesor Tierno Galván, La Rambla, for almost two years. I thought it would be nice to share with you some of my memories and reflections from my time working at the school.

Me making the most of my time in Córdoba
and exploring the Castle of Almodóvar del Río
at the weekend (Feb 2019)
Me and my boss Monica on a school trip in Trassierra
(Feb 2019)

I am currently writing this blog post from the comfort of my flat in Córdoba, about halfway through a month-long nationwide quarantine. As we all know, this quarantine was introduced in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19. I wonder if everyone will still be talking about this pandemic this time next year...

Anyway - I first arrived at IES Profesor Tierno Galván, La Rambla, on 1 October 2018. Surprising, I remember not being nervous but excited for what lay in store. All of the teachers on the bilingual programme had already been in touch with me by email or whatsapp to introduce themselves, which made me feel really welcome.

After a week of preparing material for the classes, I can still remember walking into my first lesson at the school. It was a Biology lesson with ESO 1ºC. I must admit that I was more apprehensive about meeting the students than I was my colleagues! But I soon realised that I really enjoyed working with the kids. They may be a handful at times, but they do come out with some funny things and never fail to make me smile.

During my time at the school, I have worked with the teachers to prepare presentations and activities in English for each of the bilingual subjects (Biology, Geography, History, Maths, Music, and PE). At times this has been a challenging thing to do. A lot of the material in the bilingual subject textbooks is quite complicated to study in another language, sometimes to the point where even native English speakers would struggle.

That is why I am grateful to the teachers in the bilingual programme, who helped me to focus on adapting the content to the level of the students, who have responded well to our efforts. We have tried to focus on activities that teach the key vocabulary, as well as practise the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

I remember doing one particular activity with 3º ESO. To practise healthy eating vocabulary, we got the students to practice a doctor-patient roleplay with each other. The "doctor" would ask the "patient" questions about their symptoms and develop a diagnosis, and would then proscribe some dietary changes to help with their health problem. The kids really enjoyed this activity! Some students can be afraid of sounding silly in front of their classmates when speaking English, but including fun activities like has helped to increase their confidence and overcome this embarrassment.

The school is also very good at celebrating special days, such as Halloween, International Peace Day, Valentine's Day and of course Andalusia Day! These are some of my best memories of my time at the school - everyone is always in a great mood and having fun (including the teachers, if there is some free food in the staffroom!).

To celebrate Andalusia Day (Feb 28), in every school in the autonomous community everyone gets a free desayuno molinero, which is a typical breakfast in Andalusia, typically consisting of bread, olive oil and sugar - although in La Rambla they go the whole hog by adding some jamón. I think this is a great idea, as having traditions like this acts to unify people and give them pride in their regional identity.

It looks something like this:
Desayuno molinero, traditional Andalusian breakfast
Having spoken with other language assistants in Spain, Halloween seems to be a very popular celebration in bilingual schools. Each class is usually tasked with decorating their doorway in spooktacular fashion, and then a winner is picked by the teachers. I was blown away by the artistic skills of some of the students. In my first year, I particularly remember a terrifyingly good drawing of the nun from the horror film (known in Spain as) La Monja. I like the way that the school incorporates English into many of these celebrations, as this increases the students´ knowledge of these special days in English-speaking countries.

Another memorable moment of mine at the school was in my first year when I worked with some students to do a radio interview in English. Three students from 3º ESO prepared questions for me about my experience as a language assistant. We used the radio studio in the school to record the podcast, and it is has been uploaded to the school website for anyone that is interested. Doing this mini-project was a great idea, because it showed the students how they can go beyond their textbooks and use English in a real-life setting. Who knows?! Perhaps following on from this experience, those same students will be inspired to create their own YouTube channel in English.

This year the bilingual teachers have been planning to do an escape room with the children, and have asked for my help in producing some videos for it. I was looking forward to helping with this as well, but unfortunately things have been put on hold because of the current quarantine. Fingers crossed that things go back to normal soon and we get the chance to do it!

Here is a picture of me with the bilingual staff at the end of my first year in May 2019. Unfortunately Paula from Music was missing when we took this photo.

(from left to right: Juan María from PE; Ana Belén from Biology; Monica from English; Me, James; Irene from Maths)

And here is a picture with all of the staff from May 2019.

Here is a photo of 3º ESO and some of us teachers in Santa María de Trassierra, after a hiking daytrip in Trassierra in February 2019.

Here is a picture of the big goodbye card that 2º ESO made me at the end of my first year (we didn´t yet know if I would be back for another year). Irene from Maths kindly coordinated its production.

Goodbye card from 2º ESO (May 2019)

Hopefully I´ll also get the chance to take a picture with the folks from this school year (2019-2020). If so, I´ll upload it onto the blog here.

As I can only do a maximum of two years as a language assistant in Andalusia, unfortunately this will be my final year at the school. It will be sad to go, as I have loved working there and both my colleagues and students have all been fantastic. My colleagues will be glad to hear that this experience has inspired me to pursue a career in teaching, and I have now applied to train as a languages teacher in England from September 2020. If I am accepted to do this, I would love to come back to Córdoba and work as a teacher one day. There is no doubt in my mind that I  will be back, because I have fallen under the spell of Spain: the great people, the weather, the food, and so much more.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience, and feel free to comment below.

New Profe on the Block 2016

Hello to all! My name is Shannon Fineran and I’m proud to be serving as the American Language Assistant at the Instituto Profesor Tierno Galván this year. I am freshly graduated from the College of William and Mary, located in my home state of Virginia. I live in the north of the state, right next to the Potomac River and about 40 minutes west of Washington, D.C.

Living so close to the capital fostered a great love for travel, learning, and adventure in me from a young age. I am so happy to be back in Spain, living in Andalusia a second time. I first came to Spain in 2013 as a study abroad student in Seville. I fell completely in love with the people, the culture, the climate, and the city. While I relished every opportunity to eat copious amounts of jamón and take innumerable photos of the incredible mudéjar architecture, (not to mention dance my heart out at the Feria), what I treasured most about my experience were the conversations that I had. From these conversations with friends, strangers, teachers, I learned more than I could have ever hoped about Spain, my own country, and even the ways of the world. During this experience, I began to realize what an amazing thing a language is. Language is not just grammar and structures; it is a living being that is always evolving and growing. Language is the true key to a nation and its people because with language comes communication and with communication, understanding.

Therefore, I can’t wait to share my language and culture with the students in La Rambla and hopefully inspire some future travelers, but more importantly, future global citizens who appreciate and celebrate the rich diversity of the world around us.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario