09.10.2007 13 °C
We are two days into the training week thing which has been very useful so far. Have gone down with a stinking cold which is not making life fun, but am really pleased that I am not finding it too difficult to stay tuned into French all day. JP has been really great actually, an endless source of information, and has been good to get to know the other assistants a bit better; one of them has had a really awful experience with an old lady she was living with in a nearby village but looks like she'll be able to sort something else out now which is good.
The pedagogy (teaching methodology) is a bit different than I (and the other assistants) expected. What we're not meant to do is 'themes' so 'colours' one week and 'fruits' the next, but 'situations de communications'. So we will do 6 related 'seances' (lessons) which will allow the children at the end to use what they have learnt in a 'real' communicative situationm, such as a commentary for a fashion show or buying fruit at the shop.
There is very little written work, it's all oral, which means more work for the teacher I think, literally having to stand there and lead for 45 minutes 16 times a week. For 5 of my 8 classes it is the first time they have had any English classes and apparently they are all really excited as have been told that next Monday is when English starts...which is cool, but also somewhat pressurising. But I think its good to have a blank slate and no "we've done this before Miss!". Have been a bit scared in the school playground where we are having the training by quite how small they look. Not sure how to introduce myself to them, JP has suggested we use our first names, but I feel I'd get more authority with Miss Hawker, and seeing as I am going to be the teacher (as opposed to an assistant helping out) I think that would be better. The idea is that you only speak English in the class, or, in fact, that you have 2 songs for "Hello" and "Goodbye" and only speak English between them, allowing you time for questions, explanations etc. For learning vocab it's all about bingo, kim's game, memory games, etc etc. I think for most of my first lessons I will spend a while introducing myself in French, teach them the songs and, maybe with the older eleves, ask them about themselves in English to gauge their level.
All tres exciting!
On other news: much colder today, brr! where has the sun gone?!