As you know, I told you about my experience in Cambridge just before Christmas but now that I have been able to find time, I would like to make a brief summary in English.
The course was run at Bell School, Cambridge from 3rd November until 21st November.The aims of this school are to provide language education, mainly in English, for adult students and young learners, to train teachers of English, and to offer learning and teacher training experiences that will promote international understanding and intercultural exchange.
As for the course content, it had three main strands:
1. Language Improvement. The aim of this component was to improve our competence in the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The participants developed greater confidence in both communicating with native-speakers and our ability to use English as the medium of instruction in the classroom.
2. Teaching Methodology. The aim of this module was to enable the teachers to experience and reflect on new teaching techniques which we will be able to incorporate into our repertoire.Although there was some theoretical input on communicative language teaching , the main focus was on introducing practical techniques. Another component we have to mention here is CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). This methodology included some ways of pre-teaching vocabulary, checking understanding of new lexis and recycling.
3. Contemporary British Culture. The aim of this module was to update participants on life in Britain and to explore some of the issues that are being discussed in the British media, such as the British Education System, The Media or Youth Culture in the UK today.
Apart from the academic aspect, Bell organised a wide range of supervised social, cultural and sporting activities in the belief that a full social life provides a necessary complement to the academic programme. The school also organised our accommodation in Cambridge with local host families. This enabled us to make friends, relax and use English naturally.
To finish with , I would like to say thanks to San Vicente de Paúl Ikastetxea and to Kristau Eskola for giving me the opportunity to do this course that will be very useful in my teachingÂ career.
I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Rosa Mª Ruiz