Get in touch

Job Search

Search for Teaching Jobs in England

Foreign Language Learning in Situ

Lynn is dismayed on two counts to read the results of the latest British Council survey on school exchange trips abroad. 

As a supply teacher, the decline of these exchanges has meant a decline in the work one gets covering for the accompanying teachers. This used to be very lucrative, especially in the summer term.

However, on a more lofty note, as a modern linguist I find it very sad that only 30% of comprehensive schools provide their students with the opportunity to access different cultures in this, the most effective, way. Apparently exchanges are still going strong in independent schools (77%) which is not surprising since many middle-class parents are keen that their offspring can participate fully in the family holidays in the Dordogne or Andalucia. Those who maintain that 'everyone speaks English' and there is no need to learn the local lingo are encouraging dreadful arrogance in young people.

The British Council also cites anxiousness about safety concerns as another cause of the reluctance to take part. When I used to organise exchanges I would hear the same apocryphal stories about host families year after year - bad food, bad plumbing, weird people. Where, I used to ask my students, was their sense of adventure? I, myself, did the Bristol-Bordeaux exchange for the first time at the age of thirteen. It was for a month in those days; now teachers struggle to get students to go from a Monday to a Friday. I had the time of my life; it was my first trip abroad and I was intoxicated by the sights and smells, the food, and, most of all being able to communicate with families who could not speak English. It ignited a love of travel that has never dimmed.

If students do not want to engage properly with the people and cultures of other countries I sometimes wonder what is the point of teaching languages at all in schools.


Tags: Lyn, Bristol, Secondary, supply

Category: Australian Teachers


Share |


Back to the Blog Home Page

Comments (0)

There are no comments to show. You can add one by using the form below.

Add a Comment

Name:
Email (kept private):
Comment:
Security Code: antispam
Protocol Education Blog

OCTOBER 2017 | "Your teaching agency needs to be transparent"
Jacqui is an Aussie teacher who has just returned from her 2 years in the UK. She got in touch with Mitch from the Sydney office and has been able to...
Read More

AUGUST 2017 | Aussie Dollar vs British Pound
Mitch Jones is Protocol Education’s NSW-based consultant working with Australian teachers in their move to the UK. In his latest blog he chats...
Read More

JUNE 2017 | Taking a long term approach to teaching
Alyce is an Aussie Primary teacher who took part in our September 2016 round of 'Interviews with a UK Principal.' Rather than start her role...
Read More

MAY 2017 | Been to London, Bought the T-Shirt, Back in Sydney
Brad is an Aussie teacher who has just returned to Sydney after spending nearly 2 years living and teaching with Protocol in London! Fair to say he’s...
Read More

A Teacher's Journey to London
Stephanie is a teacher originally from Canada, and in this latest blog she wants to give some advice (and hopefully inspiration) to other teachers from...
Read More