Temoignage de la famille anglaise Daily English de Nova et Ed, Merdrignac, Bretagne,
A day in the life Nova and Ed, near Merdrignac, Host Family For Daily English in France
As 3 o clock approaches, we await our three French students, Audrey and Maxime, both aged 15 from Paris, and Baptiste, 13 from the Dordogne. Sally, my boss from Daily English has already sent me all the relevant detailed forms for each student. I have an extremely detailed description of each guest, which is very helpful. I know their food likes/ dislikes, personality traits, English grades and most importantly, what they hope to achieve from their stay. I have studied these forms and noted certain information in my diary, which I keep with me at all times. I briefly read over them again as I wait, to refresh names, ages and where they live.
Two families arrive almost simultaneously and introduce themselves in English. It’s Audrey and Baptiste. I offer them a traditional English cup of tea and some English cake.
The parents are very chatty and the children are a bit anxious and quiet but I know this wont last for long! Shortly after, Maxime arrives with his mum. I explain to the parents and children that if the children are immersed, enthusiastic and ask lots of questions, the learning potential is enormous. The parents then reinforce this point to their children. We show the children their bedrooms and around the house. As the parents depart, I tell them that I will send an email on Tuesday to keep them updated along with some photos. I also double check with them to see if the children have any allergies and to check that they can swim. Although Daily English has already provided me with information, I feel it reassures the parents.
After the parents have left, on Sunday afternoon we often play Monopoly as it’s a visual, interactive and easy to play in English. The children have formed three teams of two players. I am observing them and already have an indication of their current English abilities. Although, there are always surprises. That’s what I love about this work, every day is different and each experience is unique. As the game unfolds, the kids relax, start chatting and the laughter begins!
Before dinner, I explain a few house rules and the structure of the days ahead. Sally has prepared a time guide for us to follow, which simplifies everything for me. I again, explain the importance of speaking English at all times. After dinner we decide to play baseball, two teams of four, including Ed and myself. We nominate Maxime and Audrey as captains. The kids adore the baseball and lots of cheering and banter exchange on the pitch. The kids are inquisitive and are learning new words! After the game, we settle down to watch a film in English with French subtitles and later during the week in English with English subtitles. It’s 22.45 and bedtime.
Monday 9am, children have breakfast, shower and get ready for a prompt 10 o clock lesson. The lessons are 1.5 – 2 hours long, depending on their ages. For my first lesson, I like to get the children to interview each other. They are given a range of questions, which they have to ask their partner and note the response. They have to collate this information, write a paragraph and finally introduce each other to the class. This is a great lesson for everyone to get to know each other and also for me to assess the oral and written levels in English. It’s also much easier to stand up and introduce someone else rather than yourself. Towards the end of each lesson, we always play a game like “Taboo” or ”I went to the shop”, which is a firm favourite, a great oral game, very funny at times , encourages memory and introduces new vocabulary. It’s amazing how many household appliances the children don’t know!
I always make a concerted effort to congratulate the child on their work to boost their confidence. I believe a child thrives from encouragement and positive feedback. The children that stay often just lack confidence. At the end of the lesson, I give the kids each a different “word of the day”, where they must use the word as often as possible throughout the day. I also give them a page of questions, from which they must choose five and ask a member of our family during the day. Daily English constantly provide me with a variety of lessons, ideas, teaching material and visual aids to assist my lessons. Sally is also always available for any advice or support, which I find reassuring.
After the morning lesson, the children relax playing cards whilst I prepare lunch. Audrey and my daughter Florence decide to make a cake for the evening and the boys play football in the garden. At around 14:30 we leave for the swimming pool and an afternoon of fun. On returning to the house around 18:00 the children read some articles from the Guinness book of records. They then have to explain in their own words what the article was about. This work helps with pronunciation, comprehension and introduces new vocabulary in a fun way.
This evening we have a traditional meal of fish, chips and mushy peas. The kids love it but think it’s bizarre to put vinegar on chips! The children are asking if we can play baseball again, if we can change teams and change captains, I love the atmosphere in the house, it’s buzzing with energy and the zest of life! This is why I adore this work, along with the diversity of the personalities and characters that come to stay. Each one is unique. There is never a boring moment. Also it’s a lovely feeling when a student emails you a month after their stay to say thank you because they came top of the class in English!
For now, I grab the camera to take some photos for both the parents and for Sally from Daily English and I head outside for baseball!
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