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Col·legi Escorial – Vic

Alison Watkins, conversational assistant at Col·legi Escorial in Vic, wrote us this e-mail sharing her experiences and thoughts at the school and in Catalonia so far


I am a conversational assistant in L´Escorial,Vic. This large school has a playschool, a primary school and a secondary school. I teach students from primary and secondary school.

In primary school I teach 5th and 6th class. We often do projects on different topics such as Autumn, Halloween and Christmas. The students are very visual so I use flash cards and posters to help them with new vocabulary. We also play games and role-plays, this helps with their spoken English. The students are enthusiatic and make me laugh a lot. Now that I have sworn my allegiance to “Barca” football team I am accepted as one of their own! I would like to raise the point that I feel the school hours are too long for children this age. Most adults in Ireland work from 9-5 and so do the children here. I feel that these long hours would be a test to any-ones´attention span and that they have a part to play in behavioral issues that may occur in the classroom.

In secondary school I teach 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year. I do a variety of activities with the students such as: role-plays,reading,debates,conversational games,acting and more. The level of English varies from class to class and I thrive on this as it adds a challange for me. I enjoy teaching the secondary students it´s not always easy but it´s great when you see them making an effort to improve their English. I understand that for them it is difficult to feel confident speaking in front of their classmates, but I think we have moved over that hurdle, and now its difficult to get them to stay quiet! They remind me of when I was in school: moody,prone to tantrums,image conscience etc, but at the bottom of it just in need of reasurrance and support. I am learning a lot by teaching these students and I don´t have any grey hairs yet so that´s a good sign!

I can´t heap enough praise on the teachers in this school. I was a slow learner in school and this meant that I was over looked by my teachers. This didn´t help and in fact lead me to become disinterested and resentful. When I was 16 I moved school and the teachers in my new school helped me greatly. They took a personal interest in me and encouraged me. They got to know me as a person and always did their best for me. If I didn´t understand something in class, they helped me. This school is full of teachers with the above traits. It´s a pleasure to be surrounded by people like this and I aspire to learn from them. The teachers have made a huge effort to include me and welcome me into their school. I know that should I need their help, they would do so willingly and with great intent. This is a great school, and with teachers like this, I have no doubt of it´s continued success.

I am throughly enjoying my experience as a conversation assistant. It´s a great opportunity and I´m going to make the most of it.

Kind regards,


1 comment to Col·legi Escorial – Vic

  • Siobhan Walsh

    Hi Alison!!
    It was great to read about your time in Spain! I am heading off in September to the same school you were in and was just wondering if you have any tips for preparing myself!
    Best wishes

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