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Col·legi Sant Vicenç, Sant Vicenç dels Horts

Jonathon comes from Ireland and is a Conversation Assistant at Col·legi Sant Vicenç in Sant Vicenç dels Horts. For the school, it is their 2nd year in the program and they are really happy having Jonathon with them. Here’s what they have to say!


Jonathon Walsh, Conversation Assistant at Col·legi Sant Vicenç in Sant Vicenç del Horts, is writing about his experience in the school and with his host family.

All the teachers and the students in the school feel very happy with Jonny because he’s  so friendly, hard-working and responsible. At the same time, he’s so sweet  and charming with the pupils. He’s helping us in the English language classroom very much. Children love him and they’re so excited when he comes to the class. We all think this is a great experience for all of us!!


My  name is Jonathon and I come from Ireland. At the moment I am working as a conversation assistant in Col·legi San Vicenc in Sant Vicenc dels Horts, Barcelona. It has been approximately 9 weeks since I have arrived in Barcelona but to be honest it only feels like 1 week because for me time has flown by. I am here on a 9 month period from October until the end of June 2012. When I first arrived I didn´t know what to expect, I had two words of spanish, hola and adios, and it was my first time travelling alone. I am a bit of an introvert but I need to  become more out-going because in my future career I want to be a primary school teacher and I thought that this experience would aim towards that goal. From the moment my feet touched the floor of the school I knew that I was going to enjoy this experience. The teachers greeted me with a warm welcome and made me feel like I was apart of the furniture.

At the moment I am living with a family approximately 15 mins walking distance from the school. I have been living with them for two months and already they feel like my second family. They have two children , one girl Olga aged 11 and one boy Marc aged 15. The two children have very good english and their parents have enough to get by so it´s not difficult to make conversation. The downfall is that in two months I have to change family. But I know that the following family will be very welcoming and will also give me a god experience. I will find this hard because I have a very close relationship with my prensent family and it feels like I have only met them when i have to leave again. I feel that the children, Marc and Olga, are having a good experience with me and for me, my experience with them so far has been great.

I work in the school from Monday to Friday approximately 22 hours a week. I work with childen from P5 to 6th class , ages ranging from 5-12. In Cicle superior 5th and 6th, I take small groups of 4-5 pupils  maximum. With support from my mentor Maite I prepare english activities and games with them for 30 minutes per group. I try to make the conversation classes exciting because its easier for them to learn when they enjoy the class. The students have different levels of english but in this school all of the children have a very good relationship. All of the pupils help eachother with the activities and games and nobody is put down.

With 4 th class, I take small groups for 15 minutes introducing new vocabulary and ditinguising the opposites with actions and expressions to help them understand each word. With the younger classes I work along with the teachers doing activities reading stories and acting like a clown a lot of the time to help them enjoy each class. Most days I go to the playground to play football with the children. This builds a better relationship with them and now they approach me more to strike  a conversation because I am more of a friend than a teacher.

Since I have arrived I spend all my time with the family. They bring me to visit all the touristic areas of Barcelona and if they have any family occasions they bring me along. Everyday after school I go to the grandparents house to help the children with their english homework and to practice my spanish. They accept me as one of the family and I am privileged to be in their company. On Monday and Thursday I train with the local football team and they have accepted me with a warm welcome and I have made some good friends.

My  favourite thing about living here is the oppurtunity to visit all the beautiful land marks and to make new friendships with the staff, children, and the lads at football. They made it easy because all of them accepted me as if I was one of them. I nearly forgot to mention the excellent food, a lot of types  which I have never tasted before. I will definitely bring back some of the recipes to Ireland.The worst thing  about this experience is that at the end of the 9 month period I will have to say goodbye to all of these people that I have made good relations with.

So far this has been one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend this to anyone who would be interested. I now know my future career and I have changed the way I think. When I leave a piece of Catalunya will always be in my heart.


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