A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Escola Sant Lluís Gonçaga, de La Garriga

The first submission for this year’s blog has finally arrived. And again, the first school to write to us is Sant Lluís Gonçaga in La Garriga.  This year, they are hosting Samuel, a conversation assistant from England. 

Thanks a lot for e-mailing us!



I’m Sam – or better known as Samuel in Catalunya – and I’m the conversation assistant at Escola Sant Lluis Gonçaga in La Garriga. I have been here since the end of September and will stay here till June 2013. Although I speak a high level of Spanish already, I was in for a culture shock from day one: my village is very Catalan! There is almost no Castilian around for miles! But for me, this was an exciting challenge that I am relishing. I was welcomed by some of the nicest people on the planet and I already almost feel Catalan, allbeit with very little knowledge of the language.

I live with a family in La Garriga who welcomed me with the words “nuestra casa es tu casa” (our house is your house). The son, Oriol, is in 5th Primary, and the daughter, Maria is in 2nd Primary. On different days we speak different languages so we all benefit – my Catalan and Castilian have improved dramatically in my first two months here. We play games and read books in English, and have a points system, where a point is gained for saying something correctly, and lost for saying something incorrectly, or for speaking the wrong language. Needless to say I am winning! Everyone at home has improved their English tenfold too. I am due to change family in mid February and I hope my time with them will be as great as it has been with my first family.

I work five days a week at school, nine till five, Monday to Friday (although I am blessed with only working half a day on Friday and there is a two hour lunch break from one till three). The school is tiny – about four hundred students – so it is easy learning the names of the students. I work with all ages, from 3-16 years old (P3 to 4th ESO). With Infantil and Primary students I work alongside the teacher, helping out in class and taking small groups to practise speaking activities, as well as playing games and entertaining them with my guitar. On the other hand, I take ESO students in groups of five or six, grouped according to their level of English and do a range of activities, to improve their spoken English, and sometimes to work on grammar issues. Once a week I work with my tutor, Marta, to prepare classes for the ESO students.

Samuel practicing conversation with two students

Twice a week I do private tuition; English is such an important subject here that every academy around for miles is full to the brim, so parents take advantage of a native speaker being in the village. It also gives me the chance to use everything I learned in my TEFL course. Similarly, I teach Oriol guitar on Friday nights.

In my free time I tend to go to Barcelona; the city is beautiful, and only a forty minute train ride from La Garriga. However I also spend time with the family; recently we went to the woods to look for the “Tio,” a Catalan Christmas tradition, as well as spending time in their mountain home a few weeks ago. I have some wonderful memories already, and it’s only been two months!

The Catalan people are among the nicest, most welcoming people on the planet. Everyone from Home to Home, to the staff at the school, to my host family have made me feel like I am a part of Catalunya, and I feel like this is home. Being thrown into a new culture has definitely been worth it, and I can’t see myself wanting to leave any time soon.


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>