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Escola Infant Jesús

Infant Jesús is a school located in Barcelona. It’s their third year in the PAC and they are hosting two Conversation Assistants: Emily, from the US, and Jessica from the UK. Thank you for sharing your experience with us 🙂



Emily with a group of Primary students

Hi! My name is Emily Taylor and I am currently one of the Conversational Assistants at Infant Jesús Escola in Barcelona. I am lucky enough to work with all the primary English teachers and their students here at Infant Jesus. In collaboration with the English teachers, I plan oral activities for students aged 6 to 12 years old. I take small groups of students to participate in such activities, which include interactive games, role-playing, songs, and projects to help students to practice speaking and pronunciation.

Since I arrived in September, I have felt extremely welcomed into the community of Infant Jesus. My tutor, the teachers, and the staff have made me feel very comfortable here. I have lived with two host families thus far, and again they have made my transition and my experience at Infant Jesus, in Barcelona very rewarding. It has been a wonderful experience to be able to live with a Catalan family and be immersed into the Catalan culture.

Also outside of the school, I take part in private English conversation classes with some of my students. As a native English speaker, I think this is a great way to get to know my students better, while reinforcing pronunciation and vocabulary.


Jessica and some of her students

Hi! I am Jessica Kilcoyne-Hall and I have been working in Barcelona since the end of September and during this time I have been working at the Escola Infant Jesús. Everybody at the school has been so welcoming and has helped me to settle in well, all of the students are lively and enthusiastic and I was surprised to learn that there level of English is so good. English is set as a high priority at this school and it is reflected in the students abilities. The teachers are all very supportive and have helped me on many occasions with lessons and have even sourced additional tutoring opportunities for me.

So far I have stayed with two families, one before Christmas and one after and they have both been amazing in helping me find me feet in a new city and I am very grateful to them for welcoming me into their homes as if I were a member of their own family.

Barcelona is an amazing city and I have found this to be one of the best experiences of my life. I am very lucky to be part of this program and very grateful to all those involved.

Escola Pia Igualada

Escola Pia Igualada is a Certified Multilingual School that has been part of the PAC for three years. They currently host two conversation assistants: Charles and Izzalyn. Charles arrived at the end of September and has written about his first months in Igualada. Thank you!


My First three months at Escola Pia

I have been at Escola Pia in Igualada for three months now and I am about to begin the new term. It has been one of the most interesting experiences of my life to date.

I have been teaching from primary to Batxillerat. The classes vary in size, from small groups of 2-4 children in ESO to between 6-9 students in Batxillerat and I take a class of 17-20 children on a Wednesday afternoon. I see children of all skill levels and all ages which keeps me on my toes and gives me the opportunity to observe and understand the many different ways people learn languages and the common mistakes made, this is also helpful for me as I am learning spanish.

I feel I am given a lot of freedom to teach the subjects the student are interested in and angle my lessons to fit their type of learning.

The family I am living with are amazingly understanding and massively supportive. I am leaving for a new family in February and I will miss the family I am with a lot, but I think the new family will be different but equally brilliant.

I would recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in learning how to teach English in a foreign country. However, you do need to be flexible and able to change habits. This is an amazing thing to be involved in but, as with all things in life, perseverance and dedication is essential.

La Salle Figueres

Elisabeth comes from the UK and is spending this year as a Conversation Assistant in La Salle Figueres. This is how she feels about it:

Being a part of CAPS is a challenging but rewarding course. I came to Catalonia not knowing any Spanish or Catalan, but with the support of the school and my wonderful host families, I did not feel alone. Learning about a new culture and a new language has been fascinating and working with the children always makes each day different and interesting. I love it here. At first I thought not being in Barcelona would be a negative thing but I think it has worked out for the better. I’ve met more local people and been given a unique experience and insight into the Catalan culture. Although this is not always an easy programme, I would thoroughly recommend it because it’s a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

FEDAC Ripollet

Hello. My name is Montse and I´m one of the English teachers in FEDAC –Ripollet.

Rachel is an eighteen year old girl from Northern Ireland who arrived in Spain at the end of September and has been working with us for five months. During this time, occasionally she has been with the English teacher in the classroom with the whole  group showing the students a presentation about celebrations in her country and the rest of the time she has been taking small groups with her to practise grammar and vocabulary. The students have improved their listening and speaking skills since she has been with them.

I recommend to all the schools to take a conversation assistant because it´s definitely good for the children.

Montse Barros.

Hi! My name is Rachel and I’m the conversation assistant in FEDAC Ripollet. I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m 18 years old.

I started working in the school in October and so far I have loved my experience here. Everyday I work with children from 3 – 12 years old.

With P3 and P4 I stay in the classroom with the teacher and assist her in explaining activities, playing games and singing songs in English. From P5 to year 6, as well as working alongside the English teacher, Montse, I take small groups of 4 – 6 children at a time out of the classroom and we practice vocabulary, pronunciation and sometimes grammar. We also play games to make the lessons fun, interactive and get the children enthused to learn English!

At times, I stay in the class and do presentations about holidays and traditions in my country. The children then compare the differences between the holidays in my country and theirs.

As part of the school’s multilingual project, I have been involved in playing piano and teaching gospel songs to the older children so they can perform for the rest of the school!

This experience has given me lots of new opportunities (such as tutoring after school and a job in summer camps) and the chance to meet new people. I had studied Spanish for many years and now I have the chance to actually put it into practice!

La Salle Sant Celoni

Dominique is a Conversation Assistant in La Salle Sant Celoni. It is the school’s second year in the program and everyone seems to be enjoying the experience. Teachers and students are happy to be able to share lessons with Dominique, said her tutor Sandra. Thank you for writing 🙂


My experience so far

My name is Dominique I am twenty-three years old and from a town called Bournemouth, Dorset in the south of England.  I am currently working as a conversation assistant at La Salle in Sant Celoni, Barcelona.  This is a lovely little town about 1 hour outside of Barcelona.   My experience so far has been a positive one; the teachers at the school have been very welcoming and helpful and I have had a great opportunity already to improve my experience working with children and helping to teach English.  I work directly with seven of the teachers assisting them with the lessons and teaching children of a variety of ages from 1st of Primary (6 years old) until 4th of Secondary (16 year olds).  Working with such a wide variety of ages and abilities is a challenge but a great experience for me.  Each term I am staying with a different teacher from the school and their families.  Which has giving me the chance to practice speaking Spanish outside of the school and meet new people so I am slowly improving my Spanish which is fantastic.

La Salle La Seu d’Urgell

Amy is a Conversation Assistant at La Salle in La Seu d’Urgell. She takes part in lessons with all age groups and adapts the activities to each level. She is having a good time in La Salle and the students, teachers and school staff are really happy to have her in the school. We thank Amy and her tutor Anna for sharing Amy’s experience with us!


My experience as an English Language assistant in La Salle school has been amazing, so much so, that I want to stay! When I arrived I was welcomed immediately and all the teachers made me feel at home (even the ones that can’t speak English). I enjoy mostly working with Primary level but throughout all the levels there is lots of fun. The teachers are very open to new ideas and I didn’t feel shy to make suggestions or interact with the students. The students love asking questions and always take the opportunity to speak to me as a native English person.

In infant classes the lessons are mainly speaking exercises; practising numbers, colours and other vocabulary. The teachers are very willing to get me involved and now I often do the starters which I enjoy so much and also enables me to correct pronunciation.

At primary level on special occasions such as Halloween or Christmas I take the lesson and explain and do activities about traditions from Britain. I enjoy doing this because I can use my own ideas and activities as well as letting the students learn different vocabulary. However, in a normal lesson I help with new vocabulary and pronunciation, I help the students with reading activities and listening. I often explain tasks in order for the pupils to get used to hearing the English language naturally, I then check their understanding with comprehension questions.

In Secondary lessons I am mostly a conversation assistant. I take small groups of 4 or 5 students and prepare my own topics of conversation; this gives the students the opportunity to talk to me and ask questions, as well as making their own pronunciation corrections. When I am not taking groups, I join the class and help with grammar activities and reading. Similarly to primary level, when there is a special occasion I offer to take classes to explain traditions as even older students find it just as interesting.

I am also involved with the AFI section of the school. I help in mechanics and electronics classes as well as administration and business classes. I find these interesting as the English the students learn is very specific, also as they are older I can do different activities with them. I mainly do speaking lessons with these students because their general lessons are grammar based. I like thinking of ideas for the classes and different topics away from the curriculum; it’s just as interesting for me as it is for them.

Overall, my experience at La Salle has been such an opportunity to learn and gain knowledge at the same time as teaching. From the students to the teachers and the lessons to the playground, everything has been fantastic and is the best decision I have made.

Escola Verge de la Salut – St. Feliu de Llobregat

Jessica has been a conversation assistant at Escola Verge de la Salut for almost 5 months, working in Infant school and Primary alongside her tutor, Olga. She has worked hard to “get the children excited about learning English”, in her own words, which is the true aim of this program.

Thank you for writing!


I have really enjoyed my time at the school and on the program and have meet a lot of exciting new people and learned much.

At the school I have been working with the infantile and primary and this has involved working in a variety of different ways across ages 3 – 13.  With the infantile I have been assiting in getting the children engaged in games, stories and songs to help with simple English vocabulary. With the lower primary levels I have again been mainly working with English teacher using songs, games and stories but also composing worksheets and thinking of other interactive excercises to get the children involved and excited about learning English.

Telling a story to a group of P5

Whilst working with leves 3 and 4, I have taken half the class (groups of 12-13 children) to practice using conversation in a more fluid and confident manner, using slightly more complex vocabulary and basic introducing grammar.  I have used many ideas to run these classes such as photographic stimulation for conversation topics etc.  In higher primary I´m working again mainly with the teacher (but also taking small groups out, and controlling the whole class), we have developed pronounciation skills as well as created listening excercises which have improved student confidence in using the language greatly.

This experience has been fantastic, and open up many opportunities for me in the future!

Jessica and Olga.

Escola Pia Vilanova

Escola Pia Vilanova has joined the PAC this year for the first time. They have a conversation assitant from the United Kingdom, Miguel. He has written to explain what he does at school, and what his general feeligs were at the beginning of the program and how they have evolved. Thank you for emailing us!


         Arriving in Spain was the start of another travelling experience that would prove more challenging and beneficial than I could have imagined. I have been travelling and working now for the past couple of years, Australia and South East Asia, I assumed this time round travelling Spain would be more difficult because of the language barrier but I was confident that it wouldn’t be a problem.

         My first impressions of the Escolia Pia my school, made me feel very comfortable. I had lots of help before hand from my host family and the teachers were very friendly and helpful, the students all seemed very excited to see me. Instantly people started calling me Michael as they assumed the name I was using ‘Miguel’ was for their benefit, they soon realized that my actual name was ‘Miguel Gonzalez – Clayton’ a very strong Spanish name. I was already used to this however because I have met lots of Spanish before and I always get the same reaction, the interesting part comes when I give the explanation that I cannot speak any Spanish.

         During my first couple of weeks at the school everything was fine, I had lots of help and the students were very friendly, however because I was the only native Englishman in my town these were the hardest weeks for me outside of school hours. At times it was lonely and very difficult to find the motivation to go out and meet new people because of the language barrier. I had noticed by now that most of the other assistants in other parts of Catalan had either, another Native English assistant at their school, living in the same village or even close by at another village. This for me was not the case, there were no English assistant’s at my school, in my town or even close by and heading into Barcelona all the time to meet up with other assistants is quite a hassle and costs money, something we don’t receive much of during our experience here. Because of this I knew I had to learn Spanish as quickly as possible, and as I write this now I can say that doing exactly that, my situation has changed and its much better.

         Apart from that the whole experience with the school has been fantastic, I cannot complain about anything. The English teachers I work with are very flexible and allow me to have as much input into the lesson as I want. I really enjoy the classroom work as I feel important because the teachers always refer to me and encourage me to give my opinion. The students are also very enthusiastic to learn English even if the English teachers don’t think so, at times it is very difficult for them I can understand as I am learning Spanish at this moment in time. The students realize that the English language is important, and the way the world is at this moment I think the parents also realize that having this extra skill is an important advantage for their children when they are older.

Miguel preparing a Halloween activitiy with one of the English teachers

         On the whole as I said the school has given me so far a very pleasant experience and introduced me to a Spanish/Catalan culture that I really enjoy. My Spanish now has improved much more in than the first couple of months, I study everyday and I talk as much Spanish as possible outside of the English classroom. For me now this experience can only get better, with summer approaching and my Spanish improving, my experience with Escolia Pia will only be a positive one. As each day passes I am able to give more help to the students and they seem to be able to understand me more.