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Col·legi Mare Janer – Andorra

Col·legi Mare Janer is a school located in Santa Coloma, Andorra. It is their first year in the PAC, and Sam, their conversation assistant, is the first PAC in the Principality. We thank Sam and his tutor Esther for sharing their experience and these great photos!


I am currently working in the principality of Andorra, the first Conversation Assistant to do so with CAPS. Adapting to such an unusual environment, with Andorra being its own minute country, has been a mixture of peaks and troughs. The mountains and its lack of a cosmopolitan attitude can be overbearing. However one factor of the experience that has been a constant peak is the school, the students, its staff and of course the families. Collectively they have made my time here a pleasure, with their support and enthusiasm in all that I do.

I teach both Primary and Secondary levels, with the ages ranging from 7-16. I enjoy aspects of both levels, but the diligence and enthusiasm of the children is perhaps the most humbling. I try to expose the kids to as much material as possible be it English Youth Culture, Music, Literature, T.V or Film. I am currently organising an ´America Workshop´ for the Secondary students. An auxiliary from the Fulbright Program will hopefully present a day of lessons around the United States. This will show to the students the acute differences between the English spoken in the U.K and the English spoken in the U.S.

Having worked as a College Lecturer I was at least familiar already with the classroom environment. However, education is very different culturally here from what I am used to back home in the U.K. I find that students are not encouraged enough to actively engage in language lessons. So I try to incorporate as much role play, performance and practical speaking exercises in my lesson plans as possible. I feel that enticing students out of their comfort zones helps them with confidence, a very important trait needed when learning a second language.  I feel that since October the student’s attitude towards English has radically changed and that hopefully this will continue after I leave.


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