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Col·legi Maristes Montserrat – Lleida

Amie and Sarah Jane are two Irish conversational assistants staying at Col·legi Maristes Montserrat in Lleida. Together with the Primary School English teachers they are working with, they have written telling us about their experiences in both  the school and  Lleida.

Thanks a lot!


In Maristes Montserrat School from Lleida, we are having the opportunity of sharing the new experience of having two Irish girls helping us.  We consider it is a very enriching experience for both the kids and the teachers.

We are learning about their culture and their living style. Apart from this, they are helping us to improve children’s fluency and comprehension throughout the lessons.
The most important thing is that children considered them as  part of their lives and count on them when the kids need help.  The following words are their own experience:

Amie Sullivan:

My experience has been both educational and fun. I have seen many new approaches and techniques of teaching. It has been an eye-opening experience for me to learn that there are many different, friendly and fun ways to teach and learn.

In the school we have a language lab which we call “The Yellow Submarine,” there are seven different “corners” in this classroom. I have many different roles here; from computer technician to grammar police. It’s a great way for the children to interact with English in different ways and they have the opportunity to speak with me and ask me different things as well as for help. The children during this time have the opportunity to speak in English in a normal everyday manner and often have things to tell me since the last class.

When not in the language lab we are in the classroom, at this time I take a group of about 4 children and have a conversation or do a picture description with them. It gives us the opportunity to see how the children are doing with the language as individuals and it is great to see first hand how much progress they are making.

The teachers here have been very friendly and welcoming to me, they have included me in many ways. We often spend our lunch times laughing at my attempts to speak Spanish and it’s lovely to see that the teachers always try to help each other to speak English with me. It is wonderful to see that speaking English as a normal means of communication has stretched farther than the classroom. Teachers, parents and children often stop me in the hallway to ask something or just have a conversation.

After some months here, it is easy to see that it has made a big difference having people around who speak English on a regular basis, people don’t giggle when they say “hello” now and then revert back to their own language. They spend the time trying to speak in English it isn’t just theory to easily forget now, they really need it. I expected to work in the background and only have the children speaking English during class-time but it has turned out to be very different and it makes me feel like I’m making a difference in some way.

I will miss everyone when I am finished but I will have many memories, pictures and new friends in the end.


Sarah Jane Mc Kiernan:

My mother heard an advertisement on the local radio station about voluntary work (paid a small amount) in Spain, as an English teacher’s assistant. She took down the details and passed them on to me. At first I really didn’t know to apply for it or not. But then I relished I love working with children and also the job was in Spain so it would be a great experience the learn there culture and to pick up on some Spanish.

So I finally sent my C.V to the company Home to Home. I got a really fast reply back asking when it would suit me to have an interview and of course my reply was as soon as possible that would suit you. My interview went really well. During the whole interview I felt comfortable and relaxed. Julie (the interviewer) asked me if there was a certain area in Spain I would like to work but my reply was just ´no I would be happy anywhere. She told me I would know if I got the job or not by an email in no more than 3days.

A few days later I checked my emails and there it was an email telling me I got accepted for the job. I was delighted.

I have been here in Maristes Montserrat, Lleida since September but it feels like I have always been here and I would be happy to stay here forever. As soon as I walked in the doors of the school I felt myself and happy. All the teachers are so friendly and so positive all the time and I really think that it helps me to work well when I am around so many nice people.

I start work at 9am and finish at 5:30pm but everyday feels like a half day. Time really does fly by here. I assist one of the English teachers with pronunciation, comprehension, sentences structure, conversation pieces and a few other things.

As I said before the name of the company I am with is called Home to Home and it really has been that for me.