Friday, July 20, 2012

Roy on EVS in Germany - 2012

Roy (our EVS volunteer) reports on his 10 months abroad teaching fun and inspiring English classes at a Montessori school in Germany. Looks like great fun, we love the illustrations.

A year in English: speaking, playing, cultural exchange and having fun.

This year I've learned a lot from my place in the European Voluntary Service here at the Montessori school in W├╝rzburg. I've tried to share my enthusiasm for discovering new things in life. I've worked everywhere in the school, from swimming and ice skating with the afterschool club, to debates on issues such as justice and climate change disciples with the FOS (college). I would like to thank the teachers with whom I had the opportunity to work closely together in the classroom, thanks for being patient with me when I was new and could not speak two words of the German language!

Our first English project: "Casper the Friendly Ghost"
Together with the 4-6 class we watched that old ghost film in English and talked about all the animals Casper  scared away. Afterwards, everyone took a picture from the movie and everyone wrote a caption describing the image. Finally, we recorded our own version of this spooky but happy story.

Our second English Project: The Mystery of the Icelandic Iceland
Once upon a time there was a precious treasure in a small museum on the island of Iceland.
Unfortunately the next morning the treasure was missing! Who stole it?
In small groups we answered this question and finished the story. With a lot of creative thinking we have decided what the treasurer was, who had stolen it, and if they manged to escape at the end. One example was that it was an old fossilized alien who was rescued by Lula, the lighthouse keeper.
Here are pictures of two other figures from the story. We used these images as inspiration to describe the drawings in the stories.

English learning center
In the English base I've worked with all students from the 4th to 10th class. With the 10th we've talked about their "Topic-based talks," and I learned a lot about dancing, graffiti, movies, skateboarding, gymnastics, and India. And with the 9th class we read a very interesting  and motivating story about Nelson Mandela.

Furthermore, with the 4-6th classes we have learned all about the face and many adjectives to describe it. We then drew a few faces and played a game where they had to guess the face that was being described. Here are two examples of our faces

We have also written a small English autobiography. I prepared a few topics and then each pupil took a piece of paper, folded it and turned it into a small book.

We have written, all in English, something about where we come from and where we live, our hobbies and interests, and our inspiration and our dreams.

Roy Clutterbuck

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amy on EVS in Sweden - 2012

"...I have grown in confidence and it has been a brilliant experience..." 

My name is Amy, I am 23 and currently on EVS in Sweden. I live in Stockholm and work for a youth exchange organisation called Youth for Understanding (YFU). I have been here for 7 months now and it has been a fantastic experience thus far. I am part of a project called `World Coloured Glasses´. Along with three other EVS volunteers from Germany, Turkey and Mexico our job is to travel around Sweden, visiting schools and holding workshops with Swedish students. We inform them about the opportunities to study abroad with YFU and discuss topics such as stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination, to enhance intercultural understanding and celebrate diversity.
In effect, we are like substitute teachers for an hour and a half, and have the freedom from YFU to devise a workshop that we feel is interesting and insightful for the students, whilst at the same time bringing a little bit of our cultures into the classroom. In the beginning, the prospect of having to present and talk to a classroom full of Swedish students was a little daunting, but that was part of the challenge of taking on this particular project. With every workshop I have grown in confidence and it has been a brilliant experience to meet with so many young, motivated and interesting students, whilst gaining lots of practical experience and personal development in such a short period of time. I would highly recommend readers to participate in EVS. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to live in the beautiful city of Stockholm, make friends with people from all over the world, and help the organisation to spread an important message of what the European Voluntary Service stands for; mutual understanding, peace and solidarity.