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Spanish Exchange

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by praiasefestas, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. praiasefestas

    praiasefestas New commenter

    Hi, I'm hoping to be fortunate enough in the next couple of years to fulfil my dream of teaching languages and am currently on my year abroad in Galicia, Spain as a language assistant.

    My school here, although small, is fantastic, the people are really friendly, the students are generally well behaved, the students and teachers are keen to know all about the UK and schools etc and the area around here in northern Galicia is very beautiful. However, although everyone speaks Spanish the first language is Galician, the paperwork at school is Galician, all the signs, wording on buildings, local newspapers, administration, transport etc are in Galician.

    It'd be my dream to bring a group of students from the UK to this area and although I'm getting ahead of myself, I was just wondering, for future reference, if the fact that Galician is the predominate language here would put teachers off organising an exchange to this area?

    I'd be interested to know, thanks.
  2. praiasefestas

    praiasefestas New commenter

    Sorry, not sure what happened to my paragraphs!
  3. I wouldn't be put off trying to organise a trip there personally, but then I've lived there as well and think it's a beautiful place, and to me it feels more Spanish than the south of Spain.
    If you're certain it's something you wish to set up in the future, then by all means maintain contact with the school after you've left on both a personal and professional level.
    Bare in mind however, that Galicia is not the tourist hotspot in the same way that the other regions of Spain are, and would there realistically be enough to keep a group of British kids amused/entertained for a week to ten days if such a trip were to go ahead? There's no Portaventura up there for example!
    As for the logistics of setting up a trip, Galician (from my perspective) is a lot easier to listen to and read than something like Catalan. I would also argue that Galicians will switch to Spanish if they know you don't understand, which definitely wasn't the case with me in Catalonia two summers ago! I would argue that the local administration (whatever needs to be dealt with) should be available to you in Spanish if not English too.
    It's a good idea, so make links whilst you can!
  4. Oneginabina

    Oneginabina New commenter

    I currently arrange an exchange with a school in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia and our last exchange school was in the Basque country! So no, not a problem as long as the students are exposed to Castilian, it just adds another cultural dimension!
  5. praiasefestas

    praiasefestas New commenter

    Hi thanks for the replies and the positive input.

    I intend to keep in touch with the school and some of the teachers as I'm having a great time here and the people are amazing so to come back with a group, albeit a small one, would be fantastic. I think there is enough to do for a week/10 days as they're are some lovely cities around 2/3 hours away and we could organise sports/games etc on the beaches and parks locally and I'm sure other things as well.

    Well, it was just for future reference and I'm glad some teachers are prepared to bring a group to a more remote place like north Galicia and expose them to the culture here. Hopefully, when the time comes and I can eventually be in a position to think about organising an exchange, I can return here knowing the people and the school will look after the students well.

    Now I just need to improve my Spanish enough to enable me to get an ITT place!

    Thanks again.

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