Introducing myself… Amara


Hello, my name is Amara and I have been working in Alonso Cano School since October. I am from London, but my parents live in Nigeria and I lived there for almost six years when I was younger. I live in the South London just below the River Thames (the best part of London) but I go to university at Loughborough University and study Politics.Loughborough is a large town 3 hours north of London, I am still a student at university so after my time in Spain I have to return to university in England. Last year I decided to apply for this program with the British council because I wanted to improve my Spanish and I wanted to gain more experience in the educational field and teaching english as foreign language.  In general, I didn’t have a lot of expectations about teaching at the college. Although I read about the Spanish education system, I didn’t know much about the Andalusian system. It was also my first time living in Spain and my first time ever in Granada. My Spanish friend told me that the Andalusian accent was very different from the rest of Spain and difficult to understand, so I was nervous but excited to start. When I finally arrived in Granada, I had my first experience with the Andalusian government. Two hundred language assistants had an induction to introduce us to our role. The government representative talked quickly for two hours completely in Spanish, I’m sure I missed some information, but I got to meet other teaching assistant and they had a lot of good advice about living in Granada and teaching in schools. The representatives told us some rules that we didn’t know, for example we are not allowed to speak in Spanish when we are in our schools. I felt a little disappointed because I thought that it will be more difficult to teach if I couldn’t speak a little Spanish. But I agree that it is the best way to learn English and understand a different English accent.  The first thing I noticed during my first time in Ducal was the view, the mountains and the adjacent valleys are wonderful, especially during sunrise. Miss Román drove me to Alonso Cano and introduced me to the professors and some of the students. It was a little overwhelming because there were a lot of names and things to remember (I still forget the floor plan of the school sometimes). But everyone was vey kind and hospitable to me. They are some differences between schools in England and Spain. For example, the students here are noisier than English students, in Spain the students are talkative and extroverts. I think that it’s a positive thing because the students are not scared to talk in class or interact with me or with each other in English. I was very impressed with the students’ level of English, they speak better than I thought. Sometimes they can be shy, but they are intelligent. I have learnt a lot since I started this Job. I have learnt a lot about Durcal (thanks to 3 ESO) and so much about Spanish culture that I didn’t know before. Generally, If I could give some advice to the students, I would say they need more confidence. They need to remember that I am here to help them, I am not going to judge their abilities. I hope that more students will take advantage of the opportunity. So far, I have really enjoyed my experience in Granada and Durcal and I hope that we can continue to learn more from each other.