GeoVisions Blog

Help Me Teach Abroad--Walk And Talk Spain

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Aug 29, 2012

Each week, GeoVisions will post an actual email from a Conversation Corps tutor, a Conversation Partner or a full time teacher abroad on a GeoVisions program.  We are going to call the series, Help Me Teach Abroad.

Our Help Me Teach desk is manned by Betsy Bruneau, a full time ESL teacher here.  She gives teaching assistance to GeoVisions' participants by phone, email and Skype.  It is a FREE service that GeoVisions provides to all of our participants and they can have access to Betsy before they depart and during the program.  If we can help you be an amazing teacher or tutor, you will be happy, your students or host family will be happy, you will tell people they should try this out and we will have a repeat family and school.  And that's how we want to roll.

Browse By Tag boxYou can find a lot of these posts by clicking on the Help Me Teach tag.  You can find that over on the right side of this screen.  The tag box looks like this one.  We will put all of our Help Me Teach posts right there.  And who knows...one of these days we'll have enough to make up our own E-Book, which of course we'll give away for FREE.

Hello,

I am in the Walk and Talk Spain program for GeoVisions and I will be giving English lessons to a 2, 6, and 8 year old. The parents said they would like me to do a lot with arts and crafts. I have some ideas but I am not sure how to plan these lessons if I don't know what level these children are at. Do you have any suggestions or ideas?

Hi Morgan,

I think your host parents are right on target in terms of learning English.  The good thing about your program is that it is not formal English and, as a result, allows you to have much more flexibility.  I would always stress less formal plans and lessons.  The children and you will enjoy it more, you will be more relaxed, and the kids won't even know that they are becoming more familiar with English.  And although the children are different ages much of what you do can be modified for their age and ability.

Walk and Talk Spain Tutor with her kidsStart by coloring and drawing.  Draw your favorite animal and ask them to do the same.  Share the word in English and in their native language.  Do the same thing with flowers, family members, toys, etc. Ask them to draw and name their family members,their neighborhood, anything that is relevant to them.  Take walks together and ask them to go home and draw what they saw after you point it out to them.  Use a sandbox or dirt box.  Trace letters in the sand with their fingers.  Build bird nests, crochet bracelets, try using beads with the oldest girl and teach her the different colors in English and different types of jewelry.

Another idea is to do some simple cooking.  This can be modified to any level from decorating cookies with the youngest to following some really simple recipes with the older two.  Popcorn is always good and may not be eaten very often in your new country.  You can also make necklaces with it and add dried berries for more color.  You can plan on cooking once a week. You can really make anything you want.  Bring a child's cookbook from your home country with you and have the kids pick out what they would like to make.  You can also reverse this and have the kids show you what their favorite foods are and how to prepare them.  Surprise the parents with a meal or snack that is prepared by you and the kids.  Remember anytime you are conversing with them you are using English and reinforcing its proper usage.

I would also bring with you one or two children's books.  I recommend Richard Scarry's Word Book or Eric Carles, Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  There books have captivating illustrations.  My own children used to spend hours poring over these books long after the recommended age.  Brown Bear can really give the kids a sense of accomplishment.  The Word Books are very detailed.  I know that luggage weight is an issue but these three books:  the cook book, the Word Book, and Brown Bear, I think, are well worth it.

Play games with the kids and don't forget to really introduce yourself to them.  Bring pictures of your family and some pictures of children from your hometown who are the same ages.  Let the kids see what children their age do in other parts of the world.  Even though they are young they are still interested in this new person living in their home.

I hope that these ideas help you get started.  I can't wait to hear more.

Betsy

If you have comments for this tutor on Walk and Talk, feel free to use the Comments section below.  This is an open community and we're all eager to learn.

Tags: Teach Abroad, Walk and Talk, Help Me Teach

Our New Conversation Corps Program Has A Name

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Nov 16, 2011

Walk and Talk!

We almost went with Half and Half...the new program is half family tutor and some child care duties.  Plus, participants are paid €40 each week ($55 US).  Half and Half seemed exactly right and that name was suggestion by Amanda who wrote a convincing comment on yesterday's Blog post when we asked for name suggestions.

The Conversation Corps logoLater in the day someone suggested Walk and Talk (Tutor and Childcare in Spain).  The name put a little step (pun intended) in the program and so we settled on it.  Many thanks to Amanda who had a really great idea.

This program is a response to so many people who are struggling to go abroad and make a difference and to help people.  Not only does the continuing down economy make it more and more difficult to afford international travel, but it has become harder to take 1, 2 or even 3 months and go away.

With Conversation Corps Spain, we have lowered the fee from now through April by $370 if you go 3 months.  3 months in Spain for under $1,000.  Can you believe it?  Still, it is hard for people to find that money and that time.

Walk and Talk goes one step further.  Participants will earn €40 each week ($55 US) to help with spending money or to help offset airfare.  Over 12 weeks, if you stay 3 months, you can earn $660. Plus you have a private room and 3 meals a day.

How much childcare is there, besides the tutoring?  You are asked to babysit 2 nights per month while the parents go out and take a breather.  And you are asked to be home when the children get home from school, or perhaps walk them home from school, make them a snack, etc.  We have made certain no domestic chores are allowed, other than the usual helping to set and clear the table, keep your room tidy...the typical chores you would assist with in any family.

We hope you enjoy the new program.  Thanks also for the name ideas we received on our Facebook Page.  Some of you are very creative.

So what do you think?  Is Walk and Talk a good program idea?  Does earning a little spending money each week make sense?  Does it make a difference?

Tags: Conversation Corps-Spain, Walk and Talk, Conversation Corps