As volunteers at Vicolocorto, one of our tasks is to promote the learning of foreign languages and, more specifically, English as a lingua franca. For this purpose, one of the main activities we are currently undertaking is the linguistic support at schools. We assist in some English classes with kids aged between 12 and 18 where we talk to them, present our countries, talk about cultural similarities and differences, etc.
So far, during the last two weeks we have been in two schools of Pesaro, the Istituto Comprensivo G. Gaudiano and the Istituto di Istruzione Superiore F. Mengaroni. The school year has only begun so we will be giving much more presentations. In the first Istituto, we presented ourselves and we talked about why we decided to do the EVS. We also talked about the differences between our countries and Italy (e.g. at what time we have lunch and dinner, how does the life of a teenager look like, what are the differences between educational systems), about the city of Pesaro and the surroundings, and about the European Voluntary Service. At the second Istituto we prepared some presentations: the first about Portugal, its customs, food, etc. The second presentation was about the novel Don Quixote, written by a Spanish writer. Then it was the turn of The Netherlands, where we talked about Sinterklaas, their Christmas festivity. Finally, the last presentation was about Poland, also about its customs, cities, food and traditions.
It was very gratifying to see how kids paid attention to our stories and learnt from the different cultures that we brought them. They were a little bit shy at the beginning, but soon they started to ask some questions and to talk with us. It is also gratifying to see that, at the same time, they were learning English in a very dynamic and entertaining way, without even being conscious that they were learning. But, furthermore, not only did the children learn from this, we ourselves learned from each other. This is, from my point of view, the best thing about EVS: the opportunity to learn from other’s experiences and lives.