May 16, 2024, by Arts Placements

My Spanish Adventure at Nuestra Escuela Nottingham

by Chloe Ling


At the beginning of the second semester, I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a voluntary placement at Nuestra Escuela Nottingham.  Nuestra Escuela is an organisation that provides supplementary school lessons in Spanish for Hispanic families in Nottingham. I was initially a little apprehensive about applying because the Spanish-speaking element of the placement seemed rather daunting. After seeking advice from my language professor, I decided a placement at a school for Spanish-speaking children would offer the perfect opportunity to develop valuable skills and challenge myself through immersion in the language.

Working with Lion Cubs

For roughly two hours every week I fully immersed myself in the everyday use of the Spanish language.  This is a rare opportunity, particularly in my home country.  On our first day, I met the other students on the placement at Nottingham High School, Nuestra Escuela’s base . In the weeks that followed, we got into the habit of gathering before class and having a brief talk before going to our assigned classrooms. It was comforting meeting other Spanish learners and discovering where each of us were in our career plans. This networking aspect of the placement was an additional bonus.

After a brief introduction, we met the teachers in charge of our respective homerooms. I helped in the same class each week, which I was very happy about because it gave me the chance to get to know the children in my class and have them know me. There were different classes according to age and ability with each class given the name of an animal. The class I supported,  ‘Los Leones’, or Lions, consisted of fourteen children roughly five to six years old. My tasks ranged from helping them complete worksheets or hand drawing Easter-themed pictures for a spontaneous colouring activity requested by the children, to the more exotic decorating of masks celebrating the Spanish ‘Carnaval’.


Being multilingual myself, I appreciate how important it is to be surrounded by people using a certain language in order to master it.  I am glad to have spent time, brief though it was, at an organisation that helps young children learn about the Spanish tongue and its rich culture.  The challenge of working with kids, where spontaneity goes hand in hand with providing structure and constant vigilance, was hugely enjoyable.

I encourage any student who has the opportunity to undertake a placement to seize the chance. Particularly for a placement like this one, where using an unfamiliar language may seem a little intimidating. It was to me at first, but treat it as an avenue to expand your skills and confidence. My time at Nuestra Escuela not only enhanced my resume, but crafted a unique memory that has made my exchange year in the UK all the more special. It is an experience for which I am immensely grateful.

Posted in Community EngagementSkills developmentVolunteering