May 22, 2024, by Arts Placements

Spanish Teaching Placement with Nuestra Escuela

By Daisy Bastin

During my second term at university, I decided to dip my toes into the world of placements. I was lucky enough to find the Nuestra Escuela placement – it described exactly what I was looking for.

Over a number of weeks, myself and a handful of other University of Nottingham students who were on the placement went to Nottingham High School, in Arboretum. Living in Lenton, it wasn’t too far for me to walk, but I know other students living closer to the University Park campus took the tram.

Nuestra Escuela is a small Sunday school for local families which helps their children to improve their Spanish outside of the home environment, but also helps to create friendships between Spanish or Hispanic families in the area. Children are sorted into classes based on age and ability.

We were placed into classes depending on our Spanish ability. The people with less confidence or experience generally went to classes with younger pupils who only needed the real basics.

Once in our classes, we assisted the teachers with class activities and helped the children. As Nuestra Escuela functions almost as a Sunday school or play group, the majority of the activities were creative ones. For example, at Easter the children drew their own Easter eggs and played games to win chocolate.  For Mother’s Day, the children painted cards.

The placement really helped to improve my confidence when speaking Spanish. I learnt new vocabulary that I wouldn’t necessarily have learnt in a university classroom environment. I found it so rewarding to build up rapports with the children.  It was also great to meet Spanish speaking families in the area.

This placement would really suit anyone looking to improve their Spanish speaking and listening skills. Most of the other students on the placements weren’t studying Spanish or any languages, but had a GCSE or A level they wanted to brush up on. The placement would also benefit any students who are thinking about going into teaching.

Our placement coordinator supported us throughout the placement if we had any questions or problems. The placement was every Sunday for 6 weeks, but the school took breaks for half term and for Easter. Whilst the placement was voluntary, the reward of seeing the children’s Spanish improve and watching them make friends, made this placement more than worthwhile.

Posted in Community EngagementSkills developmentVolunteering