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Andrew’s experience as a language assistant at IES San Clemente

Shortly after finishing university in 2022, I decided to move to Spain for a year and work as a language assistant in a Spanish school. I was offered a position in IES San Clemente in Santiago de Compostela in the Community of Galicia, which was particularly exciting as this was a region of Spain I had never visited before nor knew very much about.

As I do not come from a teaching background and had very little prior knowledge of computers and programming, my first few weeks in the centre were certainly quite challenging. At first I lacked a lot of confidence in the classroom and found that it was difficult to get some students to speak. I started off my conversation classes with topics generally related to technology which the students were more interested in and more likely to engage with, which required me to learn a little bit more about technology myself. As time went on, I felt more comfortable in my teaching abilities and began tackling a wider range of topics with my students such as politics, language learning and even space travel. I also collaborated in the evening English classes, helping the students to improve their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and answering any questions they had about the English language, be it grammar, pronunciation or culture.

Once the second-year students had finished their exams in April, I had the opportunity to lead conversation practice sessions with teachers from IES San Clemente who wished to improve their spoken English, which was an excellent opportunity to get to know other members of staff from the school. In these sessions I approached similar topics to the classes with the students, and they always led to very interesting and lively discussions.

I really enjoyed my time at IES San Clemente. I met so many wonderful people at this school and learned so many valuable skills. Furthermore, living in Santiago gave me the opportunity to improve my knowledge of Spanish and to experience the unique Galician culture. Finally, I would like to thank Eva, Noemí, Diego and Carlos, and all of the teachers I collaborated with and got to know during my time at IES San Clemente.

Conversation class with Andrew Andrew and Noemi teaching