English Course in Kent, UK
From 1st to 8th April, 28 students from CEI travelled to the Kent region in the UK to attend an English course at the Kingswood Academy in Grosvenor Hall, in the small town of Ashford. This course was organised in cooperation with Escola Inglesa.
Indeed, the purpose of this course was to give students the opportunity to improve their English language learning through direct contact with native speakers, improving the use of English as a means of communication with native students, teachers, as well as with colleagues from other nationalities while experiencing activities, English classes and extreme sports in one single place.
A. Guided tour to London and Thames cruise
It was with great enthusiasm that upon arrival in the United Kingdom we set out to discover the city of London by visiting or revisiting the main icons and monuments of the English capital, such as Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. All students and teachers were able to admire the monuments of this city from a cruise on the River Thames, by doing photo rally between selfies and truly unforgettable panoramic photos with Big Ben, London Eye or Westminster Bridge as background.
We also visited the Trafalgar Square area where, in front of the National Gallery and Nelson Column, spontaneously and having great fun, students contacted with various street performers who displayed their talents and artistic skills and actively participated in their presentations. It was surprising how easily, from the most shy to the most confident, all of the students used English to communicate, asking, answering and even challenging the different street artists there.
We then visited Covent Garden, where students and teachers contacted with the most popular and characteristic trade in a culturally rich and effervescent environment, whether for its markets full of handcrafted products, luxury shops and restaurants such as the " Union Jacks" by the so famous chef Jamie Oliver or by its street artists and musicians who make this area increasingly attractive not only for tourists but also for Londoners.
At the end of the day although exhausted, we were very keen in teaching Portuguese songs and words to our monitors and guiders, Robbie and Laura while they taught us traditional English songs, puns and jokes on our way back to Grosvenor Hall.
B. English Course at Kingswood, Grosvenor Hall
In the following days, already in Kingswood, students were distributed by different mixed groups of nationalities, according to their level of English in terms of communication skills.
Respecting this distribution, students attended English classes with teachers qualified by the British Council where they enhanced their English, learning in a fun and a more practical atmosphere. They also carried out innumerable activities, sporting and extreme challenges, always with the objective of allying the learning of the English language to the creation of significant and memorable moments that were essential to boost their motivation in the study of the English language.
Of note is the courage, enthusiasm and joy of the students as they participated in the most challenging races and activities, from Jacobs ladder, High Equilibrium, 3G-Swing or even the Aerial runway, which always involved the students´ great adrenaline, heights and fear management concerning their anxieties and insecurity. In addition, they were had to hear the instructions in English in order to understand the practical tasks to be performed, so that they could summarize, paraphrase and ask questions to the instructors and colleagues in case of necessity.
In fact, while participating in these activities students were able to make their communication and English expressions more spontaneous, straightforward and useful, which influenced very positively their sense of self-efficacy and achievement in general.
C. Visit to Canterbury and its Cathedral
Right in the middle of the week, students and teachers travelled to Canterbury, whose cathedral is home to the most important place of pilgrimage within the English Anglican Church. Here, they visited and learnt the history behind the building and enlargement of this church, as well as its most famous Archbishop, Thomas Becket, killed by followers of King Henry II, due to conflicts about the rights that belonged to the church in England in the 12th century.
This city, which despite its great importance to the culture and religion of the United Kingdom, remains relatively small and still retains part of its medieval characteristics, has become for students and teachers a great opportunity of contact with natives, not only for cultural visit purposes , but also for the purchase of souvenirs and souvenirs.
Finally, on the last day of classes and activities, as students said goodbye to colleagues, monitors, leaders and instructors, “Attendance certificates” and the “Students´reports” were delivered to all participants in a ceremony full of joy and accomplishment that culminated, after dinner, with a lively disco session for all the students who would return to their country the next morning.
Noteworthy were the tears at the moment of farewell, the insistent requests to come back next year and the exchange of contacts until the last minute, an honest and sincere desire to keep the communication until an upcoming meeting.
Those were 8 days full of enthusiasm, new learning experiences that marked all the teachers and students involved in this trip, not only for the friendliness, warmth, knowledge acquired and enthusiasm, but also for how much they grew and enriched themselves when passing through this experience.
Thank you to all the parents and teachers for making this experience so unique and special, which will certainly remain in our memories forever and ever!!!