Tales From Abroad: Germany Nov03

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Tales From Abroad: Germany

My trip to Germany has taught me much about German culture, but also about teaching ESL children. Teaching in the German schools was a difficult experience! I could hardly communicate with them while teaching the lesson because of the language barrier. The best thing to do was learn key words to my lesson and to use hand signals to get my point across. I’ve learned that teaching ESL children can be difficult, but there are benefits! The children learned vocabulary very quickly, and they would incorporate the English words into their day. Through teaching these German children I’ve gained experience and knowledge with teaching ELL. In the Education program, we often talk about how the American education program can improve. I agree, especially after visiting the German schools. The children are responsible for themselves and their own learning! The students can talk in the halls, travel from class to class on their own, have lunch and recess without much supervision. The children have short days and many recess breaks. Less stress is put on the teachers, which I believe allows them to teach to their full potential. I think that if the American schools adapted some of the German schools’ ideas that the American schools could thrive!

Traveling around Germany and France showed me how different European culture is from American culture! I loved the different architecture, and the unique food. I, as well as our group, struggled with following all the German “rules”. Germans are quiet in public places, yet we were used to talking loud and laughing! That was a hard part of the culture to follow in to. I have heard that Europeans are rude people, but I did not experience this while abroad. Most people I encountered were kind and intentional. This trip has taught me about different ways I can integrate European culture into my classroom; I want my students to learn about different parts of the world, and for them to experience it! I also now know how difficult yet rewarding working with ESL children can be; this will be something I will be doing in the near future too!