Part of the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, the Comenius actions aim to help young people and educational staff better understand the range of European cultures, languages and values. They also help young people acquire the basic life skills and competences necessary for personal development, future employment and active citizenship.
I was a Comenius language assistant in Italy with a project called ‘ In Motion With Emotion’ for a whole school year.
I had the chance to attend festivities and religious festivals. I even sang Italian and Friulan songs in a local choir, and was closely following my students’s activities inside and outside the school.
As a result of being in such a close contact with the local people, I learned about the traditions, the way of life, local history and attitudes, the local food, values, norms, mores, folkways, and taboos; laws, technology and artifacts.
In addition to this, going around in Friuli region, taking cycling tours, doing mountain hiking, windsurfing and seeing the historical sites -thanks to my tutor- gave me a clearer idea about the region I was living in. It was such a great pleasure to witness similarities as well as differences between the host country and my own home country.
Subjects I taught;
To start with, I mainly taught English. Preparing lesson plans and performing them to the young learners gave me the chance to put the theory I was thought in the university into real classroom practise.
I applied CLIL activities within the Comenius project our schools had and about Turkish culture, language and geography, also by comparing seasonal festivals in Britain, Central Italy and Turkey.
Doing these kind of different activities which were unfamiliar with me also served me as well as it did to the learners as I had to know the information myself first before teaching it. I carried out the lessons usually using powerpoint, worksheets, costumes, and flashcards, and this helped me a lot to improve my material use.
And outside the Direzione Didattica, I was also in touch with some high schools and took part in a project aimed to enhance encouraging students to go abroad and to take part in projects like Comenius assistantship. This way, I also got the opportunity to work with teenagers. Consequently, I could observe different teachers and teaching styles.
‘In Motion With Emotion’ project was a great experience for me both as a teacher and as a person. I gained a better view of Europe, practised my teaching abilities with foreign students, got familiar with a new language, met a lot of interesting people, saw 7 other European countries, and more..