Province of Lleida in Catatonia
Benjamin from England
Why did you decide to host a native English speaking Voluntary Speaker?
We thought it was a very good opportunity as a family, since opening the doors of our home was a model of solidarity in front of our children. Also, we obviously saw a great opportunity in order to improve expression in the English language and for our children to see its use and needs in a real context.
How did you learn about the opportunity to host a Voluntary Speaker?
Through the school, since we are involved in the School Council and the AFA. And when the management proposed it, we thought it was a great idea.
What benefits do you think hosting a Voluntary Speaker brings to your family?
As I said earlier it is a model of solidarity towards our children, since we share our home with another person. We also put learning the English language in a real life situation.
How has the Voluntary Speaker improved your family’s English skills?
A lot, since we have been able to use the English language as it is used in the United Kingdom, incorporating many words, phrases, expressions… into our personal “dictionary” in order to make our English more fluent. As for our children (they are small, 4 and 8 years old) they have lost the shyness and nerves of speaking in English and already use everyday phrases to relate to Ben.
Have you noticed any positive changes in your children’s academic performance since hosting an English language assistant?
As we have said, our children are very young, but just the fact that they show interest in using English orally I think will be seen in the not too distant future.
What has been the most enjoyable or rewarding aspect of having an English language assistant in your home?
In general, it has been very rewarding, as Ben (the Voluntary Speaker) is an incredible person, with a great desire to do everything that was proposed to him, and he has also been perfectly integrated into the dynamics of our family. We learned a lot from him and with him. We believe that everything we have experienced with him has been really nice and very positive.
What activities have you and your family engaged in to make the most of your time with the English language assistant?
We did activities that we always do, but we also visited nearby places, experiencing popular Catalan culture (Festa Major) and being able to compare it with English culture, we also visited Port Aventura, etc…, In short, he has integrated perfectly in our life and family dynamics.
Have you encountered any challenges while hosting an English language assistant, and how did you overcome them?
The truth is that no, living with him has been very easy.
What advice would you give to other families thinking about hosting?
Be open to sharing your home, that is, living family life in the common spaces. Being able to establish conversations when you are together. For example, every evening our Ben prepares ” a cup of tea” and we take the opportunity to chat and talk about topics that interest us all.
Also, if you want to organize joint activities, take into account the preferences and tastes of the Voluntary Speaker, in other words, make the plans together.
Would you recommend hosting an English language assistant based on your experience, and why?
Yes, without a doubt! It has been a very rewarding and good experience.