Province of Lleida in Catatonia
Callan from South Africa
Why did you decide to host a native English speaking Voluntary Speaker?
Because we always thought it was a great option to discover new people, a new language and pass on, in an experiential way, the values of our family to our daughters.
How did you learn about the opportunity to host a Voluntary Speaker?
Through the email sent by the school.
What benefits do you think hosting a Voluntary Speaker brings to your family?
It has been a super enriching experience on many levels, as we have met a magnificent person and at the same time his customs and his country of origin. It’s been great for the whole family, both those who speak English and those who don’t. It has also been a very beautiful personal and family experience in every sense, since hosting, living, and sharing the experience has worked really well for everyone.
How has the Voluntary Speaker improved your family’s English skills?
Our daughters are 4 and 6 years old and for me, the biggest impact they have had in terms of language has been to see that there really are people with a language that is completely different from ours. They have integrated basic vocabulary in their everyday life and also in some expressions or greetings, questions and at the same time, I think it has been very enriching for them to see the importance of knowing another language to be able to communicate with more people.
Have you noticed any positive changes in your children’s academic performance since hosting an English language assistant?
Our daughters have adapted very, very well to the new situation and are happy to go to school accompanied, also, by Callan.
What has been the most enjoyable or rewarding aspect of having an English language assistant in your home?
To see the teamwork as a family and the union that this project has brought to our family and that has contributed so much to our lives. Seeing the welcoming attitude of our daughters towards a new person living at home has also been a very positive aspect
What activities have you and your family engaged in to make the most of your time with the English language assistant?
We have integrated him as another member of the family and we have gone to various cultural activities in the area, to the beach, which we all love, to motocross, to family lunches, to the girls’ basketball games and we have always had the global vision of Callan being included in our family life.
Have you encountered any challenges while hosting an English language assistant, and how did you overcome them?
Everything has been very easy. Right from the start we were given the information to have a video call with Callan and there we got to know each other and talk about the basic rules of the family. All very light and natural.
What advice would you give to other families thinking about hosting?
Encourage them to live this magical and incredible experience and let the whole family go with an open mind, as meeting and living with someone new is always an adventure. We encourage that you do it!
Would you recommend hosting an English language assistant based on your experience, and why?
We would recommend it 100% and we are very aware that we have had a young man with us who has given 100%. It’s an incredible way to live and see another culture up close, it helps you open your mind, work in a team and discover many new things.