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In the summer of 2010, I received a notification from the COMENIUS Programme for Lifelong Learning that I had been accepted on a course for Spanish teachers starting in October. How lucky I was! I was given permission to do it at the Academia Andaluza in Conil. I anticipated how much I would enjoy to be a student again, to speak Spanish and share my experiences with other teachers.

It couldn’t have been any better, because our course consisted of two Germans who teach Spanish in Germany and a Spanish native teacher-to-be. Of course the working conditions in such a small group were perfect. Our beloved teacher Carmen had prepared several lessons on the theory of foreign language teaching. We started with a review of the European Reference Framework for Languages, the competencies, and the various methodological approaches, etc.

After refreshing the theory, we soon switched to real life scenarios: how can these theories be put to practice in my daily classroom situations? Carmen helped us to work through examples, and we had the great opportunity to benefit from her vast experience and wealth of creative ideas. Each day she showed us ‘otro truco’ from her teaching practice as well as her favourite teaching materials. Especially her view of the German teachers of Spanish and the typical mistakes they make enriched our repertoire of teaching aids. My personal favourite was the ‘web del día’. In each lesson, Carmen introduced different websites that would serve as a visual stimulant or contain a compilation of teaching materials, ideas, cases of doubt, etc., all of which are useful for us teachers of Spanish. Back at home, I now use all of these things in my classes, and receive a lot of positive feedback for it.

Oh yes, and while I was going back to school, my little daughters took a few lessons with Isabel and are now very excited about learning Spanish!

Anngret Lieb, Jena

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