Wir, die Schulgemeinschaft der Geschwister-Scholl-Realschule plus, freuen uns sehr, dass wir auch im „Corona-Schuljahr“ einen Fremdsprachenassistenten aus England an unserer Schule begrüßen können.
Jake Parrish begleitet den Englischunterricht in den Klassen 10a,9b, 7b, 7d,7f, 6b, 5a,5b,5c und 5e.
Hier ein Interview mit Johanna Brauer und Alexander Zerwas aus der Klasse 6b
Please tell us something about yourself
My name is Jake and I am from Essex in South East England. I am currently studying for a degree in German and history at the University of Nottingham. But this year, as part of my studies, I am doing a year abroad in Germany and I am therefore working here at Geschwister-Scholl as an English assistant.
Why did you decide to work as a teaching assistant?
I wanted to work as a language assistant because I felt that it would be very rewarding to be able to help children improve their language abilities in school. I also enjoy the fact that my job allows me to have different interesting conversations with different pupils everyday. It is this day-to-day variety that makes my job incredibly fun and engaging.
How long will you be staying at Geschwister-Scholl?
As it stands, I shall remain in my job as a language assistant until the end of February. However, as I very much enjoy working at Geschwister-Scholl and love all that Andernach and the surrounding area has to offer, it is my intention to try and remain teaching until the summer.
What do you feel are your strengths as a teaching assistant?
I believe that I am a very confident and sociable person, which makes it easy and enjoyable for me to speak in front of a class of pupils. I think that confidence is very important for a person in my position, especially where it can sometimes be daunting to be living and working in a foreign country, and so I therefore believe that my confidence allows me to do my job well.
What are the mistakes that students often make when they are learning a language?
I think the most common mistake that is made when learning a language is when students try to give too literal a translation. I certainly used to make this mistake when I was learning German in school where I was not aware of certain intricacies within the German language. I do believe, however, that this is a problem that is easily solved over time by closely studying the context of a foreign language, and not just the vocabulary.
What advice would you give students who are trying to learn English?
I think the most important thing to do when studying any foreign language is to surround yourself with it. I think it is always a great idea to watch English TV shows or to listen to English music in order to become more comfortable with listening to and understanding the language. It can take a long time to build absolute proficiency but, quite simply, the more familiar you are with the English language and all of its irregularities, the greater you will become academically.
How are you finding life in Germany? Have you settled in and make any German friends?
I am very much enjoying my time here in Germany. Even though I am working in Andernach I live in Koblenz in a Wohngemeinschaften which I think is really cool. I think that Rheinland-Pfalz is very beautiful and I love the local scenery. I have been able to become friends with lots of Germany students who visit Koblenz University and so I have very much enjoyed hanging out with them in my spare time.
What was new for you when you came to Germany?
I think that on the most part Germany is very similar to England. Although Germany does, of course, have a different culture which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have really liked trying German food such as currywurst or schnitzel, as well as taking part in some German festival celebrations for Oktoberfest.
What kind of books do you read? Do you prefer more traditional English literature, such as the works of Shakespeare, or something more modern?
I definitely prefer more modern books. Although I did study Shakespeare at school, and so am somewhat familiar with his works, I can’t say that I found his writing particularly enjoyable. I much prefer to read comedy books in my spare time as I find this more enjoyable.
How has Covid-19 affected your life at home and at work?
The Coronavirus pandemic certainly made it harder for me to move abroad as there were all these new rules and regulations that restricted travel. However, I believe that despite everything that has gone on I have still been able to settle into my new life in Germany rather easily. The pandemic did also change things at school. As a foreigner I often find it more difficult to understand other teachers and pupils when they are wearing a mask, for example, as this makes their voices more muffled. I do think that the new Covid protection rules that are in place in school are very effective, however, and I think that they still allow for effective learning.
What do you think about Brexit?
I think that Brexit has lots of negative consequences for young English people such as myself. It was Britain’s previous inclusion in the European Union that allowed me to so easily find work in Germany, for example, and I think that young English people feel as though they now have less opportunities and freedom. However, I hope that in 5-10 years the United Kingdom will be better off outside of the European Union where our newfound freedom will allow us to trade more affluently with other countries, without the burden of the Common External Tariff.