One of the many wonderful things about Homestay Learning is that not only the Students learn but the Teacher and the family also benefit enormously. This was certainly the case this year when we were lucky enough to host Students from different European countries who came with a range of skills, interests and experiences which inspired us to find out more about the countries they came from and to discover their different customs. Through their eyes we learned so much. Here are only a few of the many delights they shared with us.
Did you know that the summer solstice is a National Holiday in Sweden?
Until a lovely Swedish family came to learn English this summer, it had not occurred to me just how important the long days of sunlight are to the people who live in countries much closer to the Arctic Circle than us. They explained how they celebrate by gathering all the family and friends together outdoors, wearing flowers in their hair, dancing around the maypole and singing songs while drinking schnapps. The families brought us traditional Solstice food all the way from Sweden; jars of pickled herring served with delightful new potatoes, chives and sour cream. And they taught us how to celebrate with some rousing toasts!
I love French apple tarts so what a treat to learn from the experts.
What looks more scrumptious than the beautiful spiral of the thinly chopped apples in a French apple tart, all sitting strategically on pastry which melts in the mouth? And how lucky were we to have two young learners who were studying Cookery and Baking at a prestigious School in Strasbourg and a couple who taught us their grandmother’s recipes.
One to one Yoga Lesson.
And to top it all we had a Yoga Teacher who wanted to come to Active English to improve her English language skills. One of the lessons involved her preparing and practising instructions which she needed for teaching Yoga and going to Yoga seminars back home. And, of course she needed a willing student to practise on! You’ve guessed it! Yours truly volunteered her services. Her instructions were clear and simple, moving seamlessly between Marjaryasana and Bhujangasana!
These experiences and many more are what makes Homestay teaching such a pleasure. Thank you EFL Students for coming to stay with us.