We are a host family for Daily English situated in Cannes, South of France. 10.09.2015
My name is Eibhlin and I am married with four children ranging in ages from 12 to 19. We also have a cat!
This past summer, summer 2015, we welcomed many children into our home from various different parts of France to integrate with our family and to learn and improve their English through lessons every morning and also by speaking in English as much as possible and listening to English being spoken on a daily basis within the household.
The day was structured in the best possible way to encourage and help the students accomplish the most from their time with us.
Every morning after breakfast everyone quickly cleared up and I prepared the table for the daily lesson which commenced shortly after.
I worked on making the lessons as interesting as possible and tried to use themes that would interest the group and stimulate them for learning.
The lesson would generally consist of a ‘warmer’ followed by a lesson in grammar and work on vocabulary. I tried to get the students talking and using their English as much as possible during the lesson, often working together in groups of two, in order to improve their confidence in speaking English and to work on pronunciation also. Sometimes I took the lesson outside which proved to be enjoyable and productive. I usually ended the lessons on a light note by playing a game in English designed to be fun for the whole group and encouraging lots of speaking!
I wanted the lessons to be enjoyable as well as informative and I hope I achieved this goal.
Before we finished the lessons, homework would be set for the next day, again, sometimes group work and sometimes individual work. On Friday there would always be an ‘oral test’ which the students had to prepare for the night before and present to the class the next morning.
Most of the lessons lasted for two hours as many of the students were already in Lycée and for me personally, the time went in very fast.
Lunch followed the lessons and we would always sit around the table together with my own children in a relaxed atmosphere.
After lunch we would head out for the afternoon activity. These activities were varied and included trips to the beach where we hired stand up paddles and pedal boats and trips to Lac de St Cassien where the students participated again in various water activities. Other activities included visiting the local sights and attractions either by train, by foot or by car, bowling, cinema, boat trips, football, rugby, baking and making smoothies! Again, many activities were arranged to suit the group.
In the evening, dinner was prepared and students relaxed. Homework was completed and they interacted with everyone in the house.
After dinner we would play games, play music, play just dance or watch movies before finally retiring to bed.
I, personally, found it a very rewarding and enjoyable summer. My own children, too, got to meet many new people. Friendships were made, not only between the students and my own children but also between the students themselves.
Finallly, I would like to thank Sally and Daily English for giving me this amazing opportunity. Sally worked tirelessly this summer to ensure that everyone was happy and that everything was running smoothly both for the host families and the students. She was on call 24/7 to answer any queries, big or small, no matter how trivial they may have seemed and she was always helpful, courteous, friendly and enthusiastic. Sally is an absolute professional and the fruits of her professionalism can be seen in her management of Daily English. It is a privilege to be working for Sally and her organisation and I wish her continued success in the future.