MY MOMENT TO SHINE« The most important thing in the Olympicgames is not winning but taking part. Theessential thing in life is not conquering butfighting WELL. »Baron Pierre de CoubertainFounder and President of theInternational Olympic Commitee
Here we are: Karla from the Czech Republic, Agnesfrom Hungary, Mioara from Romania, Radinkafrom Serbia, and Fatiha from Morocco, and we arehaving a great time in North Devon!
Agnes and Pets in DevonHow awesome to stay with English host familiesand find out how much they care for PETS !
The British like pets. They adore them, pamperthem, consider them tobe a friend and they say they could not live withoutthem. Most hostfamilies in Barnstaple also have pets. Dogs - smalland not so small-cats, rabbits, fish, and to mention some curiositiesone familyhas a ferret and another a snake. To tell the truth Iam not very keen on pets. That is why Iwanted to stay with a host family where there are
not any pets. But when I arrived and met Crystal, I changedmy mind. Crystal is the catof the host family I am staying with. She is a very nice blackand white cat, very friendly and kind. She is already 16yearsold but her owners call her "young lady". She spends theevenings on her master’s knees in front of the television,cuddled and spoilt, sleepingpeacefully. She had an adventurous life when she wasyounger. She is a rescued cat she was found in a forestwhenshe was about one year old but she is lucky to have foundsuch a nice and caring family. She iswell taken care of, comes and goes whenever she pleases.
There is a catflap on the back door - not manypeople know that the catflap wasinvented by Isaac Newton- and a little collar onCrystal’s neckoperating with a little magnet so that other catswould not be able toenter through it only her. We heard funny littlestories about herlife e.g when she caught a mouse, brought it homeand set it free inthe kitchen making her owners obviously veryunhappy.
And some sad stories, too e.g. when she was caught in abramble bush and althoughthere is a chip planted under her skin so that she could befound in case she is lost, she spent five days and nightswithout any food anddrinks outside crying by the time a neighbour found her.Now she is a well-fed, satisfied little animal giving lots ofjoy to her owners and the students and teachers stayingwith them. I hope shewill have a long and happy life for everyone’s pleasure. Iam looking forward to seeing her again when I come backto Barnstaple..
Dartington CRYSTALFACTORY EXPERIENCE By Radinka
Dartington CRYSTALFACTORY EXPERIENCE By Radinka
Dartington CRYSTAL FACTORY EXPERIENCE By RadinkaIn this home of English Crystal, we saw and experiencedthe only large scale working glass factory in the U.K.When we entered major UK Crystal & Glass factory wesaw the action up close from the factory floor and then followed the elevated walkway.We watched as the craftsmen work together in teams, transforming hot moltencrystal into elegant shapes, perfecting a 3000 year old art.When we entered the blowing room, our first experience was the blazing glowand intense heat of the gas fired furnaces.
These furnaces are the reason why the blowing room partof the factory is known as “ the hot end!”Each member of the team has a different, but specialskill, and the teams work with well synchronised set of movements and co-ordinated actions...like a brilliantperformance or well drilled sports team!After that we continued to see how the product is finishedand packed ready for sale.Theres also a great place to shop, which offers a hugeselection of first and second quality crystal & glass at good prices. A great selection of fantastic offers inhomeware, furnishings and gifts.We also visited an in-store Engraving service for thespecial gift.
St Anne’s Chapel BarnstapleThe Chapel of St Annes at Barnstaple is a unique relic of old Barum and retains itspicturesque medieval appearance.This curious old building neighbouring the church and half hidden from view among highbuildings and shops is the sole survivor of the chapels and the chantries that existed before the Reformation. It isin a well kept churchyard, shaded by trees which add character to the building.There is no recorded date for the erection of the building, but with the exception of theSouth Porch, it is generally believed to have been built during the early part of the 14th century. The undercroft orcrypt is much older and was probably used as a charnel house for the storage of bones.The chapel was also used as a Grammar School until the opening of a new GrammarSchool in 1910 at the Newport end of Barnstaple (now Park School).
St Anne’s Chapel BarnstapleAs a school St Annes has an interesting association with history, as within its walls wereeducated several pupils who became famous. The one most remembered today is John Gay. His most famous work,the Beggars Opera, is still being performed, as is the Three penny Opera, a modern version based on Gays work,created by Brecht and Weil inthe early 20th century. By Radinka
Mioara - Going to AppledoreWe actually went to different places we recommend you to visit
Mioara - Going to AppledoreIt is said that the title of an article is the mostimportant, as it is the one that actually makespeople want to read the article. I’ve been thinkinga lot about it and I felt from the very beginningthat I want to name it just “Going to Appledore’;not catchy interesting titles, not even thecommonly-used “Visiting ….”.And I have been wondering why –
Mioara - Going to Appledore the possible explanation is that this title is just likethe town – it doesn’t shine in any way, it is not arich area, nothing out of the ordinary happensthere, but still….you can feel that “something”there, which charms you from the very beginningand makes you fall in love with it.
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara)Beryl Gammon, 63, my host lady, has beenaccommodating foreign students and teachers foralmost fourteen years. She is friendly and helpfuland – I must mention it – a great cook. Beryl isenergetic and, together with her husband, Ken,seems to do everything to make the people theyhost at home.One morning, with our coffees in front of us andthe smell of a nice breakfast in the room, I took thechance and asked Beryl a few questions regardingher experience of hosting European students andteachers.
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara)Q: First of all, do you like what you do – hostingpeople from other countries? Isn’t it tiring?Beryl: Well, it is tiring, but I enjoy it. The idea isthat I learn more about different countries and it isalso nice to meet different people from differentparts of Europe.Q: The first time I arrived in England I felt “thecultural shock”. Have you ever experienced thishere?Beryl: Well, I actually did a few times. It is usuallyrelated to their food preferences.
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara)Q: What is the most rewarding part of youractivity?Beryl: Meeting new people and learning about themand about their culture, countries, their jobs - Imean what they do differently to what we do. It isexciting.Q: What is the most difficult part?Beryl: Well, trying to get some of the students totalk or to eat the English food. Not to mention thatmost of the girls always seem to be on a diet (shesmiles).
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara) Q: Have you ever visited one of the countries of your students or teachers?Beryl: No, I haven’t, but I would love to - but myhusband wouldn’t do it; he’s very happy here.Q: How would you characterize the English people,and what do you think it is specific for the Devonpeople?Beryl: I would characterize us as lazy, because wewouldn’t learn other languages (she laughs); andthe Devon people are happy, friendly and helpful.Q: You always organize very nice family days. Whydon’t you just have a rest on these Sundays?
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara) Beryl: We do it because we like people to enjoy themselves and we want them to see something different from what they usually see on their usual trips.Q: Do you keep in touch with the students or teachers thatyou accommodate?Beryl: Yes, with some of them. I get Christmas cards andpostcards from some of them and I usually keep this lettersand postcards.Q: What would you like to say to the students or teachersthat want to take up courses at SOL?Beryl: I would tell them that here, in Devon, we like tomake people feel welcome and that by coming here theyhave the opportunity to
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara)learn English as it is spoken. Most people whocome here have learnt English from the coursebooks, which is not always the real language – forthe real people, I mean, because we speak aslightly different language from what you can learnfrom a book.Q: Can you think of an example?Beryl: Many teachers teach their students to say,for example, “May I leave the room?” when askingfor
HOST FAMILY INTERVIEW (Mioara)permission. We don’t really use this, we simply say“Please, can I…..?”. And we always say “Please’” and“Thank you”.Q: Yes, I know that, and now let me thank you forbeing such a nice and helpful host for me and forthis interview!
Nine Countries & Mark and Luke’s« Voyage Sans Retour »
By Fatiha Amrani From Morocco-the best country in the world-
Twenty-one teachers from nine countries were asked tocomplete a 10-questions questionnaire about theirrespective impressions vis-à-vis(I) the SOL Unplugged Devon Course in terms ofreasons, pre- and post-expectations as well as how usefulit would be for their growth and that of their students,(II) their stay in Devon in so far as the ‘Devonian’ peopleand the host families are concerned.
I.A. The interpretation of the data gathered from the thefirst four questions shows that all teachers have longterms goals for joining the SOL Unplugged DevonCourse, and here are some:
to learn about different ways for motivatingthe students and increasing theirinvolvement in the learning process withinthe Unplugged Teaching approach.
To learn about new and alternativeassessment tools based on project work andinformation and communicationtechnologies.
To increase professional awareness of theirpractices as to the implementation and theevaluation in their context, taking intoaccount both the learners’ particularities andthe teachers’ development and self-growth.
To learn about practical ways of handlingovercrowded and mixed ability classes.
to develop their professional identity ascultural mediators.
to shape a clear vision for the optimalclassroom and student success -andsubsequently teacher success .
to see how a foreign educational system sets itsgoals and how students and teachers worktogether in the frame of a common orientationtowards a clear objective.
&To explore how foreign teachers sharedecisions with learners in coursemanagement and ways of handling immediateclassroom situations.
I.B. Most teachers agree that the duration ofthe DU course tends to be long enough toserve as a salient introdution to the tenetsunderlying the TU approach –it would be astarting point of the “voyage sans retour” intothe world of TU
II.A. For teachers’ impressions on people inDevon, it also seems that they are sopassionate about the Devonian. Have a lookat some of their expressions describing them:
II.B. As for their reactions and attitudestowards their stay with the host families,most of the teachers on SOL Devon Unpluggedcourse ENJOY it as it would definitely be theample opportunity to develop theirprofessional identity as cultural mediators.
That is, they think that if they have a betterunderstanding of the cultural dimension bybeing, themselves, immersed in a foreigncontext, it would be easier for them to explain totheir students the elements that might causeconfusion for them. That is why SHARING andbeing in a real ENGLISH learning context willhelp them set
a comparison for learners and lead them todevelop their identity in a smooth way thatrespects their own values and the values of theothers – i.e. reinforcing the cultural awareness ofthe students.
What have we had to learn so far? Please listen