I used to know who I was: a strong, very direct, natural and straight forward girl. I am also sensitive and all, but my favorite movie is Die Hard. I don’t like love songs, because I’d rather listen to a live CD of British rock band Iron Maiden. You get the picture.
And then, I got an internship in a primary school.
I always pictured myself as a teacher in high school or college. I wanted to specialize in business, since I already hold a bachelor in business and management. But after two weeks in a bilingual primary school, I wasn’t so sure anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I am still interested about ESP (English for Specific Purposes). At some point, I will teach it. But working in a bilingual environment blew my mind, literally.
How is it possible that a child, without even thinking about it, pick so fast? I work with extraordinary gifted children, not only most of them are bilingual but at least 15% is trilingual. Sometimes, they even compare themselves the differences between langages. Working in a primary school is complicated: you play cops most of the time, you must repeat a lot. Also, since it’s not their native language, you must create an interesting and simple course in order to avoid them to sleep. Sometimes, they don’t even care.
I wonder a lot, lately, about bilingualism. A lot of researchers are, of course, saying that the sooner you start, the better it gets. I think that if you don’t actually work with children, you cannot really now. I will probably write about bilingualism later, but it’s kinda logical to wonder about that precise question when you work in a bilingual primary school!
You can learn about yourself while doing your studies and your internships. I sure did when I found out that I was happy surrounded by kids, wondering what kind of courses could catch their attention. I also think that beginning a foreign language really early is a chance that every kid should have all over the country, not only the one whose parents can afford a 500$ monthly fees. I am not going to save the world, obviously, but I would like to share my enthusiasm for the language to kids in order to make them discover it, and maybe, who knows, becoming bilingual?