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Spanish students visit Birmingham in exchange scheme
18 May 2012
Birmingham City University
A group of Spanish students are experiencing life at Birmingham City University as part of an exchange scheme this month.
The five students, who are all trainee teachers at the University of Cordoba, have joined the School of Education (part of the Faculty of Education, Law and Social Sciences (ELSS) at Birmingham City University) for four weeks as part of their studies. The majority of their stay will be spent on placement at two Birmingham City University Partnership Schools – St Michael’s Catholic Primary and Goldthorn Park Primary – where they will get to experience life as a teacher in an English primary school.
This is part of an Exchange Programme which has already seen six of Birmingham City University’s Year 2 BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS students, spending part of February this year working in Schools in Spain.
The Exchange aims to provide Education students from both countries with the opportunity to work in schools abroad. The students learn and compare how primary schools are organised in the host country and study the pedagogy used. They have a go at teaching the curriculum. And of course they experience the culture and lifestyle, as well as improve their skills and knowledge of the language spoken in the host country.
The programme launched four years ago to support a wider, national initiative originally funded by the now disbanded Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), and aims to allow children aged seven and over to learn a foreign language at primary school.
The initiative allows local children to benefit from having native Spanish speakers with them and help them develop their intercultural awareness and understanding. Students from Birmingham City University also benefited significantly, by developing their Spanish language skills through teaching in Cordoba.
The TDA funding has now been withdrawn but The Exchange Programme is still running thanks to Tracey Sheldon, Senior Lecturer in Primary Languages and Emma Bloor, Senior Lecturer in Primary Languages at Birmingham City University who have worked in collaboration with Elena Gomez, Vice Dean of International Academic Studies at Cordoba University to ensure it runs again this year.
Tracey explained: “This year we will be carrying out new official observations of the students teaching practices, which will provide evidence towards their final report - a comparative study of the British and Spanish education systems.
“It is really exciting for the University to be involved in this exchange so we are currently seeking new funding and support to continue this excellent opportunity to enhance the teaching of Spanish in our local primary schools.”