We really enjoyed our week visiting children in eight primary schools in Martinique in January 2018 on behalf of The British Council.
We were overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by the teachers and the enthusiasm and excitement of the children. Most classes sang to us when we arrived; a mixture of English, French and Creole songs, some about Rainbows, one specially written for our visit and others just to welcome us. Two schools performed an outside tableau with other classes as well as the class we joined.
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After some initial shyness, the children were very forthcoming, attempting to answer questions in both French and English. Their behaviour was impeccable and this gave us the confidence to push them a little further than we had expected. They copied words, repeated phrases, offered answers and we felt that they understood much more than even the teachers had expected. We felt that their pronunciation and accent was amazing – we could understand their English words and phrases much more than we found when we did similar workshops in the French mainland.
At the end of many sessions, children came up to us, just to talk and practise speaking English with much more confidence than at the beginning of the session. We do hope they gained some invaluable experience and they look forward to learning more science in their English lessons and English in their science lessons.
We also enjoyed working with the teachers on the Wednesday morning. We felt that their English was exceptionally good and we didn’t feel the need to have any of our presentation translated, although we were happy to help with any misunderstandings, and enjoyed discussing individual topics at the end. We do hope that they enjoyed our ideas and will take them back into their classrooms.