1. Why Palomares del Río?
Palomares del Río is a small village really close to Seville. Even though one may argue that it seldom offers anything attractive for the occasional visitor, there is more than meets the eye. Let us review some of its most remarkable features.
- Get lost in its streets and you will come across some of the old ‘haciendas del olivar’ – villas where olive oil was
produced – all of which making up part of its historical heritage.
- Be amazed at its Arabian bath houses dating back from the 12th century, the only ones of their kind in Seville.
- Enjoy a walk in the Razo de Ugena Park, a picturesque corner in the village.
- In September, we celebrate Palomares’ Fair in honour of our Virgen de la Estrella.
- Likewise, devotion for Virgen del Rocío is also very important. Watch the caravan parade heading for El Rocío
and live the intense emotion of this day.
- Taste our mosto – non–alcoholic red wine – and our rice stew with free–run chicken. You’ll ask for more!
- Feel our natural environment along our routes surrounding the Pudio River. You may bike, hike or even horse–ride!
Here is a link to a touristic map of the city. It is worth having a look!
2. Our Secondary School: I.E.S. Palomares
Our high school covers both Compulsory Secondary Education (four years) and Post–compulsory Secondary Education (two years), the latter leading up to higher education. We are growing little by little, so maintenance works will be normal – and even (hopefully) the construction of a new building! Sorry it may get a bit noisy!
Our students present varying degrees of proficiency in English. Some of them hold intermediate or even advanced certificates in English as a second language. At the other end of the spectrum, some of them have serious difficulties with the language, lack of confidence and practice being – we believe – the most important ones. We will try our best to make English practice as fun and entertaining as possible. In this sense, communicative games to have students speak – from a basic level progressing to more difficult ones – should have a special relevance in our daily work. We count with materials in pdf format (or even paper–based) which we will be most pleased to lend you to help you design your own activities for each different subject – that is to say, you will be working side by side with the teacher of a specific subject (Music, Physical Education, History…) using English to teach them. But we will have plenty of time to discuss the methodology and contents once we meet in person!
You may have a look at our web sites:
- Our high school: https://www.iespalomares.es/
- Instagram: @ies.palomares
- Languages Department: https://iesidiomaspalomares.blogspot.com/
- Erasmus+ (EU student exchange programme): https://erasmus.ama.iespalomareserasmus.eu/
- Instagram: @erasmus_ies_palomares
3. Bilingual Programme
.E.S. Palomares has been an institution adhered to Junta de Andalucía’s Bilingual Programme since 2016. All the students from 1st to the 4th year of Compulsory Secondary Education (C.S.E. onwards) are taught a total of five subjects in English: Geography and History, Music, Technology, Physics and Chemistry, and P.E.
Language assistants will develop their duties according to current legislation, aimed primarily at boosting our students’ communicative competence in English, preferably in the subjects mentioned above. They will be accompanied at all times by a teacher during their working hours. These amount to a total of 12 hours per week, divided into 3 hours from Monday to Thursday (preferably).
Below you will find a summary of the main objectives this programme is set out to achieve:
- To boost our students’ linguistic competence in both Spanish, English and French through a communicative approach, following the AICLE methodology (AICLE stands for Integrated Content Learning in a Foreign Language)
- To internationalise our institution via collaborations with foreign institutions, including student exchange programmes like Erasmus+ or eTwinning.
- To enable our students to successfully obtain any of the foreign language qualifications under current EU legislation in its Common European Framework of Reference for the Teaching and Learning of Languages.
- To promote teamwork among students and faculty through integrated projects and/or tasks dealing with cultural highlights from the assistant’s mother country, or with the specific contents of the different subjects.
4. In First Person: A Short Interview
To finish, we would like to give voice to our language assistant, Ciera. Surely, she has some interesting things to tell us!
a. Was it difficult to get here?
Ciera: I live in Bami, the south of Seville, so my commute is about an hour door–to–door. I ride a bike (SEVICI, the city bike share which is 33euros for the year) for the first 15 minutes and then take a bus for the next 40 minutes. I don’t mind too much because I think it’s worth it to live in the city, but future auxes should really consider living in Triana or Los Remedios, it will cut down the commute to about 40 mins total. Two major downsides are that the outer–city buses aren’tvery frequent, so if you miss one you could be waiting up to an hour for the next. And bus fare does start to add up, I spend about 40 euros/month. But all in all, I like living in the city.
b. What do you like the most about Andalusia / Seville?
· Ciera: Seville is such an amazing city to live in!! The lifestyle here is very relaxed and promotes community. There are a lot of events that happen in the city, especially during the springtime. The weather is amazing as well. There are so many cool cities in Andalusia and for most of them you can just take a day trip. You can find the beach, as well as mountains, so it’s very diverse. There is so much to see and everywhere is beautiful here. And everyone is so friendly! I also love the accent here. It is very difficult to understand, but once you’ve got it down here, you can get it anywhere else. When I traveled to other parts of Spain, I was amazed at how easily I could understand people, something that hasn’t happened before!
c. How would you describe your experience in our secondary school?
· Ciera: I feel extremely blessed to have been placed at this IES Palomares. I have heard some other experiences of Auxes at other schools and I would never imagine some of those things happening here. All of the teachers have been so welcoming and want to make sure I’m adjusting well and that I don’t miss out on any cool experiences. Fernando especially has made it so easy to feel comfortable here. He is the BEST!! Additionally, the students are amazing and have changed my life!! They are the best and they are so interested in learning about the US and the differences in culture, and just my life in general. I can’t help but smile when I walk into the school and hear them saying hi to me!
d. Did you have time to get to know Spain and its culture? What would be your highlights?
· Ciera: Yes, I got to know Spain really well during my time here! I’m glad I got to experience Los Reyes Magos, Semana Santa, and soon Feria here in Seville! These are holidays that we don’t have at all in the US. I’ve never seen anything like them, especially Semana Santa. That was an incredible experience, and I didn’t realize how awesome it would be until I actually experienced it! Those would definitely be my highlights
e. Any final tips / recommendations for our future assistants?
· Ciera: My tips would be to be creative in this job! There are so many fun and engaging activities you can plan for the students and you and them will get so much more out of it! Also, if you don’t know any Spanish, learn at least the basics! There are some parts of the city where almost no one speaks English, so having a basic level is really helpful. One more tip, don’t just make friends with other auxes. That is a good starting point to making friends, but there are so many cool and wonderful people here! I’ve made some lifelong friends by going to intercambios, joining a church group, and even just going to events I’ve seen on Facebook! Get out of your comfort zone as much as possible, it is so worth it!