Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
EVS-volunteers in English / German class –Impact on foreign language learning
EVS-volunteers have been part of our primary school’s life since 2008 when our first volunteer joined our English and German classes. Ever since, each year we host one permanent EVS from EU countries through Erasmus Plus exchange, via youth centre Litija.
Every year a young EVS-volunteer (male or female) helps at our main school as well as our four branch schools for four times a week. This is a relatively new project, since most EVS volunteers work at youth centres only. At our school, an EVS-volunteer works with different teachers in various classes, mostly English and German classes, but also sports, Slovene, Maths, art or history classes. They give presentations on their country of origin, teach their culture, a bit of their language, music, folk dances and history, sometimes they even help with regular learning topics from the curriculum.
In my article I wanted to find out how students’ understanding and perception of English and German as foreign language changed because we had hosted EVS volunteers. I also wanted to find out if the students’ views of foreign countries and their people changed as well.
Our students were impressed by young people from other countries who in their presentations share their lifestyles, culture, language, and enrich our students’ understanding of language learning in many ways. They lose fear of speaking to foreigners in English or German, since most of them are very young and they accept them as their peers, not as teachers.
Keywords: EVS, volunteers, German / English classes, impact.