I like to in­clude artis­tic ac­tiv­i­ties ac­cord­ing to the stu­dents’ in­ter­ests dur­ing their stay”

Rana J Rodger, 58, has lived in Cazals in Tar­net-Garonne for 20 years. She hosts adults in her home to help them learn English.

Living France - - Lifestyle - thealche­my­gar­den.com/learn­ing-english

Is­tarted host­ing with Host in France and also now have my own web­site to do it pri­vately. When stu­dents ar­rive I tell them we’ll only be speak­ing English. I en­cour­age them to keep a jour­nal each evening and then the next day we’ll go through it and I’ll cor­rect any mis­takes. They read it aloud and we work on pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

Dur­ing their stay I like to in­clude artis­tic ac­tiv­i­ties ac­cord­ing to their in­ter­ests. One thing ev­ery­one loves is mak­ing col­lages out of English words and pic­tures – a lit­tle like a ‘dream board’ about what they’d like to do or achieve. I work in lots of dif­fer­ent me­dia so if some­one has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in a par­tic­u­lar form of art, I can usu­ally ac­com­mo­date it. Choco­late mak­ing

al­ways goes down well too! I find that the more peo­ple are en­joy­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties, the more they learn. Usu­ally they’ll have a note­book to write down any words they don’t un­der­stand and we’ll go through that each day too. We’ll also visit lo­cal vil­lages, mar­kets and châteaux – there’s lots to see in the area.

I don’t have for­mal teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions but I do have lots of ex­pe­ri­ence. I don’t of­fer lessons as stan­dard but peo­ple can pay ex­tra for lessons if they like – some­times stu­dents will have around five or 10 hours a week. I love watch­ing their lan­guage skills de­velop over the week. I once hosted five teenagers but I don’t think I’d do that again! I en­joy hav­ing adults here for the in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tion. Usu­ally it will be just one per­son at a time which works well as they don’t get to speak any French at all – I am care­ful not to have French vis­i­tors while they’re here!

The age of the stu­dents ranges from teens to early 30s. I’ve got one lady com­ing for a re­turn visit soon – her English teacher at school told her she was rub­bish and she lost her con­fi­dence. It was lovely watch­ing her blos­som and be able to talk about more and more sub­jects, rather than be­ing lim­ited to bor­ing top­ics like the weather. I meet some very in­ter­est­ing peo­ple and it’s very re­ward­ing.”

Stu­dent Amélie is ready to en­joy a meal with Rana

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