A Day in My Life

Sprach­schüler in Aus­tralien ler­nen Englisch auch bei Ak­tiv­itäten und Aus­flü­gen. Eine Stu­di­en­reisen­lehrerin be­gleitet und be­treut sie dabei. JULIE COLLINS berichtet.


A teacher who looks af­ter for­eign stu­dents in Aus­tralia


ello! My name is Robyn Allen. I live on Bri­bie Is­land in Queens­land, Aus­tralia. I am 62 years old, and I have a hus­band and two grown chil­dren. I’m a study-tour teacher at a school called St John’s Angli­can Col­lege, and have been so for more than eight years now. We have mostly Chi­nese stu­dents. (In the past, we have had Ja­panese and Kore­ans, too.) They are usu­ally aged between five and 17 and come dur­ing the Chi­nese school hol­i­days.

I wake up at around six o’clock in the morn­ing, have break­fast and get ready for work. Around 7.10 a.m., I drive to the school and ar­rive by about 7.30. I like to be there early to pre­pare my class­room for the day. For ex­am­ple, if I’m do­ing map­ping, I might put the out­line of Aus­tralia on the board. I also like to put up what we are do­ing for the day to in­form the stu­dents about it.

Around eight o’clock, I go to the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing,

and I sign in. I might col­lect any pho­to­copy­ing I have and speak to the staff. At 8.15 a.m., I go down and start to greet the stu­dents. I say hello to their home­s­tay fam­i­lies and make sure ev­ery­thing’s OK. By 8.30, all the stu­dents have ar­rived. We count them, make sure we have them all, then we walk with them up to the class­room.

Once we ar­rive there, I re­view the pre­vi­ous day’s ex­cur­sion: where we went, their thoughts about it, what they liked, what they didn’t like. We com­pare it with what their life is like in China. Then we have a les­son, per­haps on Aus­tralian ge­og­ra­phy. We might put the ma­jor cities, states, ter­ri­to­ries and maybe all the places of in­ter­est, like Uluru and the Great Bar­rier Reef, on a map of Aus­tralia. We learn about the mean­ing be­hind the Aus­tralian and Abo­rig­i­nal flags. At this point, it’s usu­ally time for us to start gather­ing up our things. We then es­cort the stu­dents to a bus on which we’ll go to that day’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

On a typ­i­cal day, we might go to Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gar­dens — lovely gar­dens here in Bris­bane with sub­trop­i­cal plants and flow­ers. We take the stu­dents to a pretty lake with lots of dif­fer­ent kinds of bam­boo, where we sit. The stu­dents en­joy taking photos and hav­ing morn­ing tea there. Around the lake, there’s a lot of bird and an­i­mal life.

Then we would go to Lone Pine Koala Sanc­tu­ary, which also has a lot of Aus­tralian an­i­mals and birds. The stu­dents par­tic­u­larly love the chance to be pho­tographed ac­tu­ally hold­ing a koala. There are also kan­ga­roos. You can ac­tu­ally pat them and be very close to them. You can see Aus­tralia’s na­tive dogs — din­goes — and lots of other an­i­mals, too.

When we re­turn to school, the stu­dents are tired, but they’re very happy as well. And around four o’clock, they’re picked up by their home­s­tay fam­i­lies. The stu­dents can’t wait to tell them all about their day’s out­ing.

When I have said good­bye to the stu­dents,

I usu­ally re­turn to the class­room to col­lect all my things — my teach­ing re­sources. Then I drive home. There, I re­lax by get­ting din­ner ready. Af­ter din­ner, I have a shower and do some read­ing. I might also pre­pare the things I will need for the next day’s les­son.

Our study tours con­sist mainly of taking the stu­dents on out­ings to see Aus­tralia’s way of life and cul­ture. Our English lessons also re­volve around the places where we take stu­dents. For ex­am­ple, we might talk about Aus­tralian an­i­mals if we are taking them to Lone Pine. If we go to the beach or to Movie World, we’ll talk about beach safety and the fact that our sun here in Aus­tralia is very, very strong, and about the need to keep one­self cov­ered, wear a hat and drink plenty of wa­ter.

All in all, I think the stu­dents have an ex­cel­lent time. I re­ally en­joy my job. The stu­dents are great fun.

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