My experience at the Intensive English Course
Last summer, I could enjoy a foreign language scholarship to participate in an intensive English course organized by the Ministry of Education, which is offered every year. It is based on living during a week with Anglophones as well as Spanish people of the same age, around 16 and 19 years old, in a rural hotel following the fundamental rule of only speaking in English.
First, I applied for the scholarship at the end of the last scholar year and then I waited some weeks until they sent me my application approval, since MEC chooses the participants according to a selection criteria such as the mark you have got in English subject the last school year. After that, it was possible to choose between different destinations around Spain according with what each one preferred and also depending if there were places in that destination or not; for example I went to Tarragona.
We were almost half Spanish and half Anglophones boys and girls, who came from different parts of the world such as United Kingdom, USA or Canada. We had to live in the same environment during a week following the most important rule of the course which was not to speak Spanish, only English; despite some people spoke in Spanish sometimes, but their groups were penalised by the camp leaders, so it was not very usual. In this way, to practise the language we participated in a large variety of activities where the use of English was essential. For example, we had one-to-one activities where one Spanish talked with one English-speaking for about 45 minutes, so we could meet almost everybody in the course; activities in groups, in which we had to create for example an advertisement to present a new invented product to the rest; optional activities where we could choose whatever we wanted like some types of sports, learning to dance Scottish dances, funny games…
Also, in the rooms we had to speak English, since we shared it with Spanish as well as Anglophones, which was very interesting because thanks to that we could meet our roommates better and learn more about their cultures. In addition, in every meal we had to sit next to an Anglo, so it made it easy to meet more people talking about interesting things and having fun while having breakfast, lunch or dinner.
In conclusion, it was a great experience. It was really helpful for those who wanted to practise and develop their ability to speak the language. In my opinion, what I´m sure a lot of people think, knowing to speak English is essential nowadays for almost everything; it is the universal language which you can use in the majority of places around the whole world. So, summer is the perfect time to practise it conscientiously.
I definitively recommend it to everybody. You just need to go through the web of MEC, look for information and send your application to enjoy a fantastic experience which will benefit you so much.
Daniella Avero Hernández (17)
Student at Colegio Casa Azul (Tenerife)