“How Do I Get To…?”: Tips For Travel Planning In And Around France

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or about.me/monikasalita

With late October holidays coming up for many teaching assistants, many of you may be thinking of how to spend this break away from your new city exploring a new one. Here are some of my tools for successfully creating an exciting trip in and around ever-captivating France, via trains and planes.

TRAINS

SNCF (France’s national railway company) runs a program called “Carte 12-25.” This is a card that people between the ages of 12 to 25 can purchase which allows them to then buy train tickets at a reduced cost, ranging anywhere from 25% to 60% savings. The initial fee of approximately 50 Euros pays for itself within your first few voyages if you plan to travel anywhere via train with regular frequency. Proof of age will be required, so bring something with your date of birth on it with you when you plan to purchase your card at your local train station.

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48 Hours in Barcelona: Explore Now, Sleep Later

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or about.me/monikasalita

48 Hours in Barcelona: Explore Now, Sleep Later

By Frank K. [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vamos a Barça! Pack your bag and be ready to hit the ground running because your 48 hours in Barcelona, Spain will surely fly by in a whirlwind of energy and excitement.

SLEEP

Before you go, it’ll be wise to know where you’ll rest your head for a few hours each night. I researched my options on Hostel World’s website and made a reservation for Sant Jordi. My favorite feature of this hostel was that it was not located in the heart of the city, but rather in a more residential area of town, allowing for more observation of and interaction with local residents.

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Speak My Language: Resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Part 2

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or about.me/monikasalita

Speak My Language: Resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Part 2

By Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For some English language teachers, working with younger children or lower level learners may instill overwhelming thoughts.  “Will I spend more time corralling children rather than teaching them?” and “Is this rudimentary content truly worth teaching?” are some questions which may breeze by one’s mind. Have no fear, my EFL teacher friend, there are many online resources available from which to garner ideas on engaging ways to connect with and teach younger students, or those simply at a lower comprehension level.

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Speak My Language: Resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Part 1

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita, about.me

Speak My Language: Resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Part 1

Diving into the task of doing work we’re passionate about, teaching English, yet may not have a lot of work experience in, can be a daunting task for new and experienced teaching assistants alike. This is where resources come in.

My go-to resource during my teaching séjour in France was the Assistants in France forum. This forum served as a great tool from which to learn about the details of living abroad and, more importantly, to share information on lesson planning, discussing ideas that worked and others that didn’t. It’s easy to come across gems such as this Best Lesson Plans document.

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Learning To Make Friends Overseas For the Shy Type

By Monika Salita, @monikasalita

Packing one’s life into a suitcase and hopping on a plane to travel around the globe to go live and work in a foreign country may sound absolutely daunting and nerve-wracking to some, or like life’s ultimate thrill to others. Shy but keen on new adventures, that’s exactly what I did when I hopped on a plane in 2008 and landed in beautiful Montpellier, France.

As part of my teaching placement, I was fortunate enough to be provided with inexpensive housing at the high school where I taught. Living with me on the top floor of one of the dormitories were five non-English teaching assistants, and over time, we overcame language barriers and became great friends; spending evenings out together at our local bars or clubs.

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