Why would someone go off on a vacation or holiday and do the same thing they do at home for work?
“A Busman’s holiday” is an idiom that means just that. It originated in the UK with the idea of a bus driver taking a holiday excursion by bus.
For me, the answer is simple. I love my work teaching English as a foreign language using the communicative or conversational method. This stems from my belief that teaching is most effective when the learner is engaged, interested, and finds the material relevant to his or her life.
Teaching is also the most rewarding when the topics of conversation create a connection between two people.
Perhaps this is the secret of Angloville.
I returned to Poland this summer, in part, to participate in Angloville English Immersion Programs. These took place at two lovely hotels set out in the Polish countryside. The concept is to meet far from the distractions of the hectic life that most of the Polish business professionals leave behind for one week.
Their goal: to overcome the hesitancy to speak in English.
My goal: to make connections with people who would like to improve their ability to communicate in English.
I do this by providing them with the opportunity to engage in a conversation about something that matters to them. It might be a business topic like negotiation or it might be an aspect of everyday life, like the complexities of a relationship. There is no shortage of topics when exchanging opinions about culture and current events. Everyone has something to say about their favorite online videos, movies, or books.
The teaching part is spontaneous and comes about as a “teachable moment.” I hear a mistake and after the thought is completed I say, “Hey, did I hear you say. . . ? I can help you with that.” And off I go into a mini-lesson that can be immediately put to use.
At the end of a conversation and at the end of the week, the outcome is the same. Two or more people have engaged in authentic communication using English as the lingua franca, or common language. Cross-cultural acquaintances and friendships are formed. As in all of life, some last a day and some last a season or longer. The learning and memories almost always linger.
These are the experiences that get me out of bed in the morning: the opportunity to learn, to be surprised, to connect, and to serve others. Why wouldn’t I want to do this on my holiday, especially in a place and with people as beautiful as in Poland?
Visit https://angloville.com to apply as a native English speaker or as an intermediate to advanced English language learner. Let me know when you are going because it’s certain that I will be participating in more Angloville experiences in the future.