October 19, 2015

“Using the language as a tool to find out about cultural differences”

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jakubOur supervisors have sometimes the most important role in your language course abroad. They are friends, role models and your guides during your stay.They are around the clock for you there and prepare – together with you – a varied and extensive activity program.

In an interview with our activity programme organizer Jakub, learns Tom what is important – and what, “learn more than a language “ for the daily work of supervisors means


Interview with Jakub Zimecki, programme organizer in Teignmouth

Jakub, what’s your position in Teignmouth?

Jakub: “Hi everyone. My name is Jakub. I’m a programme organizer here in Teignmouth, so it means that I’m simply responsible for choosing, developing, inventing activities for the afternoons and evenings. And hosting most of them, finding supervisors special skills, also kids’ specials skills, and simply shaping the programme and the atmosphere within our team.”

How would you explain the activities? What kind of activites do you have in here?

Jakub: “We simply provide kids everyday with at least three or four afternoon activities, so they can choose which activity they want to join. So it’s always some sporty activity for kids who want to play football, do some workout, play touchball, volleyball, actually all sorts of different and sometimes real sports.

Next one, there is always something creative – for younger kids. Like do-it-yourself stuff. For example: Do-it-yourself souvenirs. Or pimp your t-shirt. Pimp your old shoes. Do a friendship bracelet and stuff like this. We always provide kids with the opportunity to go for a town walk or to the beach. For those ones who love shopping. Some of them just can’t stand that they will not buy something.

Choosing afternoon activities I always try to talk to my supervisors and do some meeting and brainstorming because sometimes we have supervisors who can do – let’s say – slacklining or they train some kind of cheerleading, aquagym. Whatever it is. I met so many people with so many talents. I always try to get them involved into the programme preparation , so they can also use their talents and show it to others and teach kids …”

You also habe evening event in here?

Jakob: “Yeah evening events. Tonight we will have a fun park or you call it amusement park. So we will create different games in the IP Ocean plus outside like striking the cans or shooting a ball to the litter. We will play bingo. Really many sorts of game. We’re going to have seven to eight different activities. Than kids come inside and do what they want. They go from one station to the other and we amuse them as much as possible.”

The motto of IP is ‘learn more than a language’. What does this mean for you and the activites?

Jakub: “I experienced it last year. I like to explain it based on this story. Last year we had a group of Italian kids and a big group of French kids. And they wanted to play football. We had planned the football game for the afternoon but they wanted to play Italians against French. So it took me half an hour to convince them that the purpose “Why they were there” is to mix, to make friends from different countries, to use language but not to learn language, to master its skills but to use it as a tool to communicate with each other, to find out about their different cultural differences. So we always try to mix kids from all the nationalities and simply get to know each other. How is it in your country, how… You know what I mean.

So, when it comes to different activities, it can be playing football, it can be playing different evening games, like scavenger hunt for example, so part of this intercultural learning is even how do they play these different games in their countries.

Plus they make really strong relationships and the best moment of the whole stay of the kids here is the last Farewell party, when all of the sudden, kids starts crying , hugging each other, and they exchange some gifts, some souvenirs. So this is the moment, when I feel I did a good job.”