In fast jedem Schuljahr hatten wir das Glück, dass unser Antrag für eine(n) englischsprachige(n) AssistentIn bewilligt wurde. Nachdem wir in den letzten Jahren immer nur „assistant teachers“ aus den USA oder Großbritannien hatten, war unsere Freude sehr groß, als wir erfuhren diesmal eine Assistentin aus Irland (Dublin) an unsere Seite gestellt zu bekommen. Sie begleitete 14-tägig vor allem Englisch-Lehrer der Oberstufe und half als „native speaker“ den Wortschatz der Schüler zu erweitern, kulturelle irische Eigenheiten näher zu bringen und auch aktuelle Themen zu diskutieren.
Im Namen der Englisch-Lehrer herzlichen Dank, Chloe.
Chloe hat ihre Eindrücke folgendermaßen beschrieben:
If you asked me this time last year where Enns was, I would probably have responded with; ”Enns? What on earth is Enns?” I had never heard of the place before in my life, until last June when I was offered a position as an English language assistant here. All I knew was that it was relatively close to Linz and that there was a tower situated in the town square (thank you, Google).
While an abundance of assistants from the USA and the UK are chosen to come to Austria each year, only a maximum of five Irish assistants are chosen. So, while I felt honoured that I had been one of the lucky few, I also felt a great deal of pressure. What if they don’t understand my accent?!
I remember my very first day at b[r]g Enns. I set my alarm for 05:30am so that I could catch the 06:40 train from Linz Hauptbahnhof. Getting up at this time was totally unnatural to me, as in Ireland we don’t start classes until 09:00am; something that baffled the Austrian students. I thought the early morning was going to be the hardest part of the day, until I set foot in the classroom for the first time… Standing at the top of a room full of confused little faces as I spoke with my thick Dublin accent was definitely much harder!
But over time I learned to speak slower and the students adapted to my strange accent; some of them even picking up on the way I said certain things. I taught them about Irish customs, traditions, and even some slang. And, in return, they taught me a thing or two about Austria and I even attempted to learn some Upper Austrian dialect. However, I’m yet to master the pronunciation of Oachkatzlschwoaf…
I have had the most wonderful experience teaching at b[r]g Enns, thanks to the students, who are all so incredibly bright and well-mannered, and made teaching here so enjoyable. I also have to commend them for being able to decipher my Irish accent! I genuinely mean it when I say how impressed I am with their level of English, but I hope they were still able to take something away from my lessons this year.
I also must thank the staff, who were always so friendly and helpful to me, and made it a pleasure to come into school each day.
I don’t think there is one single word that can sum up my experience in Austria over the past nine months, but it has been a blast and I’m honoured that I had the opportunity to work here. I have really come to love the quaint little town of Enns, and I’m sure I’ll return one day in the future. But for now, it’s back to rainy Ireland I go!